The sports industry and the media that cover it have a symbiotic relationship that requires both parties to work cooperatively to disseminate information about an organization and the accomplishments of its teams and individuals.
You can develop a better understanding of sports media including the role that technology plays in sports communications through a course taught in Arkansas State University’s online Master of Science (M.S.) in Sport Administration program called Sport Communications.
Understanding the Media’s Role in the Sports Business
The relationship between the sports industry and sports media is built on a co-dependent foundation in which each entity relies on the other to achieve its goals. Sports media gets the content they need to attract an audience that is popular with advertisers who then pay for space to promote their own businesses on sports websites and in traditional print outlets. The sports industry also provides programming for television, radio and other digital outlets that generate even more advertising revenue through on-air advertisements and sponsorships.
In return, sports franchises and organizations get the media exposure they need to bring more attention to their programs. That can lead to more revenue through increased ticket sales along with merchandising and sponsorship opportunities for both professional organizations and college and university programs.
Programs also benefit financially through the sale of media rights. And professional athletes have long capitalized on the media use of their “names, images and likeness” (NIL) to make money. Well-known athletes are central to marketing strategies and campaigns of all types, from to TV advertising and personal appearances.
Plus, with a 2021 NCAA rule change and a succession of new state laws, many college athletes can now take advantage of NIL-based income opportunities. Business Insider notes that while some of the best-known college athletes have since “scored deals worth five or six figures,” many have cashed in on the NIL “gold rush” in smaller ways as social media influencers or in NIL promotions with local businesses.
The “Flutie” Effect
In 1984, Boston College’s Doug Flutie completed a last-second “Hail Mary” pass to make a dramatic comeback. Within two years, Boston College experienced a distinct increase in undergraduate applications. This phenomenon became known as , and athletic programs became the main advertising focal points and sources of exposure for many U.S. schools. Other examples of the Flutie Effect include:
- A 45% increase in applications at Georgetown University during a four-year run of national success by the university’s basketball program from 1983 to 1986
- A 21% increase in applications at Northwestern University after the school won a Big Ten championship
Communicating With the Sports Media
Most professional sports organizations have a media relations department, and colleges and universities may refer to it as media relations or sports information. Regardless of the name, the function is similar, and these departments often help shape the coverage of their programs by issuing press releases and assisting the media with biographical information and photos of athletes being covered by the media.
The role of the sports information director is one of many interesting that M.S. in sports administration graduates are well equipped to pursue. Job site outlines some of the other media-related duties of an organization’s sports information director, including:
- Creating media guides for various sports
- Issuing press credentials
- Supplying in-game statistics
- Coordinating interviews and press conferences
It’s clear that traditional sports media will continue to be an essential part of any sports organization’s strategy for communicating with the public.
The Arkansas State University (A-State) online M.S. in Sport Administration, with its course Sport Communications, is one way you can of the sports media landscape and implement effective communication strategies.
Learn more about the A-State online Master of Science in Sport Administration program.