Social media a force for good in sport

Modified: 23rd Sep 2019
Wordcount: 3675 words
Media Student

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Question 1

Media production is about framing events in a particular way, there is an ‘invisible apparatus’ behind what we see. According to Bourdieu (1996), free-market competition has created homogeneity within television production that can be traced to the pressures imposed by a variety of mechanisms and institutions. Institutional pressures operate at two levels, Bourdieu (1996, p. 82) argues that these pressures are exerted at both the macro and micro levels. Macro level forces relates to forces that act on mediasport producers. This can include the pressures exerted on mediasport producers and organizations, mostly from the ‘outside’. The way macro-pressures act across organizational fields to constrain behavior has long been a basic tenet of institutional theory. The results of these pressures are associations inside a similar field, with similar desires and facing similar pressures to be legitimate, are shaped by similar constraints so that over time they become isomorphic with each other and the environment. The pressures that reason this homogeneity can be coercive, mimetic, or normative in nature. Coercive pressures can be applied formally in the “state of rules and laws or informally in the form of cultural expectations, depending on the nature of the field where the organization exists” (DiMaggio &Powell, 1983). Secondly there is mimetic this relates to, “When organizations are faced with uncertainty, decision makers will often seek to mimic others in their field whom they perceive to be successful and legitimate” (Silk & Amis 2002). For example, this can be the watershed.

This of which in “In the UK, the BBC has a well-established policy of making 9pm the pivotal point of the evening’s television, a Watershed before which, except in exceptional circumstances, all programmed on our domestic channels should be suitable for a general audience including children” (BBC). Before the 1994 World Cup “The Germans gave us (TV network TSN) some ideas so we started covering it like a soccer game, not a hockey game” (Silk & Amis 2002). From this it helps shape the activities of mediasport producers for instance; where to point the camera, what technologies to use, what storylines to emphasize and what people to hire. When looking at normative this refers to the “… education, training, and the filtering of personnel through hiring practices help to produce a standardized product that conforms to the norms of other televised sport productions” (Silk & Amis, 2002). When looking at an example of this the Broadcasting Act 1996 is good, as it stipulates ‘listed events’ that are offered to the main free-to-air terrestrial broadcasters on ‘fair and reasonable terms’ (Offcom, 2010).

Whereas Micro level forces is of which activities of producers will be affected by the decisions different people make in the face of these macro pressures and it Affects the content and form of mediasport productions. Furthermore, the people working within media institutions have their own values, beliefs, backgrounds, desires, etc.

Macro- and micro-pressures individually, do not exist in isolation. They interact in a manner where they reinforce each other while at other times they may be working against each other (Silk and Amis, 2002). A key focus of the media is creating the interest in sport, therefore fostering audience interest to maintain the viewership for the duration of; mega events, finals or sport matches. Wenner, (1998) believes that the study of announcer discourse is key as its shapes the consumption of commercial mediasport. This of which increase ratings of the programs as well as generating money from sponsors and advertisers. This being the case sport broadcasts are profitable. It Brings producers together with rights holders and advertisers. For instance, TV networks purchase into the rights to broadcast the World Cup from FIFA. This of which ITV & BBC are said to have paid £220 for 2010 & 2014 men’s World Cups, this then leads to the companies buying advertising time in order to promote their brands, in this case ITV charges an upwards of £300,000 during England’s games in 2014. Lastly this then links to the people, the people that are interested in the event are therefore made aware of and could potentially buy the goods or the service being advertised. Thus, this bring producer together with the rights holder and advertisers. Furthermore, sport broadcasts can be meaningful, and again bring all of them together. TV producers highlight compelling themes from the Olympics/Paralympics, World Cup., etc. (nationalism, competition, triumph, etc.) this of which the advertisers seize on these same themes, and then the people associate TV network brands with Olympic athletes and values. This helps shows the link between Macro and Micro forces, as the Micro forces are accumulating the profit as well as creating and reinforcing ideas and the macro pressure is the forces that acting on the mediasport producers from the ‘outside’. Furthermore, the micro pressures affects the content and form of mediasport productions. Grossberg et al. (1998) propose that it is crucial we think of media products as creations of individual people, of media organizations, and of media industries. The analysis of televised sport production has largely ignored the conditions that frame cultural production and the ways in which broadcasts are constructed.


