The Impact of Social Media on Chinese Sports Journalists

Over the past few years, I’ve been involved in some research on social media in China. In my newest published study, the research team (Bo (Norman) Li, Steve Dittmore, and Sarah Stokowski and me) studied the impact of social media on Chinese sports journalists. The majority of our survey respondents noted that they actively used social media to monitor what was occurring in their industry and that social media had increased their workloads and work pressures. It was a great study to be involved in and working with Norman, Steve, and Sarah was great. The abstract and links to the article are copied/pasted below.

The purpose of this study is to explore the impact of social media in Chinese sports journalism. After distributing an online survey using a snowball sampling technique, a total of 133 Chinese sports journalists working in print media participated in this study. The results indicated that news gathering was reported as a primary motivation to use social media. Weibo and WeChat, two localized social networking tools, were the most commonly used tools among participants. Nearly half of participating sports journalists admitted that monitoring information on social media increased their pressure level and created workloads. The majority of sports journalists believed social media had weakened their gatekeeping role due to the increase in citizen journalists and the increase in channels and sources from which users obtain news and information. The study also found that the relationship between journalists and athletes has also been altered with the advent of social media.

Download article here: publisher, academia.edu, or researchgate.

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Using self-categorization theory to uncover the framing of the 2015 Rugby World Cup: A cross-cultural comparison of three nations’ newspapers

In the context of international sporting contests, which typically attract great interest globally, the coverage of these events by newspapers help to define, influence, and sometimes reflect mainstream beliefs. Although media consumers have no influence over how stories are framed, editors and journalists can construct their narratives and stories to attract, maintain, and foster continued media consumption (Scott, Zakus, & Hill, 2014; Vincent & Crossman, 2012). Informed by framing theory, this study strove to investigate how two nations’ coverage of the Rugby World Cup (RWC) was characterised. Framing occurs as the media actively select certain aspects of an issue to report, affecting the understanding of the message people receive (Entman, 2007).

We conducted a content analysis of the newspaper coverage of the 2015 RWC in New Zealand, South Africa, and Australia and have recently had it published in the International Review for the Sociology of Sport. This study is currently in press at this journal and is available from the publisher, academia.edu, and researchgate.

Points of attachment on social media: exploring similarities and differences between Chinese and Western National Basketball Association fans

Recently, I was able to work with Dr Bo (Norman) Li and Dr Steve Dittmore on a paper to uncover how Western and Chinese sport fans, particularly those following the Los Angeles Lakers NBA team, ecome attached to the club. This study will be published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Sport and Social Science’s forthcoming special issue on Sport in China.

The full paper is available here: from the publisher, academia.edu, or researchgate. The full abstract appears below.

ABSTRACT

 

Given the availability and usage of Twitter, professional sport organizations attempt to embrace this emerging medium to engage with sports fans around the world. While many sports fans use Twitter globally, Chinese sports fans primarily embrace localized social media platforms, such as Weibo, to follow their favourite teams because many international mainstream social media services are banned in China. This study aimed to investigate the similarities and differences between Chinese National Basketball Association (NBA) fans and Western NBA fans in terms of their social media usage and points of attachment to a team with a global presence. The results revealed that Chinese digital NBA fans expressed higher dependence on using social media in their daily life compared to Western counterparts. In terms of sports fans’ points of attachment, Chinese NBA fans had higher associations with basketball, NBA players, and the NBA than Western counterparts, while Western fans perceived a higher attachment to the team.

Online lecture topics for 8 October #spm2122

Live Tweet topics for 8 October 2013 that starts at 1230 (12:30 PM) Perth time.

The topics will all be listed below with relevant links, but the questions will remain secret until the live chat.

