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Jan Boehmer and Stephen Lacy

This study analyzes how interactivity on Facebook relates to users’ browsing behaviors such as clicking a link, visiting a Web site, clicking articles on a Web site, and spending time on a sports news Web site. Regression analyses of 502 Facebook posts and the corresponding news articles show that the number of individuals who clicked on a link is not related to higher levels of interactivity, but an increase in interactivity did affect the number of overall visits generated. In addition, higher levels of interactivity had a slight negative correlation with the number of pages visited and the time spent on an organization’s Web site. Implications for the training and work routines of sport communication professionals in organizations, journalism, and public relations are discussed.

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Gregory A. Cranmer and Maria Brann

Coaches are recognized as important sources of athlete experiences (e.g., learning, sport satisfaction, relationships with teammates), but little attention has been devoted to how coaches foster positive self-perceptions. The current exploratory study proposes that coaches are likely sources of confirmation (i.e., feeling of recognition, endorsement, and acknowledgment). This assumption was substantiated via 12 interviews with Division I volleyball players during the 2013 season as 6 confirming acts and messages used by coaches were identified (i.e., individualized communication, personal relationships, encouragement, demands for improvement, recognition, and demonstration of investment). In addition, 4 phenomena that influence confirmation were identified (i.e., adversity, knowledge of other coaches, athletes’ roles on the team, and timing). These results extend confirmation to the sport context, provide sport communication scholars with a novel framework to understand athlete–coach communication, and illustrate that various phenomena (including starting status) can influence confirming communication between athletes and coaches.

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Mark Ludwig and Christoph Bertling

Though visual features such as slow motion, camera angle, or the cutting rate are considered to have great importance for professional media presentation of sports broadcasts and their influence on viewers, there has as yet been little research on the effects of fundamental visual parameters on viewer perception in the field of sport communication. In its primary step, this study researches the effect cutting rates have on the liking of live soccer broadcasts. To this end, an experiment (between-subjects design) with three groups (N = 92) was conducted. All participants received an identical excerpt of a soccer match; however, the number of cuts was systematically altered. A MANCOVA revealed significant effects—for example, a lower cutting rate leads the consumer to perceive less aesthetic appeal and the influences of effects are moderated by fandom. Implications are discussed.

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Do Young Pyun and Jeffrey D. James

A challenge with advertising communications is to better understand beliefs driving people’s attitude toward advertising. Successful use of sport communication requires a better understanding of the beliefs composing attitudes toward advertising through sport. A 4-phase study was conducted to develop a scale measuring 7 belief dimensions as indicants of attitude toward advertising through sport. Phase 1 (N = 125) provided an initial test of the proposed instrument. Phase 2 (N = 215) included an assessment of the revised scale based on internal-consistency tests and exploratory factor analysis. In Phase 3 (N = 424) the scale’s reliability and validity were verified using confirmatory factor analysis. In Phase 4 (N = 263) the internal consistency and factor structure of the scale were reexamined. The combined results provide support for the conceptualization and measurement of the belief dimensions for future investigation of the relationships between beliefs about and attitude toward advertising through sport.

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Orland Hoeber, Ryan Snelgrove, Larena Hoeber and Laura Wood

sporting event . International Journal of Sport Communication, 5 ( 4 ), 435 – 453 . doi: 10.1123/ijsc.5.4.435 Brown , N.A. , Brown , K.A. , & Billings , A.C. ( 2015 ). “May no act of ours bring shame”: Fan-enacted crisis communication surrounding the Penn State sex abuse scandal . Communication

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Jimmy Sanderson

This case study examines star Major League Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens’s image-repair strategies during a press conference he held to respond to allegations that he had used steroids and human-growth hormones earlier in his playing career. When professional athletes are confronted with allegations of cheating or illegitimately enhancing their athletic performance, they are faced with a crisis situation, and selecting and performing the appropriate response is paramount in repairing their image and mitigating personal harm (e.g., loss of endorsements). In many cases, however, professional athletes rely on attorneys, agents, or other individuals who might underestimate the relevance of appropriately communicating image repair, thereby resulting in the athlete’s image being further damaged. Although Clemens employed various image-repair strategies during his press conference, his failure to enact these strategies appropriately further harmed his reputation and ultimately raised more questions than he answered.

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Annelore Deprez, Peter Mechant and Tim Hoebeke

Literature states that incorporating social media as a journalistic tool in news reporting generates opportunities for journalists to not only dialogue with the audience but also to publish, to seek information, and to profile themselves or their organizations. This study broadens the empirical data on the journalistic use of social media, more specifically Twitter, by sports journalists in Flanders. A multimethod research approach was used to examine the content of tweets, the followings, and the profiles of the sports journalists. Results show that almost half of the sports journalists have a Twitter account, just over a third of them actively post tweets, and Twitter serves predominantly as an information source to learn more about athletes and their teams. Journalists also publish and communicate on Twitter and to a lesser extent use Twitter to interact with their audience. The study also reveals that Twitter is rarely used as a profiling tool for self-presentation.

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Gregory A. Cranmer, Maria Brann and Nicholas D. Bowman

Previous studies have suggested that media reify frames that subtly enforce sex differences in a manner that detracts from women athletes’ athleticism. This phenomenon is referred to as ambivalence. To analyze ambivalence, this study introduces a theoretically and empirically supported coding scheme that was used to conduct a quantitative frame analysis of 157 images featured in ESPN’s The Body Issue. These images were coded for frames that de-emphasize athleticism, sexualize athletes, or deny a sporting context. Results suggest that athlete sex is associated with de-emphasized athleticism and sexualized frames, and sport gender is associated with context frames. Results also support longitudinal trends in The Body Issue series, which suggest that the series has become more sexualized and removed from a sports context but has decreased the use of frames that de-emphasize athleticism. In general, The Body Issue continues to reinforce established media trends that trivialize female athletes, despite claiming to do the opposite.