Professional athletes are increasingly engaged in social impact efforts via charitable endeavors. Despite seemingly good intentions in these efforts, the media’s representation of athlete philanthropy varies widely. This study examines how discourses of athlete charity are represented in U.S. media coverage. Over 100 newspaper articles were obtained for the period of 2005–2017. The authors conducted a qualitative analysis which consisted of attribute coding for basic article characteristics, identification of both framing and reasoning devices, and deductive coding to identify generic media frames. The authors present an adapted frame matrix highlighting the salient frames in media coverage of athlete philanthropy. Our results show that athlete charitable efforts are related to a personal or emotional connection or linked to an economic perspective around philanthropy. A third frame reflected a moral underpinning to athletes’ charitable work. The authors discuss managerial implications for teams and leagues that provide support for athletes’ charitable work, as well as for the athletes themselves.
Kathy Babiak and Stacy-Lynn Sant
Stacy-Lynn Sant and Daniel S. Mason
In preparation for Olympic bids, city officials and event managers often cite event “legacies” and argue that such benefits may be realized for decades. Meanwhile, public support is extremely important when moving forward with a bid; legacy has therefore become a prominent feature in bid committee rhetoric and in the management of event bidding, and how the notion of legacy is managed in the media by bid proponents will be key to a successful bid. This paper explores how legacy was framed in the newspaper media during the Olympic bid in Vancouver, where city officials, local politicians, and members of the bid committee focused their pro-bid arguments around infrastructure, economic, and social legacies. Results show how these legacies entered the bid discourse at various points in the domestic and international bid competitions, as supporters moved away from discussions of new infrastructure development and economic impacts toward intangible event benefits.