The rationale for this classroom assessment item is:

-To uncover whether the use of social media can be used to foster student engagement in university classroom settings

-To analyse whether a micro-blogging service could enhance:

-the co-creation of unit content,

-enable real-world examples to be brought into the classroom, and

-foster engagement with unit materials

SPM2122 has two textbooks that are used. They are:

Shilbury, D., Quick, S., & Westerbeek, H. (2009) Strategic sport marketing (3rd ed.). Sydney: Allen &

Unwin. See: http://www.allenandunwin.com/default.aspx?page=94&book=9781741756265

Smith, A. C. T. (2008). Introduction to Sport Marketing. Sydney: Elsevier. See:

http://www.elsevier.com/books/introduction-to-sport-marketing/smith/978-0-7506-8685-3

All questions will come from unit (course) materials that were discussed in seminars from week 6 to week 10. Please review the relevant chapters from our reading list, which was:

 

Week 6 please read Chapters 5 and 9
Week 7 please read Chapter 11
Week 8 Please read Chapter 13
Week 9 please read Chapter 14
Week 10 please read Chapter 15 (also live tweet lecture)

Topic 1:

Shilbury et al (2009) suggest that there are four levels of a product (core, facilitating, supporting, and augmented product), which help consumers to satisfy a need or want through consumption (for example, buying season tickets to one’s favourite team).

In our online lecture, we will discuss only supporting products that can add value to the core product and aid to differentiate it from competitors (i.e. membership benefits to season members, access to special events, discounted team merchandise, and many others).

You may be asked to discuss and/or give examples about:

  1. Supporting products that add value to products for people to do sport (i.e. running shoes, a basketball, etc. (these are only examples)
  2. Supporting products that add value for people who purchase season memberships to sport

 

Topic 2:

Distinguished sport marketer Lawrence Wenner (1989) noted that “If the broadcasters [or sport marketers] have done their job well, the sports fan will be attentively viewing when a commercial message appears” (p. 15), which formed part of our discussion in week 7 on sport media and marketing. During our discussion on television, we discussed the ever-increasing avoidance of commercials (during ad breaks) through zapping, online streaming, and digital video recorders.

In our online lecture, we will discuss how contemporary media embed marketing messages into the coverage of sporting events to ensure that a sport fan is “attentively viewing” the marketing message when it appears on screen.

You may be asked to give examples about:

  1. New ways in which sports marketing message appear during game play of sporting events/matches
  2. Listing different ways in which you see marketing messages during sport events/games

 

Topic 3:

In week 7, we discussed the construction of commercial media stories and stories needed to:

  • Contain information to attact public interests
  • Contain some newsworthiness, relationship or meaning to publics
  • “Sell” stories to attract viewers or readers to make money.

Because, the commercial media’s main objective is to attract as large a market as possible to on-sell viewers to advertisers and sponsors in the form of ratings. In our discussion, we focused on how stories needed to connect to the viewer and we watched that clip from Seinfeld to illustrate this. The focus of our online discussion may be and you may be asked for examples of:

  1. How the broadcasts of sport matches contain many varied storylines to attract viewers
  2. How stories are personalised to enable consumers to connect with them

 

Twitter Lecture topics for 27 August 2013 #SPM2122

As many of my readers know, I actively use twitter in my university classroom teaching. In particular, I use it most in my Sport Marketing unit (tagged #spm2122). Twice during the semester, a lecture is replaced by an online discussion on Twitter. The focus of the online lecture is the content from the four weeks prior.  Here are the four topics that will be discussed in a QandA fashion on the 27th of August 2013 that starts at 12:30PM Perth time.

 

Live Tweet topics for 27 August 2013 that starts at 1230 (12:30 PM) Perth time.

The topics will all be listed below with relevant links, but the questions will remain secret until the live chat.

