Exploring the Communication of Student-Athlete Pathways as a Transformative Service in Australian Higher Education

in International Journal of Sport Communication
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In Australia, student-athletes accounted for approximately 60% of the medals won in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. Despite this success, little research has looked into how student-athlete pathway programs are communicated to support student-athletes. Drawing from the contemporary marketing lens of transformative-services research (TSR), this study explored how universities can communicate student-athlete pathway programs as a transformative service with a focus on student-athlete well-being. To achieve the aim, a content analysis of universities’ sport Web pages (N = 38) was conducted. Triangulation of findings with extant literature from the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia indicated considerable scope for advancing communication of student-athlete pathway programs focused on well-being underpinned by TSR. Specifically, the theoretical TSR lens provides a foundation for focusing communication on attributes and services associated with well-being established as important in supporting student-athlete programs in higher education, providing novel practical insight to establish a pathway in sport systems of Australia and other countries.

Kean is with the School of Health and Sport Sciences; Fleischman, the School of Business; and English, the School of Communication and Creative Industries, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, Australia.

Fleischman (dfleischman@usc.edu.au) is corresponding author.
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