As part of their “Revolution in Motion” advertising campaign in 1987, Nike introduced the controversial television commericial that featured, as a sound track, the 1968 Beatles song Revolution. Located within a contemporary framework of time and place, emotion and message, politics and consumption, and capitalism and pleasure, the commercial can be articulated to a critical debate that has increasingly come to determine our political and affective lives. This paper focuses on the nature of this debate as it has emerged over the last decade and addresses, among other things, the legacy of the 1960s, the rise of the fitness movement, the insertion of the Baby Boom generation into the marketplace, the definition of American quality of life, and the rise of the political New Right.
David K. Stotlar and David A. Johnson
This study investigated the effectiveness of stadium advertising on sports spectators in selected NCAA Division I football and basketball programs, utilizing intermediate measures and recognition testing techniques. Research questions included whether sport spectators would recognize the presence of stadium advertising and could identify all of it. The factors of age, income level, seat location, number of games attended, and location of stadium advertising were analyzed as to their effects on spectator recognition. Based on the findings of this research, sport facilities have been shown to be an ideal medium for products that appeal to sport spectators. A majority of spectators noticed advertising, and approximately 7 out of 10 correctly identified it. Advertising locations that were “part of the game” were shown to be more effective than those on the scoreboards. Results of this study demonstrated that stadium advertising effectiveness can be assessed and that it provides the sponsors with an effective means for reaching sport spectators.
This paper explores the links between corporate nationalism and glocalization by examining Nike’s strategy of representing “the nation” within advertising campaigns in “Asia”. Drawing from interviews with advertising practitioners, this study offers two key findings: (a) sporting national identities are represented through a multilevel process of negotiations among various institutions and individuals; and (b) local cultural intermediaries play a central role in encoding and circulating the advertisements due to complex creative labor processes, symbolic struggles, and local sensibilities. Overall, the study illuminates the context of advertising production as the “multiple regimes of mediation” (Cronin, 2004) through which representations are negotiated and articulated under specific social relations, cultural codes, and conditions of production.
Susan Lynn, Marie Hardin and Kristie Walsdorf
This study examines the presentation of women in advertising photographs published in four women’s sports and fitness magazines in order to ascertain the presence of sexual difference and differentiate between advertising messages in the magazines. Researchers found strong support for sexual difference in advertisements contained in fitness-oriented magazines, and, at the other end of the spectrum, rejection of sexual difference in magazines that emphasized competitive sport. The advertising images generally provided mixed messages in regard to sexual difference. The authors suggest that the continued use of sexual difference in sport advertising images is a function of commodity feminism, which serves the capitalist hegemony. The authors discuss the need for visual representations that are truly feminist.
Jung Woo Lee
This article investigates a sign system in promotional campaigns for the 2 sport/energy-drink brands PowerAde and Monster Energy. More specifically, the paper examines advertising materials published on the British Web sites of the 2 drink brands. The media texts are analyzed using semiotics and critical discourse analysis. In so doing, the author attempts to identify the meaning of sport in different contexts and settings and to interpret ideological connotation embedded in the commercial discourse on sport. The PowerAde advertising presents the meaning of sport as controlled and calculated physical activities associated with high-performance sport. This articulation suggests an idealization of productive individuals, and this appears to be the reification of capitalist ideology through sport. Monster Energy advertising tends to endorse alternative sporting subculture emphasizing the aspects of fun and spectacle, but such endorsement is only validated within the boundaries of consumer culture. The author concludes that advertising involves communication practice through which the meaning of sport with some ideological connotations is continually constructed and disseminated to today’s wider society.
