relations department of sport organizations and other mainstream media outlets ( Hambrick et al., 2010 ). Hambrick et al. examined the ways that professional athletes used Twitter by undertaking a content analysis of athletes’ tweets to understand the communication interactions between them and their fans
Mathieu Winand, Matthew Belot, Sebastian Merten and Dimitrios Kolyperas
Cheryl Mallen, Julie Stevens and Lorne J. Adams
This study systematically examined the extent of environmental sustainability (ES) research within the sport-related journal sample of academic literature to identify areas of under-emphasis and recommend directions for future research. The data collection and analysis followed a content analysis framework. The investigation involved a total of 21 sport-related academic journals that included 4,639 peer-reviewed articles published from 1987 to 2008. Findings indicated a paucity of sport-ES research articles (n = 17) during this time period. Further analysis compared the sport-ES studies within the sample to research in the broader management literature. A research agenda is suggested to advance sport-ES beyond the infancy stage.
Lea Ann “Beez” Schell and Margaret Carlisle Duncan
We examined the landmark American television coverage of the 1996 Paralympic Games. Using a methodological framework developed by Duncan (1983, 1986) and drawing on critical concepts in the disability literature, we conducted a content analysis of the entire 4-hr prerecorded broadcast. Empowering and disempowering portrayals of athletes were identified. Some commentary contained many examples of stereotyping and positioned Paralympians as victims of misfortune, as different, as Other. Other commentary characterized Paralympians as “normal” and as no different from nondisabled athletes. The brevity of the coverage, the poor production values, and the absence of commentary about rules, strategies, and physical mastery suggested that the Paralympic Games were less than, not parallel to, the Olympics. A “hierarchy of (social) acceptability” was useful in explaining differences among the way Paralympic athletes were portrayed by television coverage.
Deborah R. Shapiro and Brenda G. Pitts
As the field of sport business management develops, it is critical to assess its literature. A content analysis of 34 sport business management journals between 2002 to 2012 was conducted relative to sports, physical activity, recreation, and leisure for individuals with disabilities. Journals were selected based on their alignment with sport management curriculum standards. Results show that of the 5,443 articles reviewed in this study, merely 89, or .016%, pertained to disability sport, leisure, recreation, or physical activity. Information insufficiency was found across all sport management curriculum domains. Similarities and differences are discussed relative to other content analyses conducted in sport management and disability sport. Results provide direction for future scholarship and advancement of studies in disability sport in sport business management.
Marion E. Hambrick, Jason M. Simmons, Greg P. Greenhalgh and T. Christopher Greenwell
The online social network Twitter has grown exponentially since 2008. The current study examined Twitter use among professional athletes who use Twitter to communicate with fans and other players. The study used content analysis to place 1,962 tweets by professional athletes into one of six categories: interactivity, diversion, information sharing, content, promotional, and fanship. Many of the tweets fell into the interactivity category (34%). Athletes used Twitter to converse directly with their followers. Those with the most followers had more interactivity tweets. A large percentage of tweets (28%) fell into the diversion category, because many of the tweets involved non-sports-related topics, and relatively few of the tweets (15%) involved players discussing their own teams or sports. In addition, only 5% of the tweets were promotional in nature, indicating that professional athletes may not be taking advantage of the promotional opportunities Twitter may provide.
Nicole M. LaVoi, Erin Becker and Heather D. Maxwell
Given the lack of nationalized and required coach education programs for those involved with youth sports, self-help coaching books are a common source of knowledge. With the exception of critiques of young adult sports fiction (Kane, 1998; Kreigh & Kane, 1997), sport media research has lacked investigation of mediums that impact non-elite youth athletes and adolescent girls, and youth coaches and parents of young female athletes. The purpose of this study is to examine ‘coaching girls’ books–specifically how differences between female and male athletes are constructed. A content analysis was performed on selective chapters within a criterion sampling of six best-selling, self-help ‘coaching girls’ books. Results indicate coaching girls books are written from a perspective of inflated gender difference, and represent a simplified, stereo-typed account of coaching girls. Four first-order themes emerged from analysis: Problematizing Coaching Girls, Girls Constructed As “Other,” Ambivalence, and Sustaining the Gender Binary. Implications of these themes are discussed.
Megan B. Shreffler, Meg G. Hancock and Samuel H. Schmidt
Unlike traditional media, which frames female athletes in sexualized manners and in socially accepted roles such as mothers and girlfriends, user-controlled social-media Web sites allow female athletes to control the image and brand they wish to portray to the public. Using Goffman’s theory of self-presentation, the current study aimed to investigate how female athletes were portraying themselves via their Twitter avatar pictures. A total of 207 verified Twitter avatars of female athletes from 6 sports were examined through a content analysis. The avatars from each player were coded using the following themes: athlete as social being, athlete as promotional figure, “selfie,” athletic competence, ambivalence, “girl next door,” and “sexy babe.” The results revealed that athletic competence was the most common theme, followed by selfie and athlete as social being. Thus, when women have the opportunity to control their image through social media they choose to focus on their athletic identities.
Paul Mark Pedersen
While research has documented the mass media’s biased coverage of sportswomen in most levels of athletic participation, no study has yet determined if under-representation and trivialization of females occur at the interscholastic level. This content analysis, in investigating the amount and type of newspaper coverage given to female and male high school athletics, sought to fill this void. Over a 1-year timeframe, 602 issues were randomly selected from 43 daily newspapers. This sample produced 1792 articles that fit the study’s codebook. The articles revealed that female athletics, even when compared to three independent standards (gender breakdowns of school enrollment, participation rates, and number of sports offered), was significantly under-represented in both number of articles and total column inches. Male athletics not only received significantly more written coverage, but its articles were also more likely to be better positioned and have photographic accompaniment than those about female athletics.
Jacquelyn Cuneen and M. Joy Sidwell
Gender portrayals in sport-related advertising generally reinforce institutionalized sexism and culturally defined sex-role behaviors. Gender-defining messages in advertising photographs may have an especially profound impact on children because children understand meanings in pictures before they understand meanings in text. The purpose of this study was to analyze gender portrayals contained in advertisements appearing in Sports Illustrated for Kids (SIK) over a 6-year period. Advertisements were coded to determine (a) the total number of advertisements featuring females and males, (b) genders represented as prominent or supporting in advertising portrayals, and (c) gender portrayals in advertisement activities and product types. Content analysis revealed that girls and women were drastically underrepresented as models in SIK advertising and that distinct gender roles were sustained by depicting males in nearly all types of activities and products. Conventional stereotypical relationships between sport and gender were represented in the majority of SIK advertisements.
Jan Rintala and Susan Birrell
The availability of female role models is examined through a content analysis of Young Athlete magazine. Two research questions are posed: Do males and females receive differential treatment in Young Athlete? Does the representation of males and females in Young Athlete reflect actual participation rates? Young Athlete depicts sport as a male activity. For example, less than one-third of all photographs depict females, and the percentage decreases with the prominence of the photograph. Compared to actual participation rates, Young Athlete subtly distorts girls’ involvement. Girls are markedly under-represented in team sports, even those they dominate numerically. Discussion focuses upon the issue of fair treatment. The conclusion that statistical representation is a safe but narrow definition of fair treatment is explored with reference to current theoretical perspectives on media.