Wednesday, February 28, 2007

JSM Welcomes

The Journal of Sports Media is pleased to announce the addition of Dr. John Fortunato, University of Texas, to its editorial board. John brings a lot of experience and interest to sports media and we look forward to working with him. His UT biography reads: Assistant Professor, University of Texas. Ph. D. Rutgers University. M.A. William Paterson University, B.A. William Paterson University. Dr. Fortunato's current research interest is sports media and aspects of advertising, public relations, and marketing. He is the author of three books: "Commissioner: The Legacy of Pete Rozelle"; "The Ultimate Assist: The Relationship and Broadcast Strategies of the National Basketball Association" and "Making Media Content: The Influence of Constituency Groups on Mass Media." He has also authored articles that have appeared in Public Relations Review, Journal of Sports Managment, Communications and the Law Journal, Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal, International Journal of Sports Marketing, and the Atlantic Journal of Communication. Before coming to the University of Texas at Austin, he taught for three years at St. Peter's College in Jersey City, New Jersey where he served asÊthe chair of the communication program in 2001-2002. His industry experience includes working for NBC Sports at both the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympics.

John joins John Carvalho of Auburn, Angela Renkoski of Drake, Keith Strudler of Marist, Howard Schlossberg of Columbia College and Steven McDaniel of Maryland on the JSM board. Thanks to all for their hard work ...

Friday, February 23, 2007

Research of the Week

I haven't read the research listed below, but it does sound very interesting. I can honestly say it's something I never really put together--sports media and support for the war in Iraq. It is a fascinating correlation, but I would still think there are other variables (race? ethnicity? socioeconomics?) that might be better predictive factors.
Stempel, C. (2006). Televised Sports, Masculinist Moral Capital, and Support for the U.S. Invasion of Iraq Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 30, (1), 79-106.

Data from a survey of 1,048 Americans conducted in summer 2003 are used to demonstrate the existence of a "televised masculinist sport–militaristic nationalism complex" that contributed support for the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Involvement in televised masculinist sports is robustly correlated with support for invading Iraq, the doctrine of preventive attacks, and strong patriotic feelings for the United States. Critical feminists and figurationalists posit a linkage between war and masculinist sports that is grounded in a macho or hypermasculinity found most in combat sports such as football. Using Lakoff's study of the conservative worldviewand Lamont's work on moral boundaries, the author develops an alternative conception of "masculinist moral capital" that better explains the gender and racial patterns of correlation between different types of televised sports and support for invading Iraq.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

No Hard Feelings

After seeing this video maybe we should start a JSM Sports Video Clip of the Week. Nike arranged a wager between Florida and Ohio State based on the outcome of the BCS Championship Game. Apparently, the winning school got to place its mascot on the campus of the losing school.

Two things make this really interesting. One, its fascinating to watch people be themselves when they think no one is looking. And secondly, who says sports aren't important? I can't imagine this would happen if Florida beat Ohio State in the Math Bowl.

Enjoy a rare piece of sports media that's destined to become a classic.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Student Blogger Opportunity

Here's an opportunity for your students to get some professional experience and learn more about blogging at the same time. The only catch--they have to be at an SEC school:

Career Sports & Entertainment, a sports marketing and PR agency in Atlanta, is looking for qualified journalism students for a program called “AT&T SEC Snapshot." It will provide weekly coverage for devoted to Olympic spring sports across the SEC. The student blogger/reporter would provide weekly articles/blogs on The program is scheduled to launch in early March, so they would like to find a good candidate as soon as possible. If interested, please contact Melanie Jarrett, Career Sports & Entertainment, or 770-995-1300.

Friday, February 16, 2007

ESPN ... is everywhere!

ESPN has been a busy boy the past few weeks, at least in terms of implementing a strategy for new technology. The sports media mega-giant announced plans for new efforts in podcasting and a national radio station/Internet network.

Great for consumers, but the question now becomes "how big is too big?" ESPN has succeeded to the point where it has pushed almost all competition out of the marketplace. A few years ago CNN tried to compete with SportsCenter, but ultimately threw in the towel. Fox Sports Net has had more success on a regional basis, but its current efforts are like a gnat buzzing around the 800-pound elephant.

This might be much ado about nothing. After all, isn't the point to get more sports content into the hands of consumers? But it's not too farfetched to think about the day where all sports media content carries the ESPN or Disney brand. The broadcast networks are already cutting back on their investment in high-priced rights fees (notice how it's now "ESPN College Football on ABC?").

Hard to believe this is the same outfit that started in 1979 broadcasting from a garage studio ...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Hearst winners

Congratulations to the recent winners in the Hearst Journalism contest for sportswriting. The first place winner was Jenifer Langosch from the University of Missouri. Jenifer will receive a $2,000 scholarship for her story from The Columbia Missourian titled “Playing On.” University of Missouri will receive a matching grant, as do the journalism departments of all scholarship winners.

