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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.

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“Doing What’s Best for Me”: A Cultural Values Comparison of Social Media Responses to Kyrie Irving’s COVID-19 Vaccination Status

Sitong Guo, Andrew C. Billings, Joshua R. Jackson, and Suyu Chou

In October 2021, National Basketball Association player Kyrie Irving was banned from competing for the Brooklyn Nets because of his resistance to being vaccinated for COVID-19. Two months later, the Nets softened that stance and allowed Irving to participate in road games. This study examines two prongs of the social media response to Irving’s vaccination status. A total of 12,000 posts were collected from the U.S.-based Twitter (now known as X; 6,000) and the Chinese-based Weibo (6,000), covering the first week of coverage of Irving and the Nets’ announcement. Results showed that Hofstede’s cultural dimensions help explain the theme differences, with Twitter’s comments reflecting more individualistic notions and lower power distance than Weibo. Moreover, Twitter users focused more on opinion-based expression themes, while Weibo users avoided commenting on the COVID-19 policy. These findings contribute to the literature by identifying the role culture plays in people’s response to a social issue.

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Motivations, Barriers, and Supports: An Examination of the Experiences of Women of Color Recreational Sport Coaches

Eric Legg and Rebecca Varney

Coaches play an instrumental role in the experiences of youth sport participants. Though girls participate in youth sport at similar rates as boys, coaching positions continue to be dominated by men. Existing research supports the value of diverse role models, especially for culturally diverse youth, and women coaches of color are especially important in sport given the low participation rates of ethnocultural minorities. Given the importance of diverse role models as sport coaches, this study investigates the experiences of women of color who coach sport at the recreational level. Based on interviews with 14 individuals, and grounded in socioecological theory, our findings describe the experience of research participants at each level (individual, interpersonal, organizational, and sociocultural) with a focus on the entry experience, barriers, and supports. Findings suggest that gendered and racial norms influence experiences across the model, and further lead to practical implications for sport managers.

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Media Framing of Athletic Department Major Infractions: A 5-Year Review of Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Tyler A. Williams and Beth A. Cianfrone

Media coverage of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) often focuses excessively on challenges and deficits, influencing public perceptions, but there is little research on media portrayals of HBCU infractions. This study delves into the portrayal of Division I HBCU infractions from 2016 to 2020 through a textual analysis of 60 article headlines from local, regional, and national newspapers. The research examines general framing strategies, temporal changes, specific frames, prominent themes, and attribution of responsibility. Results indicate that the media often frames these infractions episodically rather than thematically over the 5-year span, with limited case details. The headlines emphasized specific issues of reprimand and redemption, often holding the organization accountable. Newspapers contribute to public opinion on athletic infractions by presenting these incidents in an engaging narrative. This study highlights the need for a more nuanced understanding of how media shapes perceptions of HBCUs, especially in the context of athletic infractions.