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Enthusiasts, Invaders, and Custodians: Media Characterizations of Foreign Owners in Barclays Premier League

Anne C. Osborne and Danielle Sarver Coombs

By the end of the 2007–8 season, non-Britons owned 9 of the 20 teams competing in England’s Barclays Premier League. Of these, 3—Manchester United, Aston Villa, and Liverpool—were purchased by Americans. This article examines how the British press covered foreign takeovers between the July 2003 purchase of Chelsea and the January 2008 sale of Derby County. The thematic analysis of articles written around the times of each takeover identified 3 dominant media characterizations of incoming foreign owners: the rich enthusiast, the foreign invader, and the savvy custodian. Each characterization is explored in terms of four key dimensions: commitment, authenticity, finances, and character myths. The study suggests that in addition to media making globalization possible insofar as they actually carry sports across the globe, media, particularly sports journalism, might facilitate globalization simply by not questioning it.

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International Media Coverage of the Pakistan Super League

David Cassilo and Danielle Sarver Coombs

The Pakistan Super League launched in 2016 with massive enthusiasm in its “cricket-mad” nation. However, safety concerns stemming from a 2009 terrorist attack in Lahore, Pakistan, meant all matches were played in the United Arab Emirates until the tournament’s final game in 2017—the ultimate test in seeing if top-level cricket could return to Pakistan. In this study, the authors examine framing of the creation in 2013 and first 2 years of the Pakistan Super League from news sources in Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. This study offers an opportunity to understand how Middle Eastern sport and the sport’s connection to national identity are framed in the media across multiple countries during a pivotal time for cricket in Pakistan.

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The World is Watching Women’s Soccer: Audiences’ Multiplatform Experience During the World Cup

Tang Tang, Christiana Schallhorn, Qing Guo, and Danielle Sarver Coombs

This study offers a unique opportunity to understand audiences’ multiplatform experiences during the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The authors conducted surveys in three countries—China, Germany, and the United States—to determine relationships between and among structural and identity factors that predicted viewership in each country. Results indicate that structural factors significantly predicted World Cup viewing on TV across all three countries, although some variation existed related to access. Furthermore, fandom and identity were significant predictors of viewing on digital platforms across all three countries. By better measuring the experiences and relationships within each country, this study offers a unique opportunity to present a true cross-country assessment to help build understanding of how global mega events are viewed across the world.