According to Google Trends search data, search volume for “Jason Collins” was higher the week that Jason Collins came out as gay in Sports Illustrated than the search volume for “Kate Upton” the week the 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue was released. Cumulative searches for 2013 cover model “Kate Upton” may prove to be greater than searches for “Jason Collins,” but it is too early to know the long-term effect.
Source: Google Trends
Notes and Caveats:
- 100 represents the peak search volume
- Kate Upton was unofficially reported to be the model on February 8, 2013, several days before the official announcement on February 11, 2013 and release of the issue on February 12, 2013. The week for Kate Upton shown above does not include February 8.
- The Jason Collins article was available online on April 29, 2013.
- The term “Kate Upton” was chosen because other terms (“Sports Illustrated”, “swimsuit”, etc.) did not generate as high peak search interest as “Kate Upton” did.
- Other “Kate Upton”-related searches could push total swimsuit-related searches above “Jason Collins” searches, but other “Jason Collins”-related searches would also increase searches in that category.
- Overall page views at SI.com confirm the Google Trends results that Jason Collins had a more significant effect on traffic to the Sports Illustrated website than the release of this year’s swimsuit edition featuring Kate Upton.