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Impact Of Social Media On College Sports

3708 words - 15 pages

Running Head: IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON COLLEGE SPORTS 1THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON COLLEGE SPORTS 11THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON COLLEGE SPORTSJoseph PorchettaPurdue UniversityAuthor NoteJoseph Porchetta is a graduate student at Brian Lamb School of Communication, Purdue UniversitySocial Media is a new technology that has swept the world with its phenomenal growth, becoming main stream in the way people communicate. It has affected the communication and marketing efforts in all areas of the economy, including college sports. Since other industries have embraced its value for communication and marketing strategies, so have college sports realized the benefits (Wallace, Wilson & Miloch, 2011). It has provided new ways for athletic departments to engage with its stakeholders in conjunction with traditional media. This research investigates college athletics usage of social media as a tool in areas of public relations, sales, promotion, crisis management and its impact on internal or external stakeholders. The increase in popularity among fans and student-athletes is another factor for new media to be embraced by the coaching community. The direct access and interactions among users creates many opportunities, but can also have a negative implication, which will be discussed.Tally (2011) explained, "10 years ago an athletic department might have been limited to phone calls or direct mailings to promote ticket sales, new coaches or random happenings within an athletic department. But now athletic departments are expected to engage fans as much as they can and that often means the use of twitter, Facebook, foursquare or any other new social media platform out there", (para 3).Since the financial crisis, higher education has dealt with budget constraints and partially funded athletic programs (Calvio, 2011; Calvio & Walsh, 2013; Tally, 2011; Berkowitz, Upton & Brady, 2013). Social media provides an inexpensive way of communicating with all stakeholders in regards to public relations, marketing, merchandising and ticket sales, etc. (Calvio, 2011; Calvio & Walsh, 2013). From the beginning and throughout history, college athletics have always used advanced technology to promote their teams (Weaver 2011). It began with the first football game aired on the radio, then being televised in the 1950's and continued with traditional media specialists bringing people or fans together (Weaver, 2011). Athletic programs saw technology as an avenue of making money through sales or raising money for their budgets (Weaver, 2011). According to Stoldt (2012), traditional media still plays a vital role and "the general public has higher expectations of traditional mainstream media than social media in regards to honesty, truthfulness, and transparency" (Table 9 section, para. 4). This is changing as the shift of younger users toward social media continues, thus increasing the impact of social media on college sports communication strategies (Calvio,...

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