To calculate which sports players had the largest media profile, we considered the number of mentions, the sentiment of mentions, the sheer number and ratio of important mentions, how ‘viral’ they’ve been and Instagram follows and hashtags.
Overall, Harry Kane, captain of the English football team, finished leagues ahead of the other sports subjects. Raking in almost 178,000 mentions between April and October, Kane scored top for five of seven factors. Kane was the most mentioned athlete in the study, went the most viral, had the most important mentions, and also has the most follows and mentions on Instagram.
Cricketer Ben Stokes pipped Emma Raducanu to the post of second place. Stokes may have less than half the mentions of Kane, but the media likes him more, securing a 70% positive to negative ratio – significantly above Harry Kane’s 55%.
In third place, tennis hot-shot Emma Raducanu scored in the top three for four out of the seven categories. After Kane, Raducanu secured the second-highest number of important mentions in the study and has the second most followers in the study.
The nation’s darling Leah Williamson finished fourth and has an impressive 86% positive to negative-press ratio. Still, compared to her male contemporary, Williamson only received 10% of the number of mentions that Kane did in the same period, despite her huge victory in July.