Litchfield, Chelsea, et al. Virtual Maltreatment: Sexualisation and Social Media Abuse in Sport.
This journal entry focuses on an entirely different aspect of social media’s impact on the sports industry. While other sources focus on the interactivity between fans and players thanks to social media, this source highlights a problematic consequence of social media’s presence in this culture. Litchfield discusses the idea of virtual maltreatment, which is a extremely significant issue within contemporary American culture as a whole, but especially in sport. This study examines how virtual maltreatment has played out on social media for female athletes. The author draws from real examples including the negative social media attention that tennis player Maria Sharapova received during the 2015 Wimbledon tennis championships. The main focus here is the social commentary surrounding this athlete during the event, and three common themes were found when analyzing this commentary. These categories were “admiration of her physical beauty and/or sexualization”, “threatening
physical and/or sexual contact” and “emotional ridicule and aggression”. These findings highlight how social media provides a space for unlimited physical and sexual abuse of female athletes. While there are benefits of being able to discuss sports and athletes via social media, virtual abuse is an extremely prevalent issue and continues to solidify traditional gender roles.
Sutera, David M. Sports Fans 2.0: How Fans Are Using Social Media to Get Closer to the Game. Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2013.
In this article, Sutera discusses how sports fans and athletes have proven to be some of the most creative and versed users of social media. Social media has provided an opportunity for fans to brake the barrier between them and the teams and athletes they follow. As new media develops, the participatory nature of contemporary sports fandom and spectatorship increases. To support this, he examines the ways in which digital media has formed and facilitated new channels for sports fan engagement, and how technology has enhanced the fan’s perception of participating in America’s sports culture. On top of this, social media has been a platform for athletes increase their fan base and self-promote.This source will be incredibly useful for my project because it closely examines the evolution of the role media plays in the sporting world. This relates a lot to the class material, and especially Janet Murray’s “participatory” digital affordance. I think the information this book provides will help me develop my argument about this topic.
Hutchins, Brett, and David Rowe. Sport beyond Television the Internet, Digital Media and the Rise of Networked Media Sport. Routledge, 2012.
In this book, Hutchins and Rowe recognize how in the age of modern technology, television is no longer the only platform that delivers sport-related footage and news. There are now new forms of technology that have claimed their place in the production and consumption of sports media. In this study, the authors analyze changes that have contributed to this situation. The methods they use analyze these changes include combining theoretical insights with original evidence that they have collected through extensive research and interviews with people working in the media and sport industries. Ultimately, sports media is a pivotal component in online content economies and cultures: as technology advances, those who work in sports have been forced to adapt, and it has created this whole new community with a new hierarchy and power dynamic. Now, with access to phones, everyone is able to involve themselves in a conversation centered around sports, which was not the case with television being the only platform to communicate this information.
Sanderson, Jimmy. It’s a Whole New Ballgame: How Social Media Is Changing Sports. Hampton Press, 2011.
In this book, Sanderson tells the story of social media’s swift rise in becoming perhaps the most important player in the modern, technology-dependent sports industry. His main method of proving social media’s high worth in the sports industry is by drawing upon true stories that involve athletes and large sports organizations which demonstrate both the benefits and consequences of social media. He argues that social media vastly altered mass media production and consumption. Those who were once considered strictly the “audience” or the “viewers” can now actually produce and broadcast information by using various social media platforms. With this ability for former solely “audience” members to use social media to share their thoughts, the emerging trend of amateur journalism, where the general public could offer commentary. Overall, Sanderson highlights how social media has allowed fans to take a directly active role in putting the spotlight on athletes. Much of the communication between fans and athletes are positive but other fans use social media to direct criticism at athletes and organizations. This clearly demonstrates the direct link between fans and athletes to convey feelings and thoughts. This source will be extremely useful for my project as it offers plenty og examples to draw from.
DiMoro, Anthony. “The Growing Impact of Social Media On Today’s Sports Culture.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 2 July 2015,
This news article focuses a lot on how social media has impacted business in modern culture in general. Being that this article is from Forbes, it highlights how utilizing social media has been most beneficial for industries. He writes, “if you are not minding your Social Media presence than you are not fully branding yourself”. For athletes to fully brand themselves, they must utilize social media. DiMoro notes that social media’s impact on the sports industry. In 2015, “one fifth (20.5%) of internet users in the US are expected to have Twitter accounts“. This number has grown from 15.2% in 2012, and has raised above 24.2% in present day. In addition to this, “Over a third (37%) of Twitter users will buy from a brand they follow“. This is an important finding. This ultimately says that consumers will follow and actively support those they follow on social media. In addition to supporting individuals, fans might also support movements or organizations. Almost every sports related show or event has its own hashtag, and this has become a way for audiences to engage in a way that was not possible years ago. Sport talk is a vital part of sports culture, and social media has become a place to connect all parties of this sport talk together to more importantly, engage in discussion and elevate brands.