The Untold Role of the Media in Promotion of Sports

Sports have many fans that attend arenas and field to enjoy the game. However, it is not until sports were seriously covered in the media that it grew to new heights and soared to greater horizons. The role & importance of the media may have been unprecedented but not less important.

Stories about sports make up a large part of today’s news coverage. In particular, information and news about star players are what drive headlines, and celebrity athletes can play a significant role in strategic communication efforts. In the past, audiences relied on traditional media outlets to acquire this news. Now, social media essentially opens a window into these athletes’ lives – exposing both the bad and the good stories that might have previously been overlooked.
“For the media, social media makes it easier in a way because athletes can self report and can get whatever messages they want out to the public, without relying on us,” Just said. “Journalists no longer need to break news as much because athletes break it themselves on Twitter. For example, high school athletes who are ‘addicted’ to Twitter will announce which school they are committing to through this platform.”

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The role of media has become even more important with the start of social media. The media includes any form of promotion of sport, such as;

  • TV and Radio – Show (or commentate on) matches and competitions. There are also highlights; documentaries and quiz shows about sports!
  • Cable and Satellite TV – These show events on a pay-per-view basis
  • Ceefax and Teletext – Have up-to-date information about events in the world of sport
  • Internet – All teams and major athletes have their own websites where you can find all kinds of information about the team/athlete/matches
  • Newspapers and Magazines – Print predictions and results, as well as articles about athletes and clubs
  • Books and Films – Biographies are big business for ex sports players

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Sports coverage has moved from TV, radio, cable, and satellite TV to newer horizons such as teletext and social media. The following are the positive and negative effects of the media coverage on sports;

Positive Effects

The media coverage of sport has good effects:

  • Money – Media companies pay for the rights to show a sporting event. Also, sports shown on the TV generate more sponsorship
  • Education – People learn the rules of the sport from watching it on TV
  • Role models – Seeing good sports people on TV and in newspapers makes them a role model for people to look up to
  • Inspiration – Media brings sport to people who may not normally get to experience it otherwise. This can encourage people to get involved
  • Coaching aid – Watching professionals on the TV can help you see how a technique should be performed which could help your performance

Negative Effects

The media can also have a negative effect on sport:

  • Bias – Only the really popular sports get much attention on the TV and in newspapers etc. This doesn’t help encourage people into the less popular sports
  • Lack of Attendance – For matches that are shown on TV, ticket sales often drop
  • Overload – There is a lot of sport on TV nowadays, some say too much!
  • Attention – Sport stars often complain of too much attention being paid to their private lives
  • Demands – The media can put pressure on the organizers of sporting competitions to make the viewing experience better for TV audiences. For example, in a previous Olympics, the marathon was run at a time, which suited TV companies, even though it was at the hottest time of day!

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