Susan Lynn, Kristie Walsdorf, Marie Hardin and Brent Hardin
The purpose of this study is to ascertain how, if at all, advertising images in Sports Illustrated for Kids (SIK) changed following the 1996 Olympic Games, from late 1996 through 1999. Advertising photographs in 36 issues of SIK, from July 1996 to June 1999 were examined using content analysis methodology. A recording instrument was generated to analyze SIK advertising photographs. SPSS Statistical Package 9.0 was used to analyze the nominal data. Simple descriptive statistics, crosstabs, and frequency distributions were used for determining the presence of an association between gender and the remaining variables. Findings from this content analysis of SIK advertising were comparable with those of Cuneen and Sidwell’s (1998) analysis of SIK advertisement photographs. A clear pattern of differential photographic treatment of gender was noted throughout the analysis. Although there have been some improvements, a majority of the stereotypical relationships between gender and sport that the previous researchers found have continued in SIK photographs, even when cultural acceptance and expectations of women in sport have evolved toward equity.
Ann Pegoraro, Norman J. O’Reilly and Martin Giguere
This study examined the advertisement structure of online and off-line broadcasts as consumer drivers to Web sites through the integration of specific calls to action. Content analysis was performed on ads aired during the online and off-line broadcasts of an NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. The key finding of this research is that communication and technology companies value advertising during online sporting-event broadcasts, because these companies were significantly more visible during the online broadcasts than the television broadcasts (χ2 = 6.67, p = .017). A much higher percentage of online ads were shorter (15 seconds) in duration (χ2 = 7.029, p = .01), appealed to fantasy (χ2 = 8.494, p = .004), and used advertising execution techniques emphasizing new products or features (49%) more often than in television ads (18%; χ2 = 11.078, p = .001). The findings provide insight into how calls to action in advertisements during Webcasts and traditional television offerings can move consumers to Web sites.
Kihan Kim and Yunjae Cheong
This study examines the moderating effect of athlete-audience ethnicity match in athlete-endorsed advertising. Attitude toward the brand and purchase intention were measured after participants were exposed to a stimulus advertisement featuring an athlete endorser whose ethnicity either matched or mismatched the participant’s ethnicity. A week before the advertisement exposure, the preexisting attitudes toward the athlete and the brand were measured. Consistent with the notion of ethnic self-awareness, findings from full and multigroup path analyses revealed that attitudes toward the athlete and the perceived athlete-brand fit had a more positive impact on postattitude toward the brand when the athlete’s ethnicity matched, rather than mismatched, the participant’s ethnicity. Subsequently, the postattitudes toward the brand had a positive impact on purchase intention. The preexisting attitude toward the brand had a positive and direct impact on the postattitude toward the brand and purchase intention, regardless of the athlete-participant ethnicity match.
This study examines the development and production of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) 2005–2006 “Inside the Warrior” advertising campaign. Three aspects of the creative process are explored: (1) the context of the 2004–2005 NHL lockout season that led to the League’s ensuing relaunch and rebranding exercise for a new professional ice hockey product within the entertainment industry; (2) the promotional devices used in the campaign that accentuate its explicit hypermasculine “warrior” theme; and (3) interviews with executives from Conductor that offer important insights on their construction of a warrior theme and the existent nature of the crisis of masculinity. Taken collectively, it is argued that the NHL’s “Inside the Warrior” campaign is exemplary for exploring the crisis of masculinity inasmuch as it highlights how one major sport-entertainment-media partnership created, produced, and (re)presented a mythical form of hegemonic masculinity, a contemporary hockey warrior hero, for public consumption.
Joseph Maguire, Katie Butler, Sarah Barnard and Peter Golding
Drawing on work located within critical political economy and process sociology, this article uses content analysis to examine the types, frequency, and content of Olympic related advertising in the British press and television during the 2004 Athens Olympics. We assessed the degree to which The Olympic Partner (TOP) sponsors incorporated themes derived from Olympism and the Celebrate Humanity program, as well as from consumer culture more broadly. Our findings suggest that relatively few advertisers incorporated themes relating to Olympism, and that those that did focused on “excellence,” which is arguably more indicative of the achievement sports ethic and consumerism than of Olympic ideals.