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Touchdowns to TV

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In this research paper I explore former male athletes, specifically professional football players entering local journalism. Research paired with interviews in regards to the topic explain why there are nearly 10 former NFL players in local markets where an NFL

In this research paper I explore former male athletes, specifically professional football players entering local journalism. Research paired with interviews in regards to the topic explain why there are nearly 10 former NFL players in local markets where an NFL team is present, and why local journalists along with future journalists should not be worried about the number of former male athletes in local journalism. The paper also dives into the side-by-side statistics of why there is significantly more former college athletes in local journalism than former NFL players. The research focused on more than 100 television stations, revealing that 100 former or current collegiate or pro athletes are journalists for local stations where an NFL team is present. The data is solely reliant on the information that the journalists provided in their bios on the station websites. This could be seen as a possible limitation, however, the likelihood of these journalists either lying or not identifying as a former athlete is minimal due to the size of the accomplishment of actually participating in college as an athlete. The basis of my research is to figure out if former NFL players and former athletes in general are taking journalism jobs from aspiring journalists. I conclude that future journalists are not at risk of losing jobs when it comes to retired football players entering the field of local journalism. With that said, aspiring journalists need to continue to develop their social media skills to compete with athletes’ audiences on social networks.

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2019-05

Student-Athlete: A Look Into the Conversation Surrounding Compensation for NCAA Competitors

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This thesis examines the ongoing debate/discussion surrounding the compensation of NCAA student-athletes. While some athletes receive full academic scholarships in addition to other perks that non-athletes might not receive, this makes one wonder if the compensation programs and protocols in

This thesis examines the ongoing debate/discussion surrounding the compensation of NCAA student-athletes. While some athletes receive full academic scholarships in addition to other perks that non-athletes might not receive, this makes one wonder if the compensation programs and protocols in place are fair, particularly considering the large sums of money athletes generate for their respective universities. Through lengthy interviews with two former Division I athletes, an associate athletic director at a major university, and a journalist who has covered this polarizing topic since some of its earliest milestones, we have covered both sides of this debate in the hope that the audience can take that information and form their own, thoughtful opinions. In addition to the interviews conducted during the process of writing this paper, we also conducted an extensive literature review of some of the most in-depth stories about the major milestones in the history of this discussion. While there may not be an amicable solution, knowledge and information constitutes the most powerful element that seems to largely be missing, often replaced by emotion. We seek to contribute to the solution by showing the human side of the debate and laying out exactly what is at stake before offering what we think, after this entire process, could be the answer. The issue is explored in more depth with supplemental podcasts submitted to Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University.

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2019-05

Student-Athlete: A Look Into the Conversation Surrounding Compensation for NCAA Competitors

Description

This thesis examines the ongoing debate/discussion surrounding the compensation of NCAA student-athletes. While some athletes receive full academic scholarships in addition to other perks that non-athletes might not receive, this makes one wonder if the compensation programs and protocols in

This thesis examines the ongoing debate/discussion surrounding the compensation of NCAA student-athletes. While some athletes receive full academic scholarships in addition to other perks that non-athletes might not receive, this makes one wonder if the compensation programs and protocols in place are fair, particularly considering the large sums of money athletes generate for their respective universities. Through lengthy interviews with two former Division I athletes, an associate athletic director at a major university, and a journalist who has covered this polarizing topic since some of its earliest milestones, we have covered both sides of this debate in the hope that the audience can take that information and form their own, thoughtful opinions. In addition to the interviews conducted during the process of writing this paper, we also conducted an extensive literature review of some of the most in-depth stories about the major milestones in the history of this discussion. While there may not be an amicable solution, knowledge and information constitutes the most powerful element that seems to largely be missing, often replaced by emotion. We seek to contribute to the solution by showing the human side of the debate and laying out exactly what is at stake before offering what we think, after this entire process, could be the answer. The issue is explored in more depth with supplemental podcasts submitted to Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University.

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2019-05

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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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Date Created
2018-05

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Hockey in Kiwi Land

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Ice hockey is a minority sport in New Zealand, but many people are dedicating their lives to grow its popularity in the country. Hockey in Kiwi Land: Exploring the Ice Hockey Culture of New Zealand presents the voices of those

Ice hockey is a minority sport in New Zealand, but many people are dedicating their lives to grow its popularity in the country. Hockey in Kiwi Land: Exploring the Ice Hockey Culture of New Zealand presents the voices of those involved in the country’s largest city, Auckland, and their efforts in the country’s highest league. The New Zealand Ice Hockey League is made up of people of different backgrounds, including fathers, teenagers, university students, full-time workers, and Canadians. Information on ice hockey’s culture was found through spending a week in Auckland and interviewing different people involved with the West Auckland Admirals, the defending champion at the time. The information was then created into a website that displays both a written and visual component. The photo stories were made to capture the physical aspect of a game that wants to dominate in a country obsessed with rugby. The interviews capture why those born in New Zealand love ice hockey and what needs to change to promote the sport better. Many in the league came from ice hockey haven Canada, and they provided insight on the differences they noticed between New Zealand and North America. The project taught me more about New Zealand’s ice hockey programs and how they differ from those in North America. The interviews showed that while the sport will be a minority in the country for the next few years, it will continue to grow through the joint efforts of international and New Zealand-born players giving back.

