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Megan B. Shreffler, Meg G. Hancock and Samuel H. Schmidt

Unlike traditional media, which frames female athletes in sexualized manners and in socially accepted roles such as mothers and girlfriends, user-controlled social-media Web sites allow female athletes to control the image and brand they wish to portray to the public. Using Goffman’s theory of self-presentation, the current study aimed to investigate how female athletes were portraying themselves via their Twitter avatar pictures. A total of 207 verified Twitter avatars of female athletes from 6 sports were examined through a content analysis. The avatars from each player were coded using the following themes: athlete as social being, athlete as promotional figure, “selfie,” athletic competence, ambivalence, “girl next door,” and “sexy babe.” The results revealed that athletic competence was the most common theme, followed by selfie and athlete as social being. Thus, when women have the opportunity to control their image through social media they choose to focus on their athletic identities.

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Megan B. Shreffler, Samuel H. Schmidt and James Weiner

Sales skills have become one of the most common requirements within sport management job postings. As thousands of graduates compete in a competitive career market, it is essential to better understand not only the needs of the industry but also the qualifications expected of sport management majors. The current study examines 481 colleges and universities as well as 10 sport management hiring managers to determine the prominence of sales courses within sport management curricula as well as industry perceptions of preferred qualifications. Results indicated 26.2% of sport management curricula in the United States offer a sales class, while 73.8% do not. Of those that do offer sales, 59% of the institutions make the course a requirement, while 41% offer the class as an elective. Qualitative findings from hiring managers included disagreement regarding degree-based value, the desire for prior face-to-face experience and a passion for sales as essential hiring qualifiers, and expectations of the industry/sales position as the largest pitfall of unsuccessful employees.