Question 5

Social media a force for good in sport

Boyd and Ellison (2008) define social network sites as web-based services that enable individuals to construct a public profile within a bounded system, articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and view and traverse their list of connections. Social media is changing the way sports stars, clubs and fans are interacting with each other, from online chats to live-tweeting games, spectators are no longer simply watching sport, and fans can often get news, insights and commentary straight from the social media platform. As well as increase in fans using social network there has been rapid increase in athletes, sports clubs and leagues using them. The most popular social media platforms used by athletes is twitter and Facebook. Twitter allows the athlete for example, to send out a ‘tweet, as a way of communicating instantaneously with fans, this way they can bypass the journalist and publicist. Twitter allows users to post publicly viewable messages this being called a tweet, of 140-characters or less, which are publicly viewable. These messages can be delivered to user “followers” automatically (Williams, 2009). Twitter has had a significant impact on the social landscape of professional sport (Wertheim, 2011), it remains an understudied medium by sport scholars. Facebook “enables its users to present themselves in an online profile, accumulate “friends” who can post comments on each other’s pages, and view each other’s profiles. Most young adults have at least one social network account, with many of them logging on to their social network site at least once a day (Gangadharbatla, 2008; Raacke & Bonds-Raacke, 2008). When looking at the impacts of social media on sport. Social media accelerates the pace of communication. An example of this when looking at Facebook is a page called ‘Voice of the fans’. It allows football fans to share their opinion on all club’s matches, transfers, news and gossip. Sun states that “You will even be able to vote real-time during the games… on team selection, controversial decisions, referee performance, goal ratings.” Furthermore, you will be able to see how your vote compares to other fans. I believe that this form on platform has a positive effect on the football fans as it allows them to voice their opinion and compare with others. Furthermore, social media assembles. Social media assembles as it brings people together through online communication. (Bonds-Raacke & Raacke, 2010; Boyd & Ellison, 2008; Gangadharbatla, 2008) states that people access social network sites to maintain relationships with their existing network of friends by exchanging information with each other. Twitter assembles people together with the use of the hashtag. The hashtag allows allows people to be part of the shared conversation. Social Media such as Facebook and twitter allows people to engage in the sports follow their favorite athletes and teams, and get instant up to date scores and results. Furthermore, it has a positive impact on sports organizations, for instance is helps them build relationships with the public. Many companies use twitter for the reason that it spreads messages and news quickly, for example, the hashtag #ThisGirlCan which was made to encourage women to get into sports went viral, and in the end got over 8 million views in 2015 alone. Athletes can benefit from using social media to interact with their fans, it can help them build their personal brand and promote themselves. For example, according to Huffington Post (2013), fans that follow their favorite athletes on social media are 55 percent more likely to purchase a brand if an athlete mentions it using Facebook or Twitter. Furthermore, many athletes use social media to promote good. For example, Cristiano Ronaldo has over 21 million followers on Twitter and 63 million fans on Facebook, as well as using twitter and Facebook to connect with his fans he also uses his power of status and following to promote local charities and to bring awareness to areas where children need support, care, and love (Adelphi University, 2019). He finds the ideal balance between promotional content, personal expression, and using his celebrity status to bring awareness to important causes. Social media is very effective it’s easy to use and is free and it constantly developing. (Sanderson, 2011) states that Social media applications such as Facebook and Twitter have rapidly permeated the sports world. During the, 2012 London Olympics’ athletes and fans used Facebook and Twitter to communicate about their memorable moments. The games fully embraced online media and used multiple social media platforms. Media coverage of the Olympics changed dramatically, eclipsing past newspaper and television Olympic coverage. As the impact of new media coverage at this mega-event, Hutchins and Mikosza (2010) noted that new media “simultaneously offered the opportunity for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to extend its global marketing reach and assert control over the branding of the Olympics; and for consumers to resist the hegemonic construction of the Olympics by the IOC and its corporate partners by disseminating alternative understandings of the Games”. As social media is developing and having positive impact on sport, many other platforms are starting to cover sport. (Stauff, 2009) states that “YouTube has been widely used as a resource for sharing of coverage and discussion of sport between fans”

Question 4Using the example of Nike, discuss the nature of advertising in post-industrial times. Why do ads from 2017 look so different to ads from a century ago?

