Masters sport participation is continually increasing, and although much research has uncovered masters participation motives, it has been noted that an understanding of community among masters athletes was also necessary. Online communities of sport participants have been examined only minimally, with research uncovering correlations between new-media use and sport-participation frequency. Using uses and gratifications theory, this study sought to examine masters gymnastics participants to develop a better understanding of athletes’ use of online communities in relation to their sport participation and examine differences in online community use based on demographics. Online survey results from 164 international participants revealed they used new media primarily for fanship, information, and technical knowledge, and online masters gymnastics communities were most often extensions of in-person training groups and communities. These findings and their implications are discussed in the article.
Andrea N. Geurin
Today’s elite athletes face increasing demands to develop a new media presence in order to build their personal brand and connect with a wide variety of stakeholders. Myriad studies have focused on athletes’ new media use by examining content posted online; however, few studies have examined new media usage from the athletes’ perspectives. Using the theoretical framework of self-presentation theory to uncover athletes’ new media perceptions, goals, and strategies, semistructured in-depth interviews were conducted with six elite female athletes training for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Findings revealed that although athletes had goals for sharing their lives, developing connections, sponsorship, and self-promotion, they did not employ specific strategies to meet these goals or attempt to measure whether their goals were met. Gender-related findings included feeling pressure to post sexually suggestive images and receiving unwanted private communications from male fans. The implications are discussed within the paper.
Andrea N. Geurin-Eagleman and Erin McNary
Past research shows that the job market for sport management academic positions was strong, with more job openings than qualified professors to fill the positions. Due to changing global and higher education climates, however, it was necessary to conduct further research to examine how these shifts in the external environment have impacted the sport management job market. Therefore, this study employed a content analysis methodology to examine the faculty job openings in sport management from 2010 to 2011. In addition, current doctoral students were surveyed to determine their preparation and expectations for the academic job market. Results revealed much greater parity between the number of open positions and the number of doctoral student job seekers than ever before. Similarities and differences were discovered between the actual job market and students’ career expectations and goals. Ultimately, the job market has become more competitive and job seekers must take steps to ensure a competitive advantage.
Michelle Hayes, Kevin Filo, Caroline Riot and Andrea Geurin
Numerous studies have focused on athletes’ use of social media by examining the content posted on social media sites, revealing an opportunity to gather firsthand experiences from athletes. Using uses-and-gratifications theory as a theoretical framework to inform an open-ended questionnaire, the authors examined athlete attitudes toward their social media use during a major sport event, as well as the gratifications they received and the challenges they experienced from this use. The study assessed a sample of 57 athletes and their social media use across 20 international major sport events. Findings revealed that social media enabled athletes to communicate with family and friends. Having a connection to home through social media can make athletes feel relaxed in a high-pressure environment. The results reveal uses and gratifications not previously found in research on athlete social media, while also underscoring opportunities for sport organizations to enhance social-media-education programs they provide to athletes.