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Andrew C. Billings, Melvin Lewis, Kenon A. Brown, and Qingru Xu

A national sample of 393 NFL (National Football League [professional]) fans were surveyed about their use of ancillary devices when consuming NFL media products. Results indicate that male, younger, and highly educated participants were more likely to use second-screen options. Such second-screen activities were just as likely to be used for distraction (multitasking other content not related to the NFL) as for enhancement (bolstering NFL consumption with other NFL-related content). Moreover, the more participants used second screens for multitasking and distracting purposes, the more they felt that second-screening helped build, interact, and maintain vast social networks; advanced social interactions among their social groups for a shared purpose; and made them feel psychologically present among other people. Fantasy-sport participation was also found to be a relevant predictor of second-screen use.

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Natalie A. Brown, Michael B. Devlin, and Andrew C. Billings

This study explores the implications of the sports communication theory of fan identification and the divisions often developed between identifying with a single athlete and the bonds developed for a sport as a whole. Using the fastest growing North American sport, mixed martial arts (MMA)—more specifically, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)—differences in levels of fan identification were examined in relationship to attitudes toward individual athletes and attitudes toward the UFC organization. An online survey of 911 respondents produced a highly representative sample of the UFC’s current audience demographics. Results showed significant differences in fan identify between gender, age, and sensationseeking behaviors, suggesting that distinct demographic variables may influence the role that fan identity has not only in sports media consumption but also in future event consumption. Implications and ramifications for future theoretical sports communication research and sports marketing are postulated.

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Melvin Lewis, Kenon A. Brown, Samuel D. Hakim, Andrew C. Billings, and Carla H. Blakey

A national sample of 390 self-identified National Basketball Association (NBA) fans were asked motivational differences regarding use of four unique forms of social media information offerings: team-managed, media-managed, fan-managed and player-managed outlets. While entertainment emerged as the top motivational factor across all four offerings, many significant differences were found among the four information offerings in relation to 12 key uses and gratifications. Revealing which information offerings users tend to use when attempting to fulfill a specific gratification, this study yields insights for academicians and sport practitioners, pinpointing distinctive features of different social media platforms to frame social media goals, as well as matching the perceived strengths and features of a particular platform and information offering.

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Kenon A. Brown, Simon Ličen, Andrew C. Billings, and Michael B. Devlin

Given Slovenia’s independence in 1991, examining the potential impact of Olympic media consumption on this young nation offers a unique opportunity for scholarly investigation. Prior examinations of Olympic telecasts in Slovenia have uncovered core elements of nationalized pride and focus (Ličen & Billings, 2013a), yet have not fully explored the potential effect of the mass viewership found within the Olympics. This study explores how social cognitive and social identification theories interact to influence consumption behaviors relating to international competition—in this case, the Olympics. For this study, 175 respondents were surveyed to examine the relationship among personal determinants defined by one’s national identity, Olympic fan involvement, and behaviors related to Olympic media consumption. Findings revealed that basic identification with Slovenia as a nation, and a need to defend Slovenia when faced with discouraging opinions, influenced one’s fan involvement with the Olympics, which in turn influenced digital and televisual media consumption.