Click baiting…its something even the big media companies love doing!
There is a classic example of it today in an article by News Limited today titled The truth about sport’s ultimate mercenary Sonny Bill Williams: nobody cares what you do, Sonny.
The basic premise is that Sonny Bill Williams is allegedly going to boycott the New Zealand test team if it selects him in the ANZAC Test against Australia.
When people read news like that, they feel an emotion. They either get angry at Williams for not playing for the Kiwi’s, or they defend Williams right to not play in the game if he doesn’t want to.
This article plays off the back of all that. It tosses up a bunch of red flags in the hope that people will get hysterical over the article and the resulting traffic will make it worth the journalist putting their name to something that is just flat out wrong.
Love him, hate him, feel completely indifferent about him…you can not deny that people do care about what Sonny Bill Williams does.
Last year the Sydney Roosters and the NRL itself both looked at the raw numbers and come to the conclusion that Sonny Bill Williams addition to the Roosters club draw higher crowds and more television viewers. Williams generated extra income for the game, to the point that now the NRL has opened itself up to the idea of attracting and keeping stars in the NRL by paying them a marketing component outside of the salary cap directly from the NRL’s pocket.
Sonny Bill Williams is a star and in this day and age, people follow star athletes as much, if not more, than they follow clubs.
If nobody cared about what Sonny Bill Williams does, nobody would be talking about him. The fact is that Sonny Bill Williams can’t do much without a large group of people taking an interest.
If Sonny Bill Williams dyed his hair, grew a beard, shaved off one eyebrow, got an ear pierced, wore bright pink boots, heavily taped up both knees, started playing with his socks down, wore a headgear….if he did any of that, it would turn into a conversation point!
No doubt some of you are reading this and saying “Well I wouldn’t care” and that’s cool. Not everyone would care. However, thousands of people would care. They would take the time to talk about what Sonny Bill Williams had done, whether they liked him or not.
The New Limited publications that will carry this story all know this of course. They know that Sonny Bill Williams is a lightening rod. They will have their own numbers they can look at too. Hell, even on my web site when I write about Sonny Bill Williams I can see that people care. It is just an undeniable fact.
That his absence from the ANZAC Test will be mentioned by the commentators during the game says it all. Even when Sonny Bill Williams chooses to do nothing, people care!
To suggest that people don’t care what Sonny Bill Williams does is stupid.
Now, before we finish up here I know what you’re thinking. Is this article you are reading right now click baiting? I tell you what, I’ll leave that decision up to you. I will say this though…people love reading about Sonny Bill Williams. While I am not his biggest fan I do enjoy writing about him because his approach to the game is very different from most players.
I don’t like the mercenary aspect of how he approaches sport. That is just me though, plenty of other people feel that his approach is the only way a professional athlete should handle their careers.
That Sonny Bill Williams is so open about it, and that he can show little to no loyalty at all and still have people eating out of his hand is really interesting to me. This is a guy that told the very proud NZRU that he was going to walk out on the All Blacks so he could play Rugby League and they wished him all the best and told him to please come back when he is ready.
To me, that is pretty amazing! That is why I like writing about this bloke!
People care about what Sonny Bill Williams does and doesn’t do.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com