UEFA Euro 2012 Quarter Finals: Spain, Germany, Portugal and Italy. Winning Teams, Winning Stars. Media Coverage Analysis

We continue our series about media impact analysis of football UEFA Euro 2012 championship.

Quarter finals results

Last eight teams were confronted in a single knockout round, in quarter finals, to determine the last four semifinalists.

Games were played between 21 and 24 June 2012.

Teams and results were:

Portugal – Czech Republic 1-0 (Cristiano Ronaldo)

Germany – Greece 4-2 (Lahm, Khedira, Klose, Reus // Samaras, Salpigidis)

Spain- France 2-0 (2 Xabi Alonso)

Italy – France 0-0 (penalties 4-2).

So, the semifinals of the tournament are:

Portugal Vs Spain

Germany Vs Italy

Media value in the final stages of the competition

It’s time for glory for the teams reaching the final stages of the competition. There are less and less teams competing, there is much more now at stake. Media coverage increases and focusses in the remaining teams and players. Just three big games to play (two semifinals and the final), but they have the power to create new winning and prestigious teams, and launching new heroes of football, or confirming and strengthening the established football stars.

Media impact measurement of the decissive matches provide us the information about how big is the reward that teams and players will receive from sport success and which players will win the more after each game. As explained in previous posts, the massive media coverage that some football players are receiving in Euro 2012 is translated into increased media value. Football media value is an almost direct mesure of future commercial power of players of football stars.

The crucial games are still ahead. But quarter finals were already a very important step and have their own impact in terms of media value.

Comparative media impact analysis

We propose in this post a different analysis concerning post game media coverage of games.

We show this time comparative analysis of all four games. We will show also team Vs Individual media impact.

We use as in all previous posts about Euro 2012 media impact metrics based in image content analysis of photos published in newspapers the day after each game.

We have chosen news published in British media, except for the match Italy Vs England. In order to avoid media bias we have chosen media coverage in Spanish newspapers for Italy vs England.

We present as first result the distribution of media coverage received by each team. In the following figure, we present the share reached by all eight teams in quater finals. Green bars refer to qualified teams to the semifinals. Red bars correspond to eliminated teams.

Winning teams control between 64% adn 72% of all post game media coverage. Losing teams receive between 36% and 28% of the post game media attention.

According to our results, the game with the highest orientation towards the winning team was Portugal Vs Czech Republic. 71.6% of all post game coverage about the match turned in favour of players from Portugal. Second team most massivelly followed was Germany (68%). Winners Spain and Italy shared media space with losers France and England.

The increased attention in favour to Portugal reflects that the game was seen as very unbalanced and that the Czech Republic players did not deserve much attention because of their lack of sport performance. It also reflects the increased expectations created by Portugal. At the beginning of the competition, Portugal was just the seventh favorite team to win the championship, according to Bwin odds. After the end of the group stage, Portugal jumped to third favorite, ahead of other prestigious teams in the quater finals (all teams that were eventually eliminated, plus Italy).

Team Vs individual stars media impact

In this section we proceed to the analysis of the media coverage given to each match, by focusing the attention to the place given to individual stars versus team success.

We have applied the following strategy. Applying image content analysis, we have distinguished the images showing just one player (or the coach) to photos showing several team players, tipically celebrating a goal or the qualification for the next round. This analysis allow us to study how do media perceive the sources of the success of the team: individual versus collective contributions. Of course, media choices are strongly determined by the actual development of the match. There are matches with clear individual heroes who capture almost all media glory, while in other cases there are more than one heroe or key protagonists of the match are unclear.

Based on the results of the four games, we should expect  a huge individual media coverage for Spain (Xabi Alonso scored all two goals), and Portugal (Cristiano Ronaldo scored the only decissive goal, he had other clear scoring opportunities). As for the other two winning teams, we count with the extreme cases. We have a lot of protagonists in Germany, as there are four different scorers, and even the man of the match was another player, Mesut Özil. As for Italy, we have no clear heroes, as there were no scorers during the regular time. In the penalty series, Nocerino missed his shot, goalkeeper Buffon just blocked one penalty and Pirlo reached protagonism using an unusual soft shot (Panenka style). Andrea Pirlo became eventually the Man of the match.

We present our empirical results in the following four figures.

We find that Portugal is the team were media coverage is more oriented to individual players, with 48% of all images about the match. The vast majority of them show Cristiano Ronaldo as protagonist.

We have discussed in some previous posts the relevance of Euro 2012 for CR7 individual interests. According to our results, Leo Messi is the most valuable player of the season in terms of media value (see the post about Football media valur report 2012). In the last four seasons, the most valuable player by media value got thereafter the Ballon d’Or. Our prediction is thus that Leo Messi will win the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2013… except if Cristiano Ronaldo continue to emerge as the decissive team leader and Portugal reached the final or even win the title. In any case, we can confirm that the quarter finals had an excellent positive impact for Cristiano Ronaldo.

As expected, second team more oriented to individual post game reward is Spain. Individual images refer mainly to Xabi Alonso. Individual share is 35% of all news. This is quite less that the share reached by Cristiano Ronaldo (48%).

As for the other two winning teams, we find that individual images reach 22% value for Italy, and a mere 14% share for Germany. Images explaining Germany outstanding performance against Greece is reflected in collective images showing the strength of the group.

(more content coming)

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