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American Football's Popularity Problem and What it means for the Future of Rugby

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Since the 1960's, the sport of American football has maintained its stranglehold as the most popular sport in the United States. Both in viewership and participation, football has a massive lead on all other sports, but as of late many

Since the 1960's, the sport of American football has maintained its stranglehold as the most popular sport in the United States. Both in viewership and participation, football has a massive lead on all other sports, but as of late many factors have led some to believe that trouble could be on the horizon. With various issues including head injuries, player protests, and television viewership decline plaguing football and its professional league, the NFL, the door could be open for another collision sport from across the pond to surge in popularity: rugby. Played in 119 countries by millions of people, rugby is currently one of the most popular sports in the world, but because of American football's dominance in the U.S. it has yet to really find its footing here; however, despite its popularity paling in comparison to football, rugby is actually the single fastest-growing sport in the U.S. Both sports share some strong similarities, and with football facing a myriad of issues, there is real reason to believe that rugby could be on the rise while football could continue to falter. By reading through articles and statistics on the subject, this thesis was divided into four main analysis topics to compare and contrast the two sports: injury problems and how they affect viewership and participation, international following for each respective sport, culture around the games themselves and how it could appeal to American viewers, and potential for growth domestically. By examining these factors within both sports, I was able to come to the conclusion that rugby's potential to take hold in the U.S. is growing, and in the coming years as American football's safety and importance continue to be called into question, rugby could one day even supplant football as the most popular collision sport in the country.

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2018-05

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Coverage of The Cape Cod Baseball League: Past, Present, and Future

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As the premier colligate summer league in the country, the Cape Cod Baseball League has operated since 1885 and has seen over one thousand all-time alumni step foot in professional baseball. Every season, each of the CCBL's ten teams call

As the premier colligate summer league in the country, the Cape Cod Baseball League has operated since 1885 and has seen over one thousand all-time alumni step foot in professional baseball. Every season, each of the CCBL's ten teams call upon some of the nation's top aspiring sports broadcasters, writers, and social media managers to spearhead the coverage of the league and tell the stories of the summer. However, while the season offers hours of repetition and exposure to players and journalists alike, the league's coverage capabilities fall short of its high potential due to inconsistencies and inadequacies that restrain its media content from matching the level of baseball that takes place on the field. Through the identification of specific problems within the league's broadcast equipment, its varying platforms, and its growing gap between individual coverage teams, this thesis offers both short-term and long-term solutions that aim to raise the standards and capabilities of league content while also raising awareness of the issue itself. While considering the Cape Cod League's unique non-profit business model and its most recent financial situation, this thesis also illustrates opportunities within fundraising events, the league's online audience, and its vast alumni network that can create a sustainable business plan for the near and distant future of the Cape Cod Broadcast Network.

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2018-05

Basketball Analytics: How We Got Here and Where We're Going

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Basketball has been evolving since its inception during the winter of 1891. A myriad of factors have played into its growth and evolution over time, among them being the subject of this paper: the integration of advanced statistics and analytics.

Basketball has been evolving since its inception during the winter of 1891. A myriad of factors have played into its growth and evolution over time, among them being the subject of this paper: the integration of advanced statistics and analytics. Taking inspiration from baseball's analytics revolution, a sport that is vastly different from basketball, coaches and statisticians began to innovate new ways to evaluate teams and players outside of the constraints of the traditional basketball box score. In recent decades, their work has spread throughout the basketball community, and now both fans and team front offices alike have found value in the application of empirical analysis to professional basketball. The effects of their work have emerged with the passage of time, and can be seen both on and off the court. Through advanced analytics, players and teams have shifted their focus towards efficient play, which has resulted in the exploitation of the very geometry of the basketball court itself. Recent technological innovations look to push this trend into a new era, and hint at the future of the sports fan experience. In short, basketball has not had a strong relationship with statistics. Early basketball statistics were born out of convenience, and over time the statisticians of the sport introduced new ways to quantify team and player performances. This paper looks to examine this progression over time, and show that advanced statistics and analytics have firmly planted themselves in the way basketball is viewed, evaluated, and covered.