Other scholarship winners are:
C. J. MOORE, University of Kansas, second place, $1,500 scholarship
TYSON WIRTH, University of Iowa, third place, $1,000 scholarship
STEFANIE LOH, University of Oregon, fourth place, $750 scholarship
TEDDY KIDER, Northwestern University, fifth place, $600 scholarship

The University of Missouri is in first place in the Intercollegiate Writing Competition with the highest accumulated school points from the first four (out of six) writing competitions. It is followed by: University of Kansas; Northwestern University; California State University, Fullerton; Pennsylvania State University; University of Memphis; University of Kentucky; University of Georgia; University of Montana; University of Maryland. The final winners will be named in April following the last competition of this academic year.

The Journalism Awards Program is conducted under the auspices of accredited schools of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication, and fully funded and administered by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. It consists of six monthly writing competitions, three photojournalism competitions, two radio and two television broadcast news competitions, with championship finals in all divisions.

Currently, more than 100 undergraduate accredited schools of journalism in the United States are eligible to participate in the program, which awards up to $500,000 in scholarships and grants annually.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Call for Papers and Reviewers

JSM is pleased to announce a call for papers for its third edition to be published in the spring of 2008. The deadline for submission is July 1st, 2007 (authors should be advised that since the journal is an annual, papers accepted for the 3rd issue will not be published until March 2008). All authors will be notified as to acceptance by September 2007.

Papers should relate to sports media in terms of specific media (print, broadcast, Internet, advertising, etc.) or a specific area of interest related to sports media (history, law, ethics, effects, etc.). Methodologies can be either qualitative or quantitative. Research should add to the understanding of sports media in terms of their practice, value and effect on the culture as a whole. The journal is focused on and particularly interested in practical research that is useful to industry practitioners, such as news and sports executives, sports content providers, sports media owners and the like. If you have a question as to whether the manuscript is appropriate for JSM, you can e-mail a short abstract to

When preparing manuscripts for publication in the journal, authors should follow the guidelines of the latest edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. The first page of the submission should include the title of the paper and the name and affiliation of each author, as well as full contact information for the primary author. The authors name(s) should not appear on the manuscript proper. The second page should include a 75-word abstract. Articles should not exceed 30 manuscript pages, including tables and charts. Manuscripts will not be returned unless the authors request the return by including a self-addressed and stamped envelope. Manuscripts must not be submitted to another journal at the same time they are under review by JSM.

Submission and review by electronic mail is now the accepted standard of the journal. Send manuscripts to Dr. Brad Schultz at Include the manuscript and title/abstract as separate Word files. Authors will be notified by September 1 via electronic mai regarding acceptance and revision. Comments from reviewers concerning manuscripts are made available to authors.

For questions or inquiries about the submission process, email Dr. Schultz. The physical mailing address is--
Dr. Brad Schultz, Journal of Sports Media, Dept. of Journalism, University of Mississippi, 124 Lester Hall, University, MS 38677

In addition to papers, the journal also has a need for reviewers. The time frame will be this summer, roughly July to September. Typically, we like to have reviewers look over no more than 2 papers, but we had so many submissions last year that it created an extra burden. If you would like to be a reviewer, please send your contact information to Dr. Schultz.

Please help share this information with colleagues who might be interested.

Friday, February 09, 2007

NCAA Update

This comes courtesy of Max Utsler at Kansas. Seems the NCAA has come up with a new definition of "scholarly inquiry": as long as your research doesn't criticize the NCAA, you can inquire all you want--

Several months after it canceled a planned scholarly conference on college athletics, the National Collegiate Athletic Association has announced plans for a new colloquium in conjunction with its 2008 annual convention in Nashville next January, to fill what it called a “void in research activity related to sport in the context of higher education.” Myles Brand, the NCAA’s president, quietly canceled a meeting scheduled for last month, saying that the quality of papers submitted had been inadequate. The action ruffled some feathers among those who had chosen to submit papers, and prompted speculation that association officials hadn’t liked the critical nature of some of the submissions. The NCAA’s announcement of the new event said its theme would be “College Sports: A Legitimate Focus for Scholarly Inquiry,” and noted that it would feature “invited scholars of international repute” — suggesting that submissions would not be welcomed.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Sports Communication Lecture Series

Richard Southall at the University of Memphis is putting together a lecture series on collegiate sports this spring that merits attention. Richard is bringing in scholars and researchers from all across the country, and the schedule of events is listed below. For more information, you can contact him at

Monday, March 19th, 2007, 4:00p.m. - Memphis Mayor proposes new stadium to replace Liberty Bowl: Pros and cons

Monday, March 26th, 4:00p.m. - The Business of College Sports.

