1st Edition

Social Media in Sport Evidence-Based Perspectives

Edited By Gashaw Abeza, Jimmy Sanderson Copyright 2024
    210 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book takes a close look at social media in sport and considers its significance for sport business and for the wider relationship between sport and society.

    Presenting new research, case studies and data, it examines the way people use social media, the changing art of managing social media platforms, and the theory and concepts that inform research on this important topic. Featuring the work of leading sport researchers from around the world, the book presents evidence-based analysis of contemporary topics including fan engagement, athlete activism, branding and sponsorship strategies, sportswashing, public relations and crisis communication. It presents case studies from sports and events such as the Olympic Games, the WNBA, professional football leagues, and Peloton, and across social media platforms including TikTok, Twitter and Instagram.

    This is essential reading for anybody with an interest in sport media, sport business, the sociology of sport, digital business, or new media studies.

    Part I: Introduction 

    1          The Evolving Landscape of Social Media Management: Navigating Changes in Usage and Platform Dynamics

    Gashaw Abeza and Jimmy Sanderson 

    Part II: Socio-Cultural Aspects of Sport and Social Media 

    2          Fandom and Activism: Experimenting with Memetic Communication Appeals About Human Rights Issues During the 2022 Winter Olympic Games

    Alicia Mason Collins, Elizabeth A. Spencer, Tricia Combs, Tanner Glenn, Isaac Lewis, Brooklyn Peterson and Emerson Tice 

    3          ‘Voiceless Entertainers’? Sports Fans’ Views on Athlete Activism in the United States

    Jamie Cleland, Ellis Cashmore and Kevin Dixon 

    4          Twittersphere, Sports, and the Creation of an (Activist) Community: #Morethananathlete

    Todd Fraley and Linda Kean 

    5          Crisis, Social Media, and Large Sporting Events: Approaches, Insights, and an Emerging Direction

    Duncan Koerber, Veronica Bernard and Claire Terrio 

    Part III: Business Aspects of Sport and Social Media 

    6          Investigating Football Fan Engagement Through Instagram: Love, Laughter, and Loyalty

    Sem Visser, Henry Dorling and Cecilia Diaz 

    7          Visual Social Media Usage and Human Branding Approaches by Peloton Instructors

    Galen Clavio, Katie Metz and Patrick Walsh 

    8          Poor Nations Sponsoring Wealthy Sport Clubs: Place Branding or Sportswashing?

    Gashaw Abeza and Yoseph Mamo 

    Part IV: Theoretical and Conceptual Aspects of Sport and Social Media 

    9        Toward a Full Embrace of Goffman’s Dramaturgy within Self-Presentation Analyses

    Kiernan Gordon 

    10        Sport Public Relations: An Evolution from Media Relations to Digital Image Management Through Co-Creational Strategy

    Mark Dottori, Alexandre Sovigny and Norm O’Reilly


    Gashaw Abeza is Associate Professor at Towson University, USA, and serves as a Research Fellow and Doctoral Advisor at Munich Business School, Germany. He has a long-standing and on-going research program studying the impact of social media on the sport industry and its implications for society at large. Currently, Dr Abeza serves on the editorial boards of nine different academic journals.

    Jimmy Sanderson is Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Sport Management at Texas Tech University, USA. His research focuses on the impact of social media in sport. Dr Sanderson serves on the board of six journals and consults with various entities in the sport industry on social media issues.

    Social Media in Sport: Evidence-Based Perspectives is a valuable resource for scholars, practitioners, and students interested in the intersection of social media and sport. The critical analyses provided in each chapter contribute to a more in-depth understanding of the complex relationship between social and digital media and the sport industry. Overall, the book’s data-driven approach, perspectives from diverse authors, and exploration of contemporary issues make it essential reading for anyone engaged in sport business, media studies, or the sociology of sport.”- Peyton J. Stensland, University of Cincinnati, US, International Journal of Sport Communication