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Examining Audiences’ Information-Seeking Behavior Surrounding the Super Bowl and Sex Trafficking: Insights From Google Trends Data

Wenche Wang, Stacy-Lynn Sant, and Elizabeth King

Sex trafficking is a prominent human rights issue that has been increasingly associated with the hosting of large-scale sport events. Despite insufficient evidence demonstrating a causal or correlative link, event stakeholders have implemented antitrafficking efforts in attempts to prevent and promote awareness of sex trafficking. Using Google Trends data to measure audiences’ information-seeking behavior online and Twitter data as a proxy for antitrafficking efforts on social media, we employed a difference-in-differences approach to estimate the change in online demand for sex-trafficking information among the residents of Miami-Dade, the host city of Super Bowl LIV (54). Findings highlight an increase in the online demand for sex-trafficking information in the host city during and after the event. This increased demand attributed to the Super Bowl may offer support for host communities utilizing sport events to promote awareness of pressing social issues.

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Erratum. Mediated Sports Money: An Analysis of the Relationship Between Sports Media Consumption and College Students’ Perceived Financial Understanding

International Journal of Sport Communication

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Mediated Sports Money: An Analysis of the Relationship Between Sports Media Consumption and College Students’ Perceived Financial Understanding

Patrick C. Gentile, Zachary W. Arth, Emily J. Dirks, and Nicholas R. Buzzelli

This study investigated the correlation between sports media consumption and its influence on college students’ perception of finances. Through the lens of cultivation theory, the study sought to gauge how financial information featured in sports media may impact college students’ perceptions about money. A survey was distributed to 225 participants across four states. Results indicate that students who consume a greater amount of sports media are more likely to have a higher perceived understanding of financial concepts, higher confidence when it comes to finances, and even an elevated perception of entry-level salaries when compared with non–sports fans. Overall, sports media consumption can influence how college student sports fans perceive finances.

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“Seven Weeks Is Not a Lot of Time”: Temporal Work and Institutional Change in Australian Football

Joshua McLeod, Géraldine Zeimers, Jonathan Robertson, Catherine Ordway, Lee McGowan, and David Shilbury

Recognizing the importance of timing in efforts to drive institutional change, this study examined how actors engage in “temporal institutional work” in their attempts to disrupt inequitable institutions in sport. A qualitative case study was conducted on football (soccer) in Australia wherein significant gender equity reforms have been enacted. The findings revealed how the temporal activities of entraining (e.g., capitalizing on external interventions), constructing urgency (e.g., through advocacy), and enacting momentum (e.g., through consensus-based leadership) allowed actors to exploit a time-sensitive window of opportunity for change, quickly foster a perception of irreversibility that structural change would occur, and generate synchronicity with broader reforms. Inspired by the breakthroughs in Australian football, this research highlights temporal-based strategies for combating gender inequity in sport. Theoretically, this study extends research on institutional work in sport by illuminating the key role that timing norms play during institutional change.

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Volume 17 (2024): Issue 1 (Mar 2024): Special Issue—Social Media and Sport Communication: Research Studies

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Volume 38 (2024): Issue 2 (Mar 2024)

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Social Media and Sport Research: Empirical Examinations Showcasing Diversity in Methods and Topics

Jimmy Sanderson and Gashaw Abeza

This commentary introduces the second of two special issues in the International Journal of Sport Communication centered on social media and sport. The empirical studies presented in this issue illustrate both the diversity of topics and methodological approaches utilized by researchers working at the intersection of social media and sport. Research articles in this issue analyze topics ranging from sport consumer behavior to online fan communities to coaches’ perceptions of activism-related content posted on team social media accounts. The research presented here also employs a variety of methodological approaches including experimental design, critical discourse analysis, rhetorical analysis, and applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Collectively, these studies offer a foundation on which future research in social media and sport can build to continue to enhance our understanding of social media’s impact on the sport world.

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The Roles of Perceived Safety Climate and Innovativeness in the Performance of Sport and Recreation Organizations

Minjung Kim, Han Soo Kim, Brent D. Oja, Jasamine Hill, Claire Zvosec, and Paul Yuseung Doh

The recent COVID-19 pandemic created an unpredictable environment regarding the safety operations of sport and recreation organizations. This study was designed to examine how safety climate and organizational innovativeness could promote preferred organizational behavior outcomes in college campus sport and recreation centers. A total of 227 sport and recreation employees were recruited through the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association. With the collected data, we employed structural equation modeling to assess the research hypotheses. The results indicated that safety climate and innovativeness positively influenced job engagement, therefore leading to enhanced safety compliance and employee innovativeness, which ultimately resulted in higher levels of organizational performance. Peer safety compliance was also found to be a moderator in the relationship between job engagement and safety compliance. In this study, the authors offer new insights into sport organizational performance by emphasizing safety and innovation.

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How Language Shapes Relationships in Professional Sports Teams: Power and Solidarity Dynamics in a New Zealand Rugby Team

Tracie Edmondson

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Selling Gender Through Kids’ Sport Team Merchandise: A Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis

Katherine Sveinson and Charles D.T. Macaulay

Scholars studying team-licensed fan apparel have begun to surface the meanings communicated through fan clothing, particularly focusing on its gendered nature. This study extends upon this previous research by examining children’s sport fan apparel via a social semiotics theoretical framework. The authors collected 377 items from 14 teams in seven major leagues in the United States. Merging a feminist lens with multimodal critical discourse analysis methodology, they uncovered how discourses and meanings in the marketing of these materials communicate organizational practices and structures. The study determined that the marketing presented discourses of gender segregation and (false) gender neutrality, as well as discourses of good parenting that legitimized the consumption of merchandise as a reflection of parenting ideologies. Organizations must address internal gendered practices to produce marketing materials and artifacts supporting gender equity and inclusivity.