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User’s Perceptions of Social Media Coverage of Sports Activities: a Case Study of Facebook

 

Abstract

This study was on Users perceptions of social media coverage of sports activities: A case study of Facebook. Three objectives were raised which included: To ascertain how facebook facilitate sports activities in Nigeria, to find out the perception of facebook users on interactivity and behavior toward sport activities and to find out which critical factors inhibit effective use of facebook coverage for sports activities in Nigeria. The total population for the study is 63 selected facebook users in Ikeja, Lagos state. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies. Study recommended that there should be increased enlightenment and education of the public on the potentials or imperatives of social media for sports communication and There should be adequate social media facilities and affordable service charges by providers.

 

Chapter one

Introduction

1.1Background of the study

The rapid technological advancements in the past decade have accelerated the scope, magnitude, and penetration of social media’s reach. Faster Internet broadband, easily accessible portable devices, large digital data storage possibilities, and global interconnectedness have all fast-tracked the growth and expansion of social media. The past decade has seen the emergence of a range of platforms (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, SnapChat, Weibo, TikTok) that are used by various entities (e.g., individuals, groups, businesses, governments) for different purposes (e.g., sport, education, politics, social movement, health ect). During this period, the social media platforms themselves have evolved. Whether serving as simple mediums for information exchange and staying in touch with people or providing venues on which events are live streamed, these platforms provide a place for influencers to endorse products, news stories to break, sponsored ads to appear in our newsfeeds, and photo editing to take place (tasks that are no longer left to professionals). The online atmosphere has transformed how different entities create, share, and consume information (Abeza, G. 2019)

The intertwined relationship between sports and media coverage has been a popular topic among previous studies. There is no doubt that sports events and activities are prevalent in our modern society. For example, Olympics games, NBA, and other sports games can be seen on daily newspaper, websites, television, and even social media nowadays. The extent of the media impact is far beyond athletes and sports teams, it also includes the spectators and the business world (Beck & Bosshart, 2003). In light of the influences of sports and the portrayal of media coverage on sports, this study aims to analyze the roles of media in sports, methodological development of media coverage on sports, negative and positive impacts of media on sports and society, and the implications of previous research studies. With modern examples and the findings from research journals, readers can have more insights into the delicate balance between sports and media coverage.

It’s known that media serves as an entertainment for the public and allows people to enjoy the excitements of sports activities regardless of their locations. (Marwat, Waseem, Khattak, Abbas, & Bi Bi, 2014). Also, mass media acts as a vehicle that carries different sports information and a mode that shapes audiences’ attitudes toward gender roles and gender relations. For example, media differentiates sports suitable for males and female based on the ideology of hegemonic masculinity. (Pedersen, 2003). In addition, Marwat et al. (2014) noted that famous athletes often become the role models in the society, which explains why outstanding player like Kobe Bryant is often admired by young kids who want to model after his performances on the basketball field. What’s more, beyond the field, audiences get to know the countries because of the representation of famous athletes in the media (Marwat et al., 2014). Some examples include tennis player Roger Federer from Switzerland, soccer player Neymar from Brazil, sprinter Usain Bolt from Jamaica, and female golfer Yani Tseng from Taiwan. Taking economic aspect into account, media helps advertise major sports events and promote the sports industry, which is considered a growing business in the marketing world. (Beck & Bosshart, 2003). In fact, sports sponsoring and owning rights for live transmission in international sports events such as Olympic Games generate large revenues for media companies. (Beck & Bosshart, 2003). On the one hand, media benefits from reporting sports games; on the other, media engages more audiences into the world of sports. Therefore, in this sense, media and sports are interdependent. Media coverage on sports events also creates a common topic for people interested in sports to join the conversation and adds some thrills (e.g. your favorite team wins the champion) in our mediocre lives (Beck & Bosshart, 2003).

Based on the background the researcher wants to investigate Users perceptions of social media coverage of sports activities: A case study of Facebook.

