Football and Leicester city

Interest in Leicester stimulated by football success, bigger impact than RIII

One way of gauging interest in a city is to look at its Wikipedia page views. If there’s growing interest among visitors to the online encyclopedia, you can ask why. Here’s the story so far this year, for views of Leicester’s page. Notice the spikes.

The notes in red on the spikes show the football games, and scores, that Leicester was involved in at that time. Could be coincidence, but might not be.

To check the footie connection, here’s a comparison with the page views for the Leicester City FC Wikipedia entry.

The shapes are similar, but much bigger. Perhaps it is the football.

How about comparing with a couple of other midland cities, say Derby and Nottingham. Do they have a football-related spike?

So what happened around Friday 29 January 2016? Why did Derby’s page views shoot up, ahead even of mighty Leicester’s? Might it be related to the FA cup match that was played on that day? Derby played Manchester United at home in the fourth round. They lost, 1 -3.  Perhaps it’s the taking part, not the winning, that matters to Wikipedia viewers.

How does all this compare with the excitement generated by the reburial of Richard III a year ago? In Wikipedia terms, the king’s  impact was much less. On 26 March, the day of the interment, Leicester page views peaked at slightly over 3,000. Daily averages for the month hovered around 1,200. That’s clearly much less than the 18,000 peak of the Man City game, and the regular spikes over 4,000 in the past couple of weeks.

Large claims were made last year for the economic benefit to the city of the King in the carpark. It might be worth examining what the King Power effect is by comparison.

3 thoughts on “Football and Leicester city

  1. I was told by an academic in Sheffield that the Universities there attract large numbers of Chinese students o the back of having the Crucible theatre, which is home of course tot he SAnooker World Championships, a hugely popular sport in China.

    I would have to imagine that us winning the Premier League will have a far wider impact worldwide, not just in terms of attracting students. Anecdotally, I was told when in Reykjavik recently that “everyone in Iceland” loves Leicester, and a colleague said that every business meeting he has in the USA starts with five minutes on LCFC. Does it ultimately increase business revenue? Hard to imagine it doesn’t have some effect.

    • Yes, absolutely it must have an effect. But how to measure it?

      The economic assessment of King Richard introduced me to a concept of Advertising Value Equivalency. This is an estimate of what editorial coverage would have cost if it were advertising space or time.

      The number crunchers at Leic University counted articles on KRIII in 27 countries, including 46 articles in the US. Readership of publications totalled nearly 300 million. They estimated AVE on that basis of £521,530.

      An equivalent guess for LCFC would be what? Through the roof.

      • To be clear, that KRIII AVE estimate was for two months, immediately following the press conference that confirmed the remains.

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