Advertising is a marketing tactic involving paying for space to promote a product, service, or cause. As described as Richards & Curran, 2002, p. 64, advertising is

“… a paid, mediated form of communication from an identifiable source, designed to persuade the receiver to take some action.” It is clear to us that advertising had changed over the years and that many ads look very different to they did a century ago. When looking at the the nature of advertising in the industrial era this being the early 1900s generally speaking there was a lot of text, the product was clearly explained and displayed and as well as clear instructions if you wanted to purchase the product, furthermore the images that were used were generally purposeful. Whereas when we look at and compare advertising in the post-industrial era it is practical the opposite. There is very little text, limited explanation of the product, no instructions on purchasing and even more shocking sometimes even no image of the product, and if image present they tend to be generally evocative, rely on intertextual meaning. Pierre Martineau pointed out in 1957: “Modern advertising is not just a posting of claims, a bare-bones statement of fact. It is far, far, from being just a reliance on words and logic. It is rather a fusion of many modes of human communications, including language. Advertising as we know it today uses layout and illustration, both photography and art; it uses color and music, even choreography and drama…so much more is going on than just a sales argument with the consumer.” (Valentin 2018)

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The big difference in advertising looking so different a century ago can be put down to that in the modern era there is the use of sophisticated contemporary media, however in my opinion im not sure if the media has helped advertising, for example when comparing different advertisements, the post industrials ads were much more clearer and understanding that modern era ads. The late 1800s/early 1900s was a time of rapid industrialization, Factory work was replaced farm work and the workers were migrating to city centers, this was known as the fordist era. “Fordism refers to the system of mass production and consumption characteristic of highly developed economies during the 1940s-1960s. Under Fordism, mass consumption combined with mass production to produce sustained economic growth and widespread material advancement” (Thompson, 1998). Kline, Dyer-Witheford & de Peuter, (2003) state that Fordism “involved the creation of mass markets for standardized manufactured goods”. When linking this into advertising Kline, Dyer-Witheford & de Peuter, (2003) goes on to say that ads, programming, and commercial broadcasting was “transmitting to mass audiences the cultural norms that would help to bring consumption patterns into balance with the flood of cars, canned goods, domestic appliances, and clothing fashions that were streaming off the mechanized production lines … New discourses on taste and style were opened. In the consumer culture of ‘getting and spending,’ leisure, pleasure, and necessity were taking on new meanings.” In the 1980s, a new kind of corporation emerges: “… these were the Nikes and Microsoft’s, and later, the Tommy Hilfiger’s and Intel’s. These pioneers made the bold claim that producing goods was only an incidental part of their operations … What these companies produced primarily were not things, they said, but images of their brand.” (Klein 2010). These new emerges started to change how we view advertising. The shift in the advertising world has seen the rise of other motives when it comes to commercials. Rather than the sell mentality, ads are focusing on community building and brand awareness. In the modern era, it is clear that the product is no longer the centerpiece of the advert.

When looking at the Nike example. The Nike 2017 advert is very simple and consists of only one word spelt out in black and white, saying “EQUALITY,” and the company’s logo below. From this powerful word, it’s clear that Nike are trying put to across the message of equality, opportunity and discrimination. Although Nike are using this as a sales opportunity Nike announced that it was partnering with MENTOR and Peace Players International and the company says it will donate $5 million this year to those organizations and others “that advance equality in communities across the U.S.” (Boren 2017). Having looked at multiple adverts of Nike it comes to my attention that they like to focus their s attention on social issues within their adverts. This Nike advert is a form of lifestyle marketing this meaning that it’s the process of planning and implementing activities that are designed to promote a particular way of life, achievable through consumption, for example in modern era ads Implicitly make a case that the product will help you live your desired life. It clear in the 20 centuries that there was a rapid increase and change in advertising, this on which is due to the new upcoming technologies such as radio, TV, mobiles and direct mail, this of which wasn’t widely and not even around a century ago.


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