Statement of the problem

Martin (2012) sheds light on the relationship between social media usage and sports brand loyalty by looking at the social identity theory, the concept that one identifies others in the same social group as “us.” The transparency of the players’ personal information on social media such as Facebook helps build up the connection and interpersonal relationship with fans. The study implied that socializing with fans by responding the comments and providing more information related to teams on social media can strengthen the fans’ loyalty and increase the sense of belonging (Martin, 2012). In addition, fans identify players as human brand and show their supports by ‘liking’ or ‘following’ their favorite team and players on Facebook. Therefore, marketers can take advantage of the features of social media to advertise sports products and grow the fan base. While most sports stars convey positive images and leave good impression on fans, some of the sports celebrities are depreciated by general public. Recours, Pappous, Dantin, & Griffet (2011) examined people’s reasons of depreciating athletes and their ideal image of the athletes. Based on the results, lack of competiveness, sociability, and morality are reasons why public detests the athletes. However, despite the burgeoning popularity and usefulness of social media especially in sports, Nigerian social media users have not truly utilized them for sports communication. It is therefore the intention of this study to assess Users perceptions of social media coverage of sports activities: A case study of Facebook.

Objective of the study

The objective of the study is to find out users perceptions of social media coverage of sports activities. Using facebook as a case study. The specific objectives of the study are;

  1. To ascertain how facebook facilitate sports activities in Nigeria.
  2. To find out the perception of facebook users on interactivity and behavior toward sport activities.
  3. To find out which critical factors inhibit effective use of facebook coverage for sports activities in Nigeria.

Research question

The following research questions were formulated;

  1. Do facebook facilitate sports activities in Nigeria?
  2. What is the perception of facebook users on interactivity and behavior toward sport activities?
  3. What are the factors inhibit effective use of facebook coverage for sports activities in Nigeria?

Research hypotheses

The following research hypotheses were formulated;

H1: facebook do not facilitate sports coverage activities in Nigeria

H2: there is no perception of facebook users on interactivity and behavior toward sport activities

H3: there are no factors inhibit effective use of facebook coverage for sports activities in Nigeria

 

Significance of the study

The study will be very significant to students, sport lovers and ministry of sports. The study will give a clear insight on the Users perceptions of social media coverage of sports activities: A case study of Facebook. The result of the study will educate facebook users the important of using facebook for sport coverage. A lot of sport information are being gotten from social media especially facebook, it will be of huge advantage to facebook users. The study will also serve as a reference to other researcher that will embark on the related topic

Scope of the study

The scope of the study covers Users perceptions of social media coverage of sports activities: A case study of Facebook. The study will be limited too selected facebook users in Ikeja Lagos state.

Limitation of the study

The researcher encounters some constraints which limit the scope of the study namely:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Definition of terms

Perceptions: Perception is the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the presented information or environment. All perception involves signals that go through the nervous system, which in turn result from physical or chemical stimulation of the sensory system

 social media: Social media are interactive digital channels that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, interests, and other forms of expression through virtual communities and networks

Coverage: the extent to which something deals with something else.

Sports: an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment

 Facebook: Facebook is a website which allows users, who sign-up for free profiles, to connect with friends, work colleagues or people they don’t know, online. It allows users to share pictures, music, videos, and articles, as well as their own thoughts and opinions with however many people they like.

 

References

Adams, C., Ashton, M., Lupton, H., & Pollack, H. (2014). Sport is king: An investigation into local media coverage of women’s sport in the UK East Midlands. Journal of Gender Studies, 23(4), 422-439. doi:10.1080/09589236.2013.795114

Adams, T., & Tuggle, C. A. (2004). ESPN’s sports center and coverage of women’s athletics: “It’s a boys’ club”. Mass Communication & Society, 7(2), 237-248.

Apostolis, N., & Gilesa, A. R. (2011). Portrayals of women golfers in the 2008 issues of golf digest. Sociology of Sport Journal,28(2), 226-238.

Beck, D., & Bosshart, L. (2003). Sports and media. Communication Research Trends, 22(4), 7-18.

Kösebalaban, H. (2004). Turkish media and sport coverage: marking the boundaries of national identity. Critique: Critical Middle Eastern Studies, 13(1), 47-64. doi:10.1080/1066992042000189715

Martin, S. D. (2012). Share, like, tweet and cheer: An examination of social media usage and the NFL (Order No. 3600710). Available From ABI/INFORM Collection. (1447013817). Retrieved from

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