creative content from sports public relations professionals; yet, these were mere shadows masquerading as reality. We found reality, or rather, reality found us, with COVID-19 and the subsequent suspension of sports. For the first time, the stream of creative public relations content fell silent. There was
Christie M. Kleinmann
Chang Wan Woo and Michael K. Davis
Sports-related programs in higher education need to educate students in the professional use of evolving communication technologies. In addition, students need to develop soft skills, such as problem solving and critical thinking, while improving their practical use of technology. The purpose of this article is to introduce the use of fantasy sports in a sports management class, more specifically a sports public relations class, and discuss how students perceived the use of fantasy sports in course assignments. We explain how the use of fantasy sports assignments promoted social constructivist learning of students and helped students develop soft skills. We also identify the pedagogical challenges the fantasy sports assignments presented to students and instructors. We also offer summaries of students’ class reflections to demonstrate how such reflections echoed course learning outcomes.
Juan Meng and Po-Lin Pan
A limited number of studies have examined the effectiveness of apology techniques in image restoration of athletes involved in sex scandals. This case study used Benoit’s (1995) image-restoration strategies to examine the apology techniques 3 athletes used to negotiate their sex scandals and attempted to encourage further discussion of these techniques. Three athletes’ sex scandals were comparatively analyzed, including those of golfer Tiger Woods, National Football League quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and the National Basketball Association’s Kobe Bryant. This case study integrated the apology statements made by each athlete and examined sports-news coverage of the scandals from The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post. This case study offers important insights on how these athletes restored their images and handled the crises surrounded their sex scandals.
Since 2010, major college athletics departments have expanded a trend of hiring former beat writers to the hybrid position of sportswriter/public relations (PR) practitioner. This case study explored the routines and roles of a former sportswriter in his PR position at the University of Washington. After observing how he moved through social and professional settings and occupational routines, the author identifies 3 themes surrounding his routines. The themes are sport journalist, PR practitioner, and subordinate. Given the historic antagonism between journalists and PR practitioners, the routines are sometimes at odds with one another. The results indicate that the routines affect content while engaging stakeholders.
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.
Marie Hardin and Erin Whiteside
In an effort to move beyond relying solely on institutional critiques in explaining women’s marginalized status in the sports media workplace and to expand our understanding of gendered meaning-making in such organizations, we employ feminist scholar Romy Fröhlich’s notion of the “friendliness trap” in the analysis of focus groups with women who work in college sports public relations, commonly called sports information. The friendliness trap is a term used to describe the faulty belief that women, by virtue of their feminine qualities, possess an advantage in communication-related fields. Our findings suggest, however, that women in sports information may be frustrated by the failure of “the female advantage” to provide them with opportunities for promotion. The friendliness trap obscures workplace realities, including the structural barriers to women’s advancement, and may divert the energy of women in ways that have no career benefit. Once the trap is exposed, however, women may be more able to challenge the meanings associated with it.
Sonja Utz, Felix Otto, and Tim Pawlowski
.1177/2167479515595500 Bruce , T. , & Tini , T. ( 2008 ). Unique crisis response strategies in sports public relations: Rugby league and the case for diversion . Public Relations Review, 34 ( 2 ), 108 – 115 . doi:10.1016/j.pubrev.2008.03.015 10.1016/j.pubrev.2008.03.015 Burk , V. , & Grimmer , C.G. ( 2016 ). „I
Brody J. Ruihley, Jason Simmons, Andrew C. Billings, and Rich Calabrese
Relations and Communication ( Hopwood, Skinner, & Kitchin, 2012 ), Sport Public Relations ( Stoldt, Dittmore, & Branvold, 2012 ), Sports Public Relations ( L’Etang, 2013 ), and Strategic Sport Communication ( Pedersen, Laucella, Kian, & Geurin, 2017 ). In addition, many journal articles have been
Rebecca M. Achen, John Kaczorowski, Trisha Horsmann, and Alanda Ketzler
– 434 . doi:10.1108/JPBM-05-2015-0879 10.1108/JPBM-05-2015-0879 Tewes , R.A. ( 2016 ). Two-way symmetrical communication and Twitter in professional sports public relations (Doctoral dissertation). San Diego, CA : San Diego State University . Thackeray , R. , Neiger , B.L. , & Keller , H