La nuove trame del calcio. I big data tra racconto, performance, previsione e valutazione in ambito calcistico = The redefinition of soccer plots. Big data application in football's narratives, performance, prediction, and evaluation


Football is usually presented as a spectacle that is characterized by a marked commercial aspect and concern for the definition of athletes' performance. In contrast, this sport's industrial organization is leading to the orientation towards measurability and pervasive quantification. Under this light, big data usage helps the media and the football industry to improve the processes of storytelling and interpretation of the context surrounding soccer games by foregrounding analyses and considerations of players' health and efficiency. This paper explores the effects of the application of big data analytics on the redefinition of the narrative techniques for the description of the world of football. In particular, our attention focuses on the uses of data and statistics as appropriate strategies to narrate the matches and entertain the audience by foregrounding specific aspects such as: (i) the control of athletes' health and physical conditions; (ii) the evaluation of sports performance at the time of selecting adequate tactics or the players that teams are supposed to buy; (iii) the perception of advantageous market orientations. What emerges, in fact, is a paradigmatic change of knowledge that goes beyond the field of sport and sports communication, as is revealed by the creation of risks that are connected with an excess of intrusiveness of data, as well as with the subtle, although tenacious, insinuation about their neutrality.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22840753n17p73

Keywords: big data; football; narratives; forecast; performance

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