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2017-05

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Analyzing the Brand Personalities and Social Media Practices of College Athletic Twitter Accounts

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This study examined the brand personality types and social media practices of six college athletic Twitter accounts. Specifically, this study investigated whether certain brand personalities corresponded with specific social media practices on Twitter. The author conducted a content analysis of

This study examined the brand personality types and social media practices of six college athletic Twitter accounts. Specifically, this study investigated whether certain brand personalities corresponded with specific social media practices on Twitter. The author conducted a content analysis of each school's tweets to measure brand personality and scraped data in order to collect social media practice information. Results suggest that brand personality and social media practices are distinct. Extraversion was the most common personality type among all schools. In addition, schools that tweeted less frequently than others exhibited more brand personality and used more visual media.

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2018-05

Dazed & Confused: Using Science to Diagnose concussions

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Abstract My documentary is about the concussion detection study with Arizona State Football, Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), Riddell and the Barrow Neurological Institute. Football players voluntarily participate in the study that aims to identify a biomarker released from the

Abstract My documentary is about the concussion detection study with Arizona State Football, Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), Riddell and the Barrow Neurological Institute. Football players voluntarily participate in the study that aims to identify a biomarker released from the brain to identify if a player has suffered from a concussion. The study uses blood, urine and saliva samples, along with head impact data from Riddell's Sideline Response System. The study is also focusing on the impact of sub-concussive hits and the effects. According to the Barrow Neurological Institute, 84% of respondents believe concussions are "a serious medical condition," and a third of Valley parents will not let their children play football. I interviewed an ASU football player who participated in the study and found out about his experiences with concussions. The severity of concussions has received a lot of attention in recent years, and this study hopes to mitigate concussions symptoms and the fear of concussions. According to the 2015 NFL Health and Safety Report, since 2012 the NFL reported concussions were down by 35%. I interviewed the TGen leaders of the study and the neurologist at the Barrow Concussion and Brain Injury center involved in the study to find out how they plan to find a biomarker and use it to develop an objective way to diagnose concussions. An example of a possible objective test is a mouthguard that changes from clear to blue after a player sustained a hit that resulted in a concussion. The 2015-2016 ASU football season marked the study's third year of research. At the time of my documentary, the study had no timeline to release data.

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Date Created
2016-05

On Deck: Inside the Arizona Fall League

Description

Each year, a select few minor league baseball players are chosen to attend the Arizona Fall League, a development league within Major League Baseball that hones the next generation of players, coaches, managers, and even umpires. These players make u

Each year, a select few minor league baseball players are chosen to attend the Arizona Fall League, a development league within Major League Baseball that hones the next generation of players, coaches, managers, and even umpires. These players make up the top talent currently in the minor leagues from each of Major League Baseball's 30 organizations. Of the thousands in the minors, just seven players from each organization can go to this extra six-week season, and learn to play alongside the best future talent the sport has to offer. On Deck: Inside the Arizona Fall League is a short documentary that looks at some of these players, as they continue their baseball journey that they hope leads them one day to the Majors. The documentary can be viewed online at https://youtu.be/jkggYiDtn14 or nicolesheraefox.com

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2016-05

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A comparative study of four factors of fan attendance for the three Arizona sports teams

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Sports teams are an integral part of a city. They attract revenue to the area around the stadium and they also give a city a sense of pride. The aim of this study was to determine what makes a team

Sports teams are an integral part of a city. They attract revenue to the area around the stadium and they also give a city a sense of pride. The aim of this study was to determine what makes a team successful in the area of attendance using four factors (Bernthal & Graham; Jensen; Kim, Trail & Magnusen; Edensor & Millington; Clowes & Tapp; Greenhalgh & Greenwell; Denaux & Yalcin; Paul & Weinbach & Robbins; Levin & McDonald; Lee & Kang; Drayer; L'Etang; McDonald & Rascher; Armstrong; Ross): the history of the team, the location and population of the city where the team plays, the social media following of the team and the promotional giveaways the team uses to attract fans. Using these four factors, a comparison was made among the Arizona teams and the top performing team in attendance in the respective leagues during the 2013 season. The Arizona Diamondbacks are compared with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Diamondbacks were not as equipped as the Dodgers in any of the categories. There is a more storied history for the Dodgers, the Dodgers play in Los Angeles - a significantly larger city that Phoenix, where the Arizona Diamondbacks play, they use social media more frequently and more effectively, and they offer more promotional giveaways than the Diamondbacks. The Phoenix Suns are compared to the Chicago Bulls. The Suns history competes with the Bulls, but they lack in the other three categories. The Bulls have a better location in Chicago, their stadium is located in the downtown area; they have a massive social media following and their promotional giveaways are more substantial. The Phoenix Coyotes are compared to the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks exceeded in all of the categories, while the Coyotes were poor performers in each of the four factors. The Blackhawks have a storied history, they share a stadium with the Bulls, they have a great social media following and they give promotional items away 30 of the 41 home games. The overall recommendations for the teams are to win, in order to help build their locations and make it fun to be near the downtown area, to use social media effectively and engage with their audience, and finally to provide more promotional giveaways to attract people to the games.

