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Thomas A. Baker III

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Rebecca M. Achen, Ashley Stadler-Blank, and John J. Sailors

The academic literature reports mixed evidence on how social media platform and message impact consumer engagement. We investigated the effects of three platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) and three message themes (sales, informational, and relationship building) on six consumer engagement actions (comment, like, search, share, talk about, and purchase) in a lab experiment. College students responded to social media posts featuring their National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I women’s basketball team. Results for platform show that participants were more likely to comment on Facebook and Twitter (vs. Instagram) and more likely to purchase on Twitter (vs. Instagram). Results for message theme show that participants were more likely to comment, like, and share informational and relationship building posts and more likely to purchase after sales posts. Results for message theme vary by gender for search and talk about (with others). These results can help sport marketers develop social media content that drives specific engagement actions.

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Katja Sonkeng

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Christopher M. McLeod, Nola Agha, N. David Pifer, and Tarlan Chahardovali

This study examines minor league baseball players’ future-oriented labor by interviewing 44 baseball players and collecting data on 8,000 minor league baseball players’ careers. Minor league baseball players’ expectations of reaching Major League Baseball impacted how they evaluated their work in the present, leading them to tolerate unfair pay and working conditions. We show that players’ expectations of reaching Major League Baseball were moderately unrealistic, partly due to managerial practices encouraging unrealistic expectations. This study contributes to labor research by showing that future-oriented labor ideology is based on unrealistic expectations that employers can promote to create opportunities for future status coercion.

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Monica Nelson and Shannon Jette

Women athletes’ experiences of gendered body ideals and empowerment have been well-documented. However, the existing literature largely neglects strength sports, which have a complex relationship with gendered norms given their historical association with masculinity and wide range of weight classes. In this article, we use a feminist poststructuralist lens to explore how eight Olympic Weightlifters participating in the women’s category choose their weight classes while balancing strength, competitiveness, and esthetics. Participants often referenced sport-specific and gendered body discourses when choosing their weight classes, yet also identified a nondiscursive element that could force them to forego athletic and esthetic body ideals: the body itself. Based on these narratives, we suggest that awareness of the “rebellious body” be considered an important element of women athletes’ bodily empowerment.

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Evan L. Frederick and Ann Pegoraro

The purpose of this commentary is to present the state of sport, social media, and crisis communication research. Existing crisis-communication research involving athletes and coaches; collegiate institutions; teams, leagues, and governing bodies; journalists; and other sport entities are discussed. The commentary concludes with a discussion of directions for future research, including (a) interviewing industry professionals, (b) employing survey design to examine user response, (c) employing experimental design with social media manipulations, (d) validating and developing frameworks, and (e) examining additional social media platforms.

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Emma J. Kavanagh, Chelsea Litchfield, and Jaquelyn Osborne

While the topic of athlete welfare has gained significant attention in academic literature, to date there has been a primacy placed on physical settings and their ability to augment or thwart the welfare of athletes. The discourse has, therefore, neglected the advent of social media spaces and their potential to have a significant impact on athlete welfare. Social media platforms are now a vital component in the lives of athletes who are increasingly reliant on maintaining an online presence and following. In this commentary, we consider the scope of social media and its potential impact on the welfare of athletes, particularly female athletes. In doing so, we identify and discuss some of the positive health and well-being outcomes associated with increased online communication and self-representation in social media spaces. We examine the scholarship concerning the threats posed by social media spaces, consider power in virtual environments and its impact on welfare, and finally suggest some future directions for scholarship in this field.

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Dunja Antunovic

This conceptual review identifies the contributions of the Sociology of Sport Journal to the subfield of feminist sport media studies. Since the first issue of Sociology of Sport Journal, over 60 articles addressed primarily the media representations research area of feminist sport media studies, using a range of theoretical frameworks that mirrored theoretical shifts in the field. An empirical analysis of geographies of knowledge production indicates that the scholarship in Sociology of Sport Journal in this subfield is primarily based in the United States and focuses on Western contexts. The article concludes with a reflection on the importance of special issues and interdisciplinary collaborations in feminist sport media studies.