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Sport and Media Nexus

Introduction

Sport and media nexus refers to the relationship between the sport and media industries. These two industries have tremendously evolved in the 21st century and have resulted in many sporting organizations seeking media partnerships that deliver revenues through broadcast rights and sponsorship (Baschke, 1998). However, not all sports is media related. For a sport to receive media coverage and in return be of benefit to the media it needs to be physical, competitive and must be structured and rule bound. For instance football world cup played every four years has been receiving extensive media coverage and in return brings in revenues through massive audiences its able to pull (Auguet, 2000).

The media covers stories from wide range of sources. Information normally arrives in the newsroom from a wide range of sources and it’s up to the news editor to select and filter this material to determine what is actually newsworthy. News agencies like sports teams are always in constant competition with each other and therefore the news editor must highlight news that is of greatest interest to the audience or readers. A news editor follows certain guidelines that determine the worthiness of news and the prominence it receives. These values allows journalist to be able to filter quickly, process and select news from all the sources.

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The values are categorized into three:

Impact

The story is gauged on how great an impact its gong to have when it’s presented so the bigger an impact a story has, the more people it affects and the more resources it involves, the better the chances it will have to hit the airwaves. The frequency of a story is also checked. The more frequent a story occurs the less likely its going to hit the newsstands. News like murders natural disasters whose occurrence is sudden are more likely to be reported unlike stories occurring gradually or during odd times of the day or night. Bad news such as murders, violence, natural disasters, tragedy among others are more likely to be reported because they create a greater impact than good news. They normally score high in terms of news value such as threshold, unexpectedness and meaningfulness. A story that happens suddenly is also more likely to be reported than one occurring on a daily basis. It is that aspect of unexpectedness that creates an impact. A story that is also less ambiguous is more likely to be reported than one that is ambiguous. Events that are easily understood at first glance are better reported the one that requires interpretations (Gialoures, 2009).

Audience Identification

This relates to how well the audience identifies with the stories. People are normally interested in other peoples stories especially the celebrities. These kinds of stories are likely to make the front page. A story is also rated on how well the audience identifies with the story. A news editor will choose a story that the audience targeted identifies with, a story that has a meaning to that audience for instance cultural practices of a particular community. A story is also rated in reference to elite nations and elite persons. Famous and rich people receive more coverage from the infamous ones and poor

Pragmatic of Media coverage

This relates to consonance, continuity and composition of a story. The composition of a story matters when it comes to choosing a newsworthy event. The prominence a story receives depends on the value of the story and those of competing stories. The continuity of a story is also considered when choosing a newsworthy event. A running story gathers momentum quickly and is well accessible to the public. It is less likely that a story will have all these qualities but when a news editor chooses a story its mostly based on most of these factors which are applied across a range of print, broadcast and online news world wide.

Sport writing

Once news has been determined newsworthy, it has to be written in a form that is well understood by the audience. Sport media text is anything in visual or audio presented as Sports to the audience. This may be in form of a billboard, a live broadcast or a pop song written and performed by a famous person. Text is constructed by journalists, producers, commentators and it normally refers to a wide variety of people and events. It is therefore subject to many interpretive possibilities by readers and viewers who have unique ways of interpreting text. Sport text can influence how people view the world around them. The way a text is constructed influence how people interpret it for instance if the headline of a newspaper is bold and depending on how the text is constructed may cause anxiety to the reader which eventually affects any reading to the story.

Some of the devices used by media to construct sport text and make them meaningful and entertaining are narrative, personalization and nationalism. Newspapers make use of familiar narratives in order that they are easily understood by the audience. Sport writing has various features that contribute to how text is constructed. There are four different modes of sport writing; hard news, soft news orthodox rhetoric and reflexive analysis. Hard news often is a mirror of the front page and it normally appears on the back page. It adheres to the principle of neutrality, balance and accuracy. The editorial comment is subordinated while the who, what, when and how is greatly emphasized invoking a sense of authority and naturalization.

Sporting Media Strategies

Sporting media nexus is highly competitive and requires proper planning for both sides failure to which massive losses in terms of revenues is experienced. Sport industry has evolved as a big business and the need for highly skilled communications professionals has increased especially now that technology has made communication easier. Sporting organizations have found the need to effectively plan their communication plans for their success. In the past, communication was limited to a few print media but the evolution of sports has seen sport organizations employing professionals to communicate messages to various individuals and groups with interests in the organizations (Balsdon, 2001). Currently, sport organizations use strategic marketing approaches like advertising, public relations and direct marketing to communicate messages to the various stakeholders. Communicating directly with the media houses can take many forms.

Press releases

This is the basic mechanism used by organizations to let people know what the organization is doing. Press releases are normally sent out to editors and reporters and are written in standard inverted style of pyramid with the most important issues being in the first paragraph (Gardiner, 1997).

Press conferences

These are organized when there are major announcements to be made that a press release is not sufficient. Press conferences are normally arranged in specific location and the media is invited (Golden, 2004).

The media guides

Media guide is information given to reporters on television and radio reporters whenever a new season begins. The publication contains all the information that a reporter needs to now about an organization. It must be created and distributed before the season begins (Drees, 2001).

Photography

This is also another form of communication used by sport organizations. A photographer is hired who is able to attend all the teams’ events including games, press conferences, selected practice games which require photo capturing.These photos are then posted on the internet or printed on print media (Decker, 1992).

Video media release

This is mostly done for television. It is a written story that is summarized or press release.

Public and community relations

Sport organizations also use public and community relations as a way of communicating with their fans. Most public relations activities are undertaken not only for publicity but to also serve the community (Butler, 2005). Such activities are normally covered by the media in the hope that they will portray the organization positively. Community relation is a common public relations practice that is being used by most organization. This includes the development of substantive programs that benefit charitable causes as well as educational and outreach programs that benefit the community where the organization operates. This provides an opportunity for the players and the organization to give back to the communities in which they live and work (Balsdon, 2001).

Interviews

Sport organizations generate publicity also form interviews. These are arranged question and answer session organized by the media with the aim of gathering information to present to the media. This is normally done with general managers, coaches, athletes or president. It provides an insight to announcements, events and also provides an avenue to communicate key messages to the audience. Integrated marketing communication is also another tool used by organization in sport media it involves advertising, media planning and direct marketing (Buchanan, 1992).

Advertising

This is a controlled method of communication through the media that guarantees space and media coverage. Advertisement is information that is placed in the media by sponsors who have paid for space and coverage. It guarantees adequate publicity but does not guarantee trust and believe from the audience. The two types of ads are image ads that enhance the image of the brand and call to action ads e.g. buying of tickets (Baitsch et al., 1998).

Media planning

This involves choosing the correct medium to place an advertisement on e that has a wide scope of coverage. Advertising is expensive and therefore the right medium must be chosen to ensure its success (Barton, 1993).

Direct Marketing

This involves proper planning and outlining the right market. Many sporting organization are using this method to reach their fans since its faster cost effective and the response rate is higher compared to other forms of communication. The relationship between sport and media has been one of mutual benefit to each other. The media has transformed the sport industry from amateur unregulated activities to highly commercialized field that delivers massive audiences and revenues to the media .As such there is need to keep managing the relationship since the two industries are bound together.