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2014-05

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The Obstacles of Building a Successful NBA Franchise

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When I was unsure of what my thesis project would be, the professor of my thesis prep class, Jill Johnson, recommended that I choose a topic that I am passionate about. Immediately, my mind went to basketball and the NBA,

When I was unsure of what my thesis project would be, the professor of my thesis prep class, Jill Johnson, recommended that I choose a topic that I am passionate about. Immediately, my mind went to basketball and the NBA, the business and operations side of things to be specific. Initially, this research paper was going to look into market size and how those teams in a smaller market made their money and ran their teams. It was to focus on some of the more successful franchises that come from smaller markets, as well as those franchises that have been historically unsuccessful. However, the kind of data that I was looking for on market sizes was not very available. So I ended up focusing almost exclusively on the operations side of things. I wanted to see if there was one strategy for building a team that had proven to be more successful than others. I was not sure what sort of answers I would find, but I knew that there had to be some useful data that had yet to be discovered. I settled on researching the success of teams that build primarily using players they drafted versus teams that were built primarily through trades and free agent signings. I also wanted to illuminate the difficulties that front offices, particularly those in smaller markets, face when building a franchise. I chose to focus on things such as the luxury tax and betting on the wrong players. This paper went a lot of different directions before it became what it did. I want to thank all of those who helped me, particularly my director Tim McGuire, my second reader Peter Bhatia and Jill Johnson for helping me get started on the most intimidating, yet rewarding, project that I have ever been a part of.

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2015-05

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ASU Olympians: Dissecting their Psyche

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The research and work that allowed my thesis creative project to come to fruition were tokens of a truly enlightening experience. My thesis is entitled, ASU Olympians: Dissecting their Psyche, and delves into three main topics that blanket all eight

The research and work that allowed my thesis creative project to come to fruition were tokens of a truly enlightening experience. My thesis is entitled, ASU Olympians: Dissecting their Psyche, and delves into three main topics that blanket all eight of the subjects that I interviewed. The first topic encompasses the idea that Athletic Director Ray Anderson is constantly trying to expand the Olympic culture within ASU Athletics. The second topic is the fact that competing in the Olympics changes an athlete's trajectory whether they medal or not. The third topic focuses on the physical and mental toll the Games take on these athletes. I designed an interactive website to showcase these topics. In it, there are interactive features from up-and-coming applications such as a 360-degree photo from Bubbli, an infographic from Venngage and a timeline from Timeglider. I have written four long-form stories on marathoner Amy Hastings Cragg, swimmer Richard Bohus, high-jumper Bryan McBride and water polo defender Gao Ao. To enhance these ideas further, I created four videos: One about future ASU volunteer coach Michael Phelps, another on current ASU Swim & Dive Coach Bob Bowman, another on Ao to go along with her story and finally a one-on-one with Ray Anderson as the centerpiece to my project. Every piece of this website fits together to communicate one overarching message: The Olympics leave a massive impact on the ASU athletes that compete in them and an impact that each of these athlete's find an interesting story to tell in its wake.

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Date Created
2016-05

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The NBA Competition Comittee: How the rules change the game we watch today

Description

Sports is a business. Basketball is no different. Every rule change that has been enacted in the history of the game has been to make the game more exciting because that makes people buy tickets and helps the franchise's bottom

Sports is a business. Basketball is no different. Every rule change that has been enacted in the history of the game has been to make the game more exciting because that makes people buy tickets and helps the franchise's bottom line. I delve into the history of the rule changes and submit my own rule changes to make the game more exciting.

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2013-12