The rationale for this classroom assessment item is:

-To uncover whether the use of social media can be used to foster student engagement in university classroom settings

-To analyse whether a micro-blogging service could enhance:

-the co-creation of unit content,

-enable real-world examples to be brought into the classroom, and

-foster engagement with unit materials

SPM2122 has two textbooks that are used. They are:

Shilbury, D., Quick, S., & Westerbeek, H. (2009) Strategic sport marketing (3rd ed.). Sydney: Allen &

Unwin. See: http://www.allenandunwin.com/default.aspx?page=94&book=9781741756265

Smith, A. C. T. (2008). Introduction to Sport Marketing. Sydney: Elsevier. See:

http://www.elsevier.com/books/introduction-to-sport-marketing/smith/978-0-7506-8685-3

All questions will come from unit (course) materials that were discussed in seminars from week 1 to week 4. Please review the relevant chapters from our reading list, which was:

Week 1 please read Chapters 1 and 2 from the Shilbury et al text

Week 2 please read Chapters 1 & 2 from the Smith text

Week 3 please read Chapter 3 from the Shilbury et al text

Week 4 please read Chapter 4 from the Shilbury et al text

 

Topic 1:

The Smith textbook outlines two streams of sport marking, which is unique to the sports industry. “Sport marketing is the application of marketing concepts to sport products and services, and the marketing of non-sport products through an association to sport. Sport marketing therefore has two key features. First, it is the application of general marketing practices to sport-related products and services. Second, it is the marketing of other consumer and industrial products or services through sport. Like any form of marketing, sport marketing seeks to fulfil the needs and wants of consumers. It achieves this by providing sport services and sport-related products to consumers. However, sport marketing is unlike conventional marketing in that it also has the ability to encourage the consumption of non-sport products and services by association” (Smith, 2008, p. 3). In our online discussion, we will discuss both of these concepts and apply them to sport marketing using social media.

You may be asked to give examples about:
-Marketing of sport on social media
-Marketing through sport on social media using a sport team’s account

 

Topic 2:

Smith (2008) suggests that “the idea of branding is closely linked with positioning. A brand is like an identifying badge, often reinforced by a name or a logo that helps consumers recognise a product or an organisation. A brand becomes linked with consumers’ opinions and perceptions of a sport product and organisation” (p. 115). In week 2, we discussed positioning strategies of various brands.

In the discussion of this topic, you will be asked to give examples of brand attributes “(aspects of the brand that are defining, unique and special to each organisation)” (Smith, p. 118) of several sporting teams. On page 118 of the Smith text, there is an interactive case that might help you in preparing for this topic.

You may be asked to give examples of:
-Unique elements of your favourite sports team
-Distinctive partnerships between a company and an athlete
-Unique elements of a sport company (shoes, bats, media, etc.)

Topic 3:

In week four, we discussed three ways in which sport organisations can collect data. These were: General market data, individual consumer’s data, and competitors and/or participants’ data.

General market data include all the information which relates to the broad environment in which the sport operates. Individual consumer’s data concerns their attitudes and behaviours related to a specific sport product or service. A third source of information for sporting organisations relates to competitors and their participants. It is critical that sporting organisations not only be aware of who their competitors are but also know the consumers of a rival’s products or services (adapted from Shilbury et al., 2009, p. 65).

In our discussion on this topic, we will tweet about the different methods that contemporary sport organisations use to collect data and use new media examples

You may be asked to give examples about:
-How sport teams can incentivise consumers to fill in all items in a form
-The tactics sports organisations use to accurately data mine

 

Topic 4:

The Big 5 Sport Motives represent  a comprehensive view of major psychological inputs that represent core benefits consumer receive from engaging in sport consumption (adapted from Shilbury et al., 2009, p. 49). Various research (Beaton et al., 2007; James et al., 2006) has found that there are “five main psychological benefits that sport consumers desire from a sport experience” (Shilbury et al, 2009, p. 48). These are: Social interaction, performance, excitement, esteem, and diversion.

In our discussion of this topic, we will discuss how sport marketers use the Big 5 sport motives in an attempt to persuade individuals to consume a sporting experience.

You may be asked to give examples about:
-Ads that feature one or more of the Big 5 sport motives to entice consumers to attend a sporting match
-Ads that use the Big 5 sport motives to entice viewership of an event
-Ads using the Big 5 sport motives in an attempt to get people to participate in sport