Social media play a major role in marketing and promotional efforts in intercollegiate athletics, yet student-athletes are rarely included in these campaigns. This case study analyzes a campaign employed by Temple University’s football program that departed from this norm. During their 2018 spring game, Temple coaches allowed football players to put their Twitter handles on the backs of their jerseys. Through interviews with athletic department staff members and football student-athletes and analysis of football players’ tweets and media framing of this campaign, several positive outcomes emerged. These included how the campaign fostered student-athlete buy-in and generated favorable media coverage for the program. However, analysis also revealed that while many football student-athletes actively used Twitter, they were not fully integrated into the campaign. Implications for including student-athletes’ social media content in athletic department marketing, branding, and promotional efforts are discussed.
Jimmy Sanderson, Sarah Stokowski, and Elizabeth Taylor
Aquasia A. Shaw, Merry Moiseichik, Heather Blunt-Vinti, and Sarah Stokowski
Critical Race Theory (CRT), a theoretical framework that has been gaining much recognition in sport literature, is a useful and beneficial tool in discussing race and racism. To better understand the context in which academic support staff members appreciate the functionality and significance of race, the present study measures the racial competence and colorblindness of athletic academic support personnel. This study explores the need to integrate a model such as CRT that promotes “racial competency” among academic support departments working closely with student-athletes of color. The study surveyed 101 athletic academic support staff members at NCAA Division I member institutions. Findings suggest that there is a lack of understanding of the tenets of CRT and a need to implement multicultural competence and diversity training for athletic academic support staff members.
Jimmy Sanderson, Matthew Zimmerman, Sarah Stokowski, and Alison Fridley
This research explored maladaptive parasocial interaction (PSI) expressed toward Chicago Bears kicker Cody Parkey after he missed a potential game-winning field goal in the 2019 NFL (National Football League) playoffs. Using a sample of 512 tweets posted during the week after the game, qualitative analysis revealed that maladaptive PSI manifested in the following ways: criticism, threats, anger, and support. The results help better illuminate the nature of virtual abuse and maltreatment of athletes that is increasing in online spaces. Results also suggest that maladaptive PSI expressed online creates friction among fans who have to reconcile defeat with problematic behavior from other group members. Implications for sport organizations are discussed, including the need to support and protect athletes against virtual abuse and maltreatment.
Sarah Stokowski, Bo Li, Benjamin D. Goss, Shelby Hutchens, and Megan Turk
Informed by self-determination theory, this study builds on previous research to examine the work motivation and job satisfaction levels of sport management faculty members, as well as any relationship between their job satisfaction levels and work motivations. A total of 193 sport management faculty responded to a survey consisting of the Job Satisfaction Survey and the Motivation at Work Scale. Results revealed that regarding job satisfaction, faculty members were more satisfied with work itself, supervision, and coworkers and were less satisfied with pay, operating procedures, and reward. While participating sport management faculty had the highest mean in intrinsic motivation, job satisfaction also was significantly positively correlated with identified regulation. Male faculty showed significantly greater overall job satisfaction than female faculty, but gender did not affect work motivation factors. Finally, results revealed no significant differences among tenured, tenure-track, and non-tenure-track faculty in motivation levels, but after controlling for motivation, job satisfaction levels of non-tenure-track faculty were significantly less than those of tenured and tenure-track faculty. Results of this study can assist higher education administrators (i.e., department chairs, deans, provosts) to better understand that this population is highly intrinsically motivated and identifies deeply with their work. Administrators should work diligently to preserve autonomy, a factor that appears to lead to greater levels of motivation and job satisfaction.
Bo Li, Sarah Stokowski, Stephen W. Dittmore, and Olan K. M. Scott
Informed by framing theory, the study strove to investigate nationalism by examining Chinese newspaper coverage of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games. Through document and textual analysis of 324 articles from 5 mainstream newspapers, the study indicated that Chinese newspapers always portrayed Chinese athletes as “dominating the competition” and “lacking opponents in Asia” while portraying other countries’ athletes as “less competitive” and not at the “level of Chinese athletes.” The results also suggested that Chinese newspapers tried to positively spin the story when reporting the failure of Chinese athletes at the Asian Games. However, to increase readership and enhance public awareness of the Asian Games,Chinese newspapers also attempted to created rivalries between Chinese athletes and competing nations and, at times, emphasized national failures.