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Yuan Wang and Shuhua Zhou

Social media have been increasingly used by sports organizations to communicate with the public. This study explored the Twitter-using practices of National Basketball Association (NBA) clubs (N = 30) in the U.S. in building relationships with their fans during the 2013–14 season. Specifically, it focused on how these clubs used Twitter to build professional, personal, and community relationships through a content analysis of 5,561 tweets on their official Twitter sites. The results suggested that NBA clubs tended to use social media to develop professional relationships with their publics via sharing information and promoting products. There were significant relationships between relationship dimensions and the number of retweets and favorites from Twitter followers. Sports organizations should use social media effectively to strengthen the professional, personal, and community relationships with their publics.

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Jimmy Sanderson

Via their social-media postings, student-athletes are increasingly creating public relations issues for college athletic programs. With social media’s emergence as a popular communication tool, exploring the messages student-athletes receive from their athletic departments about social-media use is warranted. This research examined social-media policies in student-athlete handbooks from 159 NCAA Division I schools. Using thematic and textual analytic procedures, analysis revealed that policies heavily emphasize content restrictions and external monitoring and frame social media as laden with risk. The results suggest that social-media policies should be more reflexive to identify both positive and negative outcomes for student-athletes. In addition, athletic departments must assertively monitor social-media trends to ensure that policies and training stay relevant.

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Sun J. Kang, Jae-Pil Ha and Marion E. Hambrick

The popularity of smartphones has led to the creation of sport-related mobile applications in the areas of games, fitness, information, and events for sport consumers. The main purpose of this study was to examine why college students use sport-related mobile applications and what benefits they received from their usage. The study employed the Motivation Scale for Sport Online Consumption and the Technology Acceptance Model to understand this usage in more detail. Using a mixed-method approach, the study revealed that college students identified fanship, convenience, and information as primary motives for using their sport-related mobile applications. For college students who are sport fans, supporting their fanship through these applications represents an important aspect of their lifestyle. Sport managers and sport application developers will benefit from understanding users’ intentions and motives as the market for sport-related applications continues to grow.

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Joshua R. Pate and Alyssa T. Bosley

skills that athletic department personnel want and need in a college graduate seeking an entry-level position in a sport communication, media relations, or sports information office. Furthermore, college athletic departments that train student workers are oftentimes an extension of their learning

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Michael Kirkwood, Sheau-Fen Yap and Yingzi Xu

( Phua, Pan, & Chen, 2018 ) reflects important implications for sport communication. Given the challenges of gaining a foothold in a saturated sport marketplace ( Dwyer, Greenhalgh, & LeCrom, 2016 ), it is important for sport organizations to understand what types of social exchanges sport fans are

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Mark Lowes and Christopher Robillard

traditional sport-journalism work routines and news-production practices. In this scholarly commentary, our approach here is to draw on existing sport communication literature in an exploration of social media’s role in, and impact on, sport journalism practices. Exploration in this context is a particular

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Galen Clavio

Internet-based sport communication mediums represent a crucial area of scholarly inquiry for the field. The continuing growth in popularity of blogs, message boards, and other Internet-specific types of sport communication presents sport communication scholars with a plethora of avenues for research. This commentary examines one such avenue, through a survey administered to users on 14 college sport message boards. Survey results indicated that message-board users were primarily male (87.8%) and White (90.8%) and possessed at least an undergraduate degree (76.0%). In addition, 42.2% of users reported a household income of $100,000 or more per year. The analysis of the resulting demographic and usage data highlights some of the key aspects of this sample of users, including information relating to race, gender, income, education level, and salience of message-board use by both subscribers and nonsubscribers. These and other factors are presented as potential areas of future scholarly inquiry for sport communication researchers.

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Dustin A. Hahn

sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest used the new media for sport information seeking, relaxation, and interaction. Finally, while studies outside sport communication ( Sheldon & Bryant, 2016 ) have identified Instagram as the fastest growing social media site with users most interested in

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David E. Clementson

This case study examined the effects of equivocation in sport communication. U.S. National Football League quarterback Tom Brady held a press conference in January 2015 during a scandal. The author experimentally manipulated versions of the press conference, one with equivocal parts included (e.g., “I don’t know, I have no idea”), and one with those parts removed. Outcome measures included source credibility and perceptions of dodging questions. When Brady equivocated, participants perceived him to have more goodwill. Furthermore, his equivocal answers were not perceived as dodging the questions. This case study helps extend predictions of strategic ambiguity and equivocation theory into the field of sport communication.

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Josh Compton

Inoculation theory is a classic theory of resistance to influence, modeling a way to confer resistance to challenges based on biological inoculation processes. This commentary explores inoculation’s efficacy in the applied context of sport communication, with special consideration of how inoculation may guide sportmarketing strategies to preemptively bolster existing support for a team in the face of challenges (e.g., a losing season).