A new week, another St Kilda controversy

This entry was posted by Laura on Wednesday, 2 February, 2011 at

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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  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/ANYPWFYQMNG7NRB55Q7C3PR6C4 Adelaide La Blanche-Dupont

    Important point about fans, identity and the base. If these aren’t going well for a club and team, there are consequences. Interesting distinction between games and sports. Loyalty does change around those 22 weeks of active play and before and afterwards.

    The four Saints electorates: Goldstein; Shortlands [shared with Sydney Swans]; Kennedy; Denison.
    (I notice that Goldstein and Denison are close to the sea. Goldstein and Denison may have players with hometowns in that electorate/division; Shortlands might have been the home of Tony Lockett; Kennedy is interesting because of Bob Katter and because it is such a big area! People are more likely to listen to Kennedy tweets).

    The August: now comparison is an interesting one.

    Consequences: Robert Walls has recommended that Ross Lyon leave within 2 years.

    Zac Dawson’s reputation goes further down. (Let’s hope not).

    The full-time/voluntary work in Frankston (look at more Frankston/Mornington Peninsula tweeters: personal and business? And Facebook too?)

    We now know that it is not an induction programme. It is an apprenticeship programme. This is because Alessio got picked up on the term.

    Martin Blake seems to have some perspective and insight on this:
    Blake, Martin [2011]. Club must take medicine and be united. (The Age: 2 Feburary 2011).

    The Age also used saintsational.com to garner the feelings of the fanbase. During the big controversy, I remember it being discussed on other club sites than saintsational.com, as there were technical difficulties at the time.

    (The placeholder appears to confirm my thoughts as well as gives an explanation:
    “Due to what I am led to believe was a catastrophic hardware failure, the server that contains Saintsational and many other websites has been offline for the last few weeks. It came back online several days ago, but there were still issues with the database server which meant the forum remained unavailable.

    Now it appears that the servers are online again and fortunately no data appears to have been lost. It will take several more days to restore logos and various colour schemes to the website.”

    Hope any databases you’ve been relying on are behaving!

  • http://www.fanhistory.com LauraH

    None of the sites that I get data from are necessarily harmed. (Though I do have Alexa data for saintsational.) I’m in the process of trying to put together a packet this one for Collingwood for St Kilda. I’m about 11 pages and two sites in. (I have a huge amount of Alexa data.)

    I don’t know if Dawson has a reputation that he has to worry much about. Was he expected to take a crack at stardom or was he expected to stay as a mid level player with the attention accorded such? (I’ve got the twitter data to do a real analysis of that.) It might provide a bit more long term insight than my chapter actually does.

    If this was the USA, the coach would be fired as a result of all this stuff happening. He would be viewed as not having control.

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