An Internet-based survey was posted on the Twitter feeds and Facebook pages of 1 predominantly social and 1 predominantly parasocial athlete to ascertain the similarities and differences between their follower sets in terms of parasocial interaction development and follower motivations. Analysis of the data revealed a sense of heightened interpersonal closeness based on the interaction style of the athlete. While followers of the social athlete were driven by interpersonal constructs, followers of the parasocial athlete relied more on media conventions in their interaction patterns. To understand follower motivations, exploratory factor analyses were conducted for both follower sets. For followers of the social athlete, most of the interactivity, information-gathering, personality, and entertainment items loaded together. Unlike followers of the social athlete, fanship and community items loaded alongside information-gathering items for followers of the parasocial athlete. The implications of these and other findings are discussed further.
Evan L. Frederick, Choong Hoon Lim, Galen Clavio and Patrick Walsh
Evan L. Frederick, Galen E. Clavio, Lauren M. Burch and Matthew H. Zimmerman
For this case study, an Internet-based survey was posted on a popular mixed-martial- arts (MMA) blog to ascertain its users’ demographics and usage trends. Data analysis revealed that users were predominantly White men between the ages of 23 and 39, with some college education and an annual income of $40,000–59,999. An exploratory factor analysis revealed 6 dimensions of gratification: evaluation, community, information gathering, knowledge demonstration, argumentation, and diversion. The most salient motivation statements were related to the speed of information access, the depth of information and coverage, and the availability of information not typically found through traditional media outlets. Most users spent 1–5 hr/wk watching MMA programming and 1–10 hr/wk on MMA blogs, making 1–20 comments per week. Findings indicated that users used this particular blog for both interactive and information-gathering purposes.
John S.W. Spinda, Daniel L. Wann and Michael Sollitto
In this case study analysis, we explored the motives for playing Strat-O-Matic Baseball (SOMB), a baseball simulation played as a board game or online, from the perspective of the uses-and-gratifications theory. In phase I of the study, SOMB manager narratives (N = 50) were analyzed for motive statements. In phase II, an online survey asked SOMB managers (N = 222) to respond to motive items as well as four measures of Major League Baseball (MLB) and SOMB identification. Overall, eight motives for playing SOMB emerged from the 64-item pool of motive items. These eight motives were nostalgia, knowledge acquisition, social bonding, enjoyment, vicarious achievement, game aesthetics, convenience, and escape. Our findings suggest these motives predicted measures of MLB and SOMB identification in significantly different ways. Theoretical implications, future research, limitations, and discussion questions are presented in this analysis.
Craig A. Morehead, Brendan O’Hallarn and Stephen L. Shapiro
The Internet has drastically changed how society seeks and consumes information. One influential change in the communication process is the widespread use—and perhaps abuse—of user-generated content. If provided a frame of reference to help direct the discussion, such as a news story, comment functions can act as a proxy “town hall” in a virtual setting. Unique to this cyber town hall, however, is the sense of anonymity that leads some users to post content they would not normally voice in a public context. This investigation intertwines uses-and-gratifications theory and online disinhibition effect by analyzing anonymous-comment postings on a newspaper Web site. Seven newspaper stories on the campus master plan and football-stadium proposal at Old Dominion University demonstrate the sociological underpinnings where sports, education, economics, and politics intersect in an anonymous forum where users can relay their opinion on the subject while remaining invisible and unidentified.
Seok Kang, Soonhwan Lee and Seungbum Lee
The current study examined student athletes’ motives for viewing sports programs on television and their relationships with various viewing behaviors. Employing uses and gratifications theory and social differentiation theory, the study investigated whether student athletes’ motives for sports-program viewing would predict their preference of program selection and amount of viewing. An on-site survey of 225 Division I athletes from 3 Midwestern universities found that student athletes had entertainment, social-facilitation, and integration motives for sports-program viewing. Ritual use of sports programs (entertainment) was their primary motive, followed by instrumental use (social facilitation and integration). Results showed that student athletes’ main goal of watching sports programs on television was escape from their daily problems. Additional results showed that there was no gender difference in student athletes’ motives and sports-program preferences. Both male and female student athletes preferred male sports such as football and men’s college basketball.
Brendan Dwyer and Yongjae Kim
The contemporary sport fan has the ability to consume spectator sport through several means including event attendance, television and radio broadcasts, print publications, and Internet applications. Recently, an ancillary sport service, termed fantasy sports, has become one of the most popular activities among sport fans. As a result, the business of fantasy sports is booming. This study examined motivational dimensions underlying fantasy football participation from a Uses and Gratifications perspective. Utilizing Churchill’s (1979) five-step method for developing quality marketing measures, this study identified and validated three motivational dimensions: entertainment/escape, competition, and social interaction. The results suggest a pattern of fantasy football participation that is more purposeful and active than traditional media use. Discussed are the gambling associations, future research opportunities, and suggestions for developing fantasy football participation into a more creative and interactive marketing communication tool.
Tywan G. Martin, Jessica Wallace, Young Ik Suh, Kysha Harriell and Justin Tatman
recent study discovered that former soccer players were found to have CTE ( Ling et al., 2017 ). Furthermore, the suggested cause-and-effect relationship between American football and CTE reported in the media has yet to be scientifically proven ( Love & Solomon, 2015 ). Uses and Gratifications For the
Grace Yan, Dustin Steller, Nicholas M. Watanabe and Nels Popp
is primarily approached from the lens of uses and gratification theory (U&G) ( Clavio & Frederick, 2014 ; Clavio & Kian, 2010 ; Clavio & Walsh, 2014 ; Geurin-Eagleman, 2015 ; Hall, 2015 ). Originated as a subtradition of media-effects research, U&G promotes the concept that an audience makes
Dustin A. Hahn
productions on their traditional-media counterparts. Consumers using such new media must therefore approach them with alternate motivations. Indeed, a recent study by Spinda and Puckette ( 2018 ) employing uses and gratifications identified motives of ease and convenience, behind-the-scenes access, vicarious
Brendan Dwyer, Joshua M. Lupinek and Rebecca M. Achen
Uses and Gratifications (U&G) theory. U&G theory has played a foundational role in explaining consumer motivation and media usage in a number of areas including fantasy football. Next, previous fantasy football motivation studies are reviewed to provide a baseline for why male participants play