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.
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.
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.
What happens when modern sports systems in noncore sports nations have undergone extended globalization? In this article, I draw on glocalization theory, particularly Roland Robertson and Richard Giulianotti’s “duality of glocality” to explore the historical developments of the K League, South Korea’s men’s professional football league, launched in 1983. There are many reasons the K League has not yet firmly established its status: (a) the league imposed continuous rule changes on foreign field players while banning foreign goalkeepers, (b) the league introduced a distinct competition structure partially adopted from its Western counterparts, (c) a supporter culture was established which has a similar outlook to that of other supporter cultures but it had a different internal structure, and (d) the league produced media content reflecting local viewer needs while maintaining a structure similar to Western media formats. The notion of a two-step glocalization, the process of heterogenization followed by homogenization with other cultures based on the things that were already heterogenized for a lengthy period, is used to advance the debate on glocalization and to better understand the reasons for the failure to attract K League spectators since its establishment in 1983.
Yoseph Z. Mamo
Big data and innovative research methods are two rapidly evolving trends that are transforming how we conduct research in sport management. Considering the natural relationship between social media, which is widely recognized as a major big-data source, and sport, this commentary centers on contemporary research method applied to social media data. In doing so, it discusses contemporary innovative techniques for social media data, focusing on exploring ways to access social media data, the natural language-processing techniques used, the challenges they address, the strengths and limitations of different techniques, and the ethical and privacy considerations associated with their use. Furthermore, the commentary demonstrates that using sentiment-analysis tools (e.g., Syuzhet, Bing, and AFFIN) is appropriate and efficient in analyzing sport’s social media data. Thus, a rigorous application of contemporary innovative techniques can significantly shape the future of sport management research. However, researchers must exercise caution when considering the source and preprocessing of the data prior to applying advanced analytical techniques.
Yannick Kluch, Evan L. Frederick, and Nina Siegfried
The goal of this study was to extend the contemporary athlete activism literature by (a) exploring athlete activism beyond a strictly North American context and (b) examining how athlete activism at an organizational/institutional level (i.e., sport organization) may be framed differently than activist efforts at an individual level (i.e., athlete). By examining two examples of activism in German soccer, we show that the framing of both athlete-enacted and organization-enacted examples of activism highlighted the importance of speaking up when human rights are violated, called for the display of solidarity, and discussed the broader political implications for such protests. Additionally, framing of both examples of activism included voices of criticism regarding the sport organizations governing global sport. As calls for accountability of sport organizations suppressing athlete expression are becoming increasingly common in global sport, this study adds to a shifting focus of activism research targeting the sport institutions that often perpetuate the various injustices individual athletes call attention to.
Andrea N. Geurin
The topics of social media and consumer behavior are inextricably linked. Since 2008, scholars in sport-studies fields such as sport communication and sport management have increasingly focused their research on social media use by sport entities and consumers. This commentary provides an overview of sport social media and consumer behavior scholarship to date, including prominent and growing topics such as consumers’ uses of social media, social media engagement, user segmentation, and user-generated content. A scoping review was conducted to illustrate the current state of research on social media, sport, and consumer behavior. Future research priorities to advance this area of inquiry are also discussed, including more qualitative research resulting in rich and descriptive analyses, the need to better understand Gen Z as sport social media consumers, and the need to understand the connection between social media consumption and purchasing behavior. Finally, the commentary encourages scholars to expand their research focus in geographic contexts outside of North America, on underrepresented groups, such as women’s sport and disability sport, and to adopt new theoretical frameworks for such research.