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Date Created
2020-05

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

Description

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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Date Created
2017-05

We Are Spartan

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This thesis looks into the world of Spartan races and the ties it has with Ancient Sparta. Spartan races are just one variation of the rapidly growing sport of Obstacle Course Racing (OCR). An application was submitted in 2017 to

This thesis looks into the world of Spartan races and the ties it has with Ancient Sparta. Spartan races are just one variation of the rapidly growing sport of Obstacle Course Racing (OCR). An application was submitted in 2017 to add obstacle course racing to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, but was denied at the time. The world of Spartan racing was introduced to me by Luis Camacho and Daniele Ippoliti. In February 2017, I followed Camacho and Ippoliti as they went on to tackle the Spartan Sprint. I was curious as to what the rapidly evolving sport entailed and how it got started. Through my research I discovered that the Spartan brand offers more races than just the three commonly known races that make up the Trifecta. The Spartan series also offers many endurance challenges. While looking into the endurance challenges, I discovered a direct tie to Ancient Sparta. The hardest challenge offered by the Spartan brand is the Spartan Agoge. Spartan Race founder and CEO, Joe De Sena, created the Spartan Agoge in an attempt to bring the Ancient Spartan philosophy to modern times. Ancient Sparta is known for their military and strict training system, which is called the Agoge. "We Are Spartan" takes a look into the way of life for the ancient Spartans and how it came to life in Joe De Sena's creation of the modern day Spartan Agoge. We Are Spartan is part of the Spartan mission statement that "We are Spartans on and off the course."

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2017-12

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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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Date Created
2018-05

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Soccer and Coverage by American Sports Media

Description

This study utilized a literature review and an analysis of Google Trends and Google News data in order to investigate the coverage that American men’s soccer gets from the media compared to that given to other major American sports. The

This study utilized a literature review and an analysis of Google Trends and Google News data in order to investigate the coverage that American men’s soccer gets from the media compared to that given to other major American sports. The literature review called upon a variety of peer-reviewed, scholarly entries, as well as journalistic articles and stories, to holistically argue that soccer receives short-sighted coverage from the American media. This section discusses topics such as import substitution, stardom, and American exceptionalism. The Google analysis consisted of 30 specific comparisons in which one American soccer player was compared to another athlete playing in one of America’s major sports leagues. These comparisons allowed for concrete measurements in the difference in popularity and coverage between soccer players and their counterparts. Overall, both the literature review and Google analysis yielded firm and significant evidence that the American media’s coverage of soccer is lopsided, and that they do play a role in the sport’s difficulty to become popular in the American mainstream.

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Date Created
2021-05

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How analytics have shaped the past, present and future of sports journalism

Description

Analytics has transformed many of the core principles of sports journalism, forcing journalists to work smarter, harder and more creatively than ever before. Yet reporters today are uniquely prepared to navigate the constantly evolving world of journalism, as they now

Analytics has transformed many of the core principles of sports journalism, forcing journalists to work smarter, harder and more creatively than ever before. Yet reporters today are uniquely prepared to navigate the constantly evolving world of journalism, as they now find themselves armed with a plethora of statistics and data that allow storytelling at depths never previously imagined. In interviews with those at the cutting edge of the industry, journalists from around the country imparted insight into how they work to blend new age thinking with time-tested methods of journalism. This thesis expands on those insights and examines the strategies employed to best attack questions of how to best integrate analytics into writing, what role analytics should play in interviews, how to find stories using analytics and others.

The process to answer these questions began by compiling a list of 166 journalists who could provide valuable insight into the current state of sports journalism. Targeted specifically were those journalists who were either currently or had spent extensive time as a beat reporter, as a crucial aspect of the study hinged on the exploration of the role of analytics in day-to-day coverage. Of those 166 journalists, 93 made themselves available through either Twitter direct message or email. Once contacted, 47 of those journalists responded, eventually leading to 27 phone interviews and 7 email interviews.

Each interview began with the journalist establishing a baseline for what they thought the role of analytics should be in the coverage of their respective sports. From there, the conversation often took a linear turn as journalists talked about the experiences in their career that led them to that conclusion, what moments had shifted their overall opinions of analytics, their best approaches for utilizing analytics in both articles and interviews, their favorite and least favorite analytical measures, the gaps that remain in analytics, and the future of the industry as a whole.

Each interview was transcribed, and a number of compelling themes emerged. The many different themes were organized into three different groups, past, present and future, where they were further expanded on to best display the many concepts illustrated in this thesis. Among the themes explored include how journalists use coaches and players to validate statistics, what strategies work best when including analytics in conversations with athletes, how to find story ideas through analytics and the issues plaguing the analytics community. Once themes had been identified, the percentage of journalists who had indicated agreement with the themes were calculated. Thus, themes investigated were represented statistically as well as by a quote from a journalist addressing the idea.

Across 34 interviews with some of the country’s most established and well-respected voices, many of the pressing issues facing analytics in sports journalism today were explored, including the melding of analytical and narrative writing, how best to use analytics in question asking, and the “holy grail” of analytical data. Across interviews, a host of interesting strategies and ideas emerged as journalists examined how the industry reached its current point, what practices are currently most effective, and where the industry is headed. The perspective gained from this thesis gives insight into many of the lesser-discussed elements of journalism, imparting a deeper understanding of the challenges that lay ahead for sports journalism through an examination for how far the industry has come. While analytics and their usage in sports journalism remains a difficult concept to fully encapsulate, this thesis hopefully gives a better look at their complex and ever-evolving relationship.

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2020-05