#WorldSeries: An Empirical Examination of a Twitter Hashtag During a Major Sporting Event

in International Journal of Sport Communication
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  • 1 Indiana University–Bloomington, USA
  • 2 University of Southern Indiana, USA
  • 3 Indiana University–Bloomington, USA
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Sport organizations, teams, and athletes are growing constituencies that use socialmedia platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to engage in dialogue with their respective audiences. The purpose of this study was to examine Twitter hashtag use during a major sporting event. Specifically, this study analyzed #WorldSeries during the 2011 World Series. The study employed a content-analysis methodology to determine who was using the hashtag and how it was being used. Using systematic sampling, 1,450 tweets were analyzed. The results demonstrated that #WorldSeries was being used predominantly by laypersons to express fanship, as well as interactivity. When individuals were being interactive with this hashtag, they were doing so mainly with MLB/league officials and other laypersons. Most of these interactive tweets were also expressions of fanship. The implications of these findings are discussed further.

Blaszka and Burch are students in the School of Public Health, Indiana University–Bloomington, Bloomington, IN. Frederick, who is with the Kinesiology and Sport Dept., University of Southern Indiana, and Clavio and Walsh, who are with the School of Public Health, Indiana University–Bloomington, Bloomington, IN, are their advisors.