Good for Society or Good for Business? Division I Sports Information Directors’ Attitudes Toward the Commercialization of Sports

in International Journal of Sport Communication

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Erin WhitesideUniversity of Tennessee, USA

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Marie HardinPenn State University, USA

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Erin AshPenn State University, USA

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Through increased visibility in the mass media, collegiate sports have grown at an astounding rate over the past 50 years, leading critics to charge that they are often governed from a standpoint that does not protect academic priorities but instead emphasizes business interests. In light of this trend, the authors used a survey to examine the attitudes of sports information directors (SIDS)—the individuals who are charged with furthering institutional agendas in sport—at the NCAA Division I level. The findings suggest that SIDs generally identify with the belief that sports are inherently good for society but are mixed in their attitudes toward college sport’s biggest revenue generator, football. The results are considered in context with research on SIDs and on media produced by athletic departments.

Whiteside is with the School of Journalism and Electronic Media, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN. Hardin is with the Journalism Dept., and Ash, the College of Communications, Penn State University, University Park, PA.

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