Rivalries in sports competitions and in the global media showcase

Pedro García-del-Barrio, Nicolás Becerra-Flores, Jef Schröder-Aubert


This paper examines how players compete in the global media showcase as well as in the sporting field. We pay special attention to the role of players’ rivalries regarding the effect they have to raise the interest on particular sport disciplines worldwide. We actually compare the individuals’ media status, as a way to measure of the degree of attention they draw from supporters and the general public around the world. To selected group of star players, we first identify Top-10 athletes who enjoy greater levels of visibility in the media. The appraisals are based on “Google Trends”, by computing the number of searches made by Google users associated to each athlete. Ronaldo emerges as the player with greatest number of searches, taking the reference value of 100. Then, adopting a complementary approach, we also examine the Top-10 most popular soccer players worldwide. In this case, our calculations are based on MERIT (methodology for the evaluation and rating of intangible talent) approach, which computes indexes to appraise the media value of talent by collecting the number of news articles generated by each superstar. We actually calculate the individual index of media value as the factor by which the number of news articles generated by a player multiplies the news related to the representative (average) player in our data base.


Sport stars; sport rivalries; media visibility

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