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Andrea N. Geurin

not just social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter), which is only one component of new media. Socha and Eber-Schmid ( 2014 ) defined the term “new media” as a catchall phrase used to describe all Internet-related interactions among technology, images, and sound. Through semistructured in-depth interviews

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Heather L. Dichter

This historical case study addresses the issues related to the use of content-management systems (CMSs) in the production of a college athletic department Web site. The article considers the factors that influenced a university athletic department to adopt a CMS. Corporate consolidation among CMS providers frequently affected the options available to athletic departments. Using an in-depth interview with the primary individual behind the University of Michigan’s athletic department Web site,, this article also explores how the explosion of Web-site content and adoption of a CMS has transformed the workflow in athletic media relations.

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Angela N. Pratt

Intercollegiate athletics directors (ADs) in the United States are high-profile representatives of their departments and universities. Their publics include media, sponsors, donors, fans, faculty, students, and government officials. However, few studies have explored ADs from a public relations perspective, especially regarding their understandings of public relations. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to learn how ADs understand public relations in the context of their athletics departments. A phenomenological approach was used to pursue this purpose. In-depth interviews were conducted with 12 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I ADs. Their transcripts were analyzed using comparative-analysis procedures. The findings show that the participants understand public relations as integrated impression management: a combination of image, message, and action/interaction. Integrated impression management ties into ideas from Goffman (1959), as well as systems theories of public relations. However, the results also imply that ADs do not necessarily separate public relations from other disciplines such as marketing.

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John P. McGuire and Ray Murray

Print sport journalists are facing new demands in their jobs, including the need to work in front of the camera. This case study examined attitudes among sport reporters working with video at Oklahoma’s 2 largest daily newspapers. Qualitative in-depth interviews (N = 18) were used for data collection. The researchers identified 4 major themes: attitude, skills, training, and critiques. These sport journalists sought to maintain their print identities foremost despite recognizing the needs and expectations to adapt to a multimedia workforce. The researchers also concluded that the evolution toward multimedia journalism in these organizations remains a gradual process and that additional training and frequent professional critiques were needed as part of this evolution.

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Chris Gibbs, Norm O’Reilly and Michelle Brunette

Without exception, all professional sport teams in North America use social media to communicate with fans. Sport communication professionals use Twitter as one of the strategic tools of engagement, yet there remains a lack of understanding about how users are motivated and gratified in their Twitter use. Drawing on a specific sample from the Twitter followers of the Canadian Football League, the researchers used semistructured in-depth interviews, content analysis, and an online survey to seek an understanding of what motivates and satisfies Twitter followers of professional sport teams, measured through the gratifications sought and the fulfillment of these motives through the perceived gratifications obtained. The results add to the sport communications literature by finding 4 primary gratifications sought by Twitter users: interaction, promotion, live game updates, and news. Professional sport teams can improve strategic fan engagement by better understanding how Twitter followers use and seek gratification in the social-media experience.

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Peter A. English

Exclusive news is a demand of most news organizations, but previous research suggests the pursuit of unique material leads to uniformity of content among competitors. Bourdieu is among those who have argued homogeneity dominates journalism, and aspects of his field theory will be used to analyze the extent to which this occurs in sports journalism. Employing a sample of 6 broadsheet/quality sports sections from Australia, India, and the United Kingdom, this study examines the amounts of exclusive content and the same and similar articles in the sports pages. Thirty-six in-depth interviews with sports journalists from the titles were conducted, along with a content analysis of 4,103 print and online articles. The results show small levels of exclusive material and a tendency for domestic rivals to produce larger amounts of similar stories. This was often in contrast to the views of the sports journalists.

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Brian Moritz

This study examined contemporary daily sports journalism through the lenses of media sociology and new institutional theory. In-depth interviews with 25 sports journalists (reporters and editors) identified the institutionalized norms, values, practices, and routines of American sports journalism; demonstrated how that institutionalization affects story selection; and showed how the profession is changing due to digital and social media. The interviews show that although traditional sports journalism is highly institutionalized, digital sports journalism is far less so. Traditional sports journalism is still centered around a story, and digital sports journalism follows Robinson’s journalism-as-process model. The journalists interviewed are expected to perform acts of both traditional and digital journalism during the same workday, which leads to tension in how they do their jobs.

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Chuka Onwumechili

This qualitative research investigated the meaning of the European football leagues’ domination of the Nigerian football market. It finds that the media use a frame of “Nigeria as colony” to report football. In essence, the media interpret Europe as center of modern football and Nigeria as periphery. The study uses 2 methods: (a) a frame analysis of 2 daily sports newspapers, 1 national daily newspaper, and a satellite television sports channel and (b) in-depth interviews of 10 Nigerian football fans. Each complementary method helps confirm results obtained by the other. The frame analysis discovers 4 themes and the interviews found 5 related themes. Each theme logically links to the archetype frame of Nigeria as colony. The results of the study confirm valence framing, demonstrating the impact of the frame on Nigerian sports fans.

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Mike Weed

The findings of a 4-year research project that examined the potential for greater integration of sport and tourism policy in the UK are reported. The study is based on in-depth interviews and consultations with various agencies and identifies a number of tensions that exist within the sport-tourism policy process. An analysis of such tensions is used to review the five influences on sport-tourism policy proposed by Weed and Bull (1998). Six influences are now suggested: ideology, definitions, regional contexts, government policy, organizational culture and structure, and individuals. Using these revised influences, an assessment is made of the potential for a sustainable sport-tourism policy network in the UK. It is argued that such a network is not sustainable at the national level but may be possible at the regional level. The author suggests a need to empirically validate the international relevance of the concepts discussed utilizing Weed's (2001) model.

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Paul Turner and David Shilbury

Environmental factors such as emerging technology, globalization, economic reform and social change are creating a background in which sporting organizations must seek to quickly adapt to manage their ongoing activities and operations. Focusing on emerging technology in the area of sport broadcasting, this research examined six preconditions for interorganizational relationship (IOR) formation from the perspective of professional football clubs in Australia. Based upon theories derived from the IOR literature, these six preconditions for IOR formation were considered to determine if emerging broadcasting technologies impact on IOR formation between Australian Football League (AFL) and National Rugby League (NRL) clubs and broadcasters. Semistructured in-depth interviews with senior managers of 11 AFL, and 10 NRL clubs were undertaken and data analyzed, coded and emergent themes identified. Results indicate that professional club managers display most of these attributes that precipitate the preconditions for IOR formation, but although these preconditions exist, there is little willingness by the clubs to formulate IORs with sport broadcasters.