Archive for February 2nd, 2011

A new week, another St Kilda controversy

Posted by on Wednesday, 2 February, 2011

It appears that people are beginning to look at St Kilda’s involvement in controversy and are beginning to ask if this is bad for the club. Do these things hurt the club’s image? Will it effect their on field performance?

Most of the research I’ve done on Australian sport controversies has the take away that these things often hurt the league more than they hurt the club. The research supports the idea that by fostering a sense of national leagues and trying to get support for the games being played, rather than for individual sports, means that fans and casual observers assume that the problems are endemic to everyone. When St Kilda does something stupid, they aren’t inoculated: Social media data suggests this impacts other teams. The data supports a suggestion that the AFL and NRL should work with teams to make sure each has a strong, independent fanbase with a clear sense of its own identity.

Given all that, I’m debating writing about the latest St Kilda controversy. I’ve got to get some benchmarks on Twitter, Facebook and Alexa before I do that. A one day response probably isn’t long enough to get an idea as to how people responded. Given that this latest controversy is an extension of what went on for most December and part of January, I can’t see big shifts happening though maybe quiet shifts happened between January 1 and now. We’ll see if I get the motivation to do so.

If people are looking for for raw data and analysis regarding the impact that controversies have had on St Kilda during the past year, I have a fair amount of that. I thought I would make a post that could link to those. If people want to see any of these posts looked at or current data provided to help clarify a picture, I can do that.

  • St Kilda Saints Nude Photo Controversy (complete) – This is a four part, 15,000 word paper that looks the St Kilda nude photo controversy and how it played out for Riewoldt, Dal Santo, Dawson and the Saints. The primary focus is Twitter, Facebook and Alexa though other sites are also looked at.
  • Characteristic of AFL diggers – This posts looks at the differences of people who submitted content to digg related to various teams. St Kilda is one of the five teams looked at.
  • St. Kilda followers on Twitter – This post is from August and looks at the characteristics of St Kilda followers on Twitter. It makes a bit of an interesting contrast to who St Kilda followers are now.
  • AFL team related Tweets by location – This is a map from July. It involves several teams in the AFL. It shows where people who Tweeted about specific teams actually tweeted from.
  • Foursquare and the AFL – This post from May gives an idea as to how many people on Foursquare checked into a few of the AFL games. St Kilda games are represented.

Beyond this selection of posts, there is a fair amount of raw, unprocessed and not necessarily fully categorized/tagged posts that reference St Kilda that can help complete the picture of the team’s pure social media/web growth and demographic shifts in the population over the past year.  When all this data is put into context, say in a packet like this one for Collingwood, it begins to paint a complete picture of the impact that all these controversies had on the club.

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