This article was the brainchild of Dr. Evan Frederick, and he did an excellent job on it. This looks at parasocial interaction and athletes as it relates to Twitter. This one is also published in Communication and Sport.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships promoted by professional athletes on Twitter utilizing the theoretical framework of parasocial interaction (PSI). Specifically, this study was a content analysis that examined professional athlete tweets in order to determine whether they predominately promoted social or parasocial relationships. The study also explored with whom athletes were engaging in social interaction as well as the topic of each tweet. The data revealed that professional athletes promoted both parasocial and social relationships equally. When they chose to be social, athletes were communicating with lay people and other professional and college athletes. Most athlete tweets were either general statements or insights into their personal lives. The implications of these and other findings will be discussed further.

2013 Frederick Lim Clavio Pedersen Burch