Friday, April 6th, 4:00p.m. - Division I College Recruiting: The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Friday, April 13th, 4:00p.m. - Congress, Intercollegiate Athletics, and Higher Education: Is college sports a tax-exempt enterprise or an unrelated business?

Friday, April 20th, 4:00p.m. - White v. NCAA: Greed or Monopsony – A discussion of the case’s legal merits.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

International Journal of Sport Communication

Congratulations go out to Paul Pedersen at Indiana, who has confirmed that Human Kinetics will be the publisher of a new journal dedicated to sport communication, the International Journal of Sport Communication (IJSC).

Quoting from Paul--"Because of the broad scope and mission of this interdisciplinary journal, the editorial board will include scholars from all fields, ranging from public relations, media studies, and journalism to sociology, marketing, and management. Decisions regarding the selection of a managing editor and the journal’s cover design will be made in the upcoming days. More importantly, the journal’s first call for papers will soon be issued."

Our best wishes on this much-needed endeavor. If you would like to contribute or help Paul, you can reach him at

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Lies, damn lies and Super Bowl ratings

CBS is busy congratulating itself this morning over what is considered a highly-rated Super Bowl telecast. Super Bowl XLI drew 93 million viewers, making it the 3rd most watched event in television history, behind only the last episode of M*A*S*H and the Cowboys-Steelers in Super Bowl XXX. (Interesting that now with Super Bowl XLI, six of the top 10 all-time highest rated television shows are sports events).

But if you look behind the numbers the picture isn't so clear. In the important 18-49 demographic, the numbers rose only about one percent. The game finished with a 42 rating and 63 share, far behind the highest-rated Super Bowl of all-time. In 1982, Super Bowl XVI between the Bengals and 49ers had a 49 rating and 73 share.

That date is important because it's right about the time CNN and other cable outlets began giving audiences more viewing options. Today we live in a multi-channel cable and satellite universe, not to mention other choices such as DVD rentals and pay-per-view. Audiences now have hundreds of choices, making the Super Bowl just another spot on the remote. (During the Super Bowl on Sunday one cable channel offered back-to-back viewings of the movie Beaches; how's that for counter-programming?).

Because of all those options, sports television ratings have been declining for years. The NCAA basketball tournament, the World Series, the NBA Finals and other signature events have all seen ratings declines. The Super Bowl is somewhat immune because it has become an unofficial American holiday, but remember that the total number watching generally tends to go up because the total U.S. population keeps increasing.

What drives sports ratings today are compelling story lines, which Super Bowl XLI seemed to have. Two fresh teams, Peyton Manning's popularity, and a major-market audience in Chicago helped attract audiences. But when sport events don't have that (like last year's World Series) the ratings tend to sink dramatically.

CBS should be happy with the ratings, but it should also be aware that it may have caught lightning in a bottle.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Super Bowl XLI ... and III

No official television ratings in yet for Sunday's Super Bowl, but most industry experts expect strong numbers. I may be in the minority, but I actually think they'll hold steady or even go down. More on that when the numbers become available.

I hope you got the chance to see the NFL Network's replay of the entire Super Bowl III (Colts-Jets) telecast Saturday night. Two things stood out after watching this wonderful piece of sports media history--

Today's technology is obviously light-years ahead of 1969. The NBC telecast was fairly primitive, with very few camera angles and almost no replays. Back then, just having the game in color (or "living color" as the announcers kept saying) was a feat. It's staggering to think of the technological advances that have been made in sports media the past four decades.

But the other key point is this: great technology doesn't necessarily make for a better product or viewing experience. The NBC pre-game show lasted about 15 minutes and contained only brief interviews with players. Contrast that to yesterday's pre-game shows, some of which began 8 hours before kickoff. NBC's coverage of the game was understated and straight to the point. The announcers (headlined by legendary broadcaster Curt Gowdy) described and analyzed the action on the field, and didn't try to sell anything or hype NBC's evening lineup. Halftime was a marching band and an on-field interview with Bob Hope.

In short, NBC covered a football game. Last night, CBS broadcast an event. For those of us who still watch sports on television for the game, the visit to Super Bowl III Saturday night was well worth the trip.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Sports value and branding

Two days before Super Bowl XLI, Forbes magazine has ranked the most valuable sports brands in the world. The Super Bowl is #1 followed by the summer Olympics and the World Cup. That may come as a bit of a surprise, considering the Super Bowl is mainly an American phenomenon and not a worldwide mega-event like the Olympics or World Cup.

What's interesting is how Forbes made its evaluations. Commercial inventory was a big reason. In other words, advertising is still king and sports properties are valuable because the media (especially television) make them valuable. Feel free to pass that along to anyone (including department chairs and deans) who wonder why we think studying sports media is important.