Dwyane Wade is in his eighth season with the Miami Heat. He has played in the All-Star game six times, been named All-NBA first team twice, won an NBA title, and was named Finals MVP.
But it wasn’t until Wade was about to hit free agency that the fans in Florida finally learned how to spell his name.
Using Google Trends, we can track how often people in the state of Florida searched for either “Dwyane Wade” (the correct spelling) or “Dwayne Wade” (the incorrect spelling).
Looking at the chart below, we see that people in the state of Florida consistently searched for the incorrect spelling more often than the correct version through the 2008-09 season*. It is not until October, 2009, more than three years after leading the Heat to their only NBA title, that we see a week in which more people searched for the correct spelling.
The large spike in the chart occurred during the week in which Wade, LeBron James and the Tall One announced they would team up in South Beach. We see that the red line spikes also. However, very soon after “The Decision,” we see the search for “Dwayne Wade” flat line with a recent surge.
The frequency with which people search for the incorrect spelling suggests that if an author of a news story wanted to maximise search power, it would help to include at least one “Dwayne Wade” in the story. For example, maybe an editor could “accidentally” slip the misspelled version into the photo caption.
* Full disclosure…I’m from Florida, and there is a good chance at least one of those incorrect searches was mine.
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