This is an article by me and Dr. Patrick Walsh about college sports fans and social media usage. This is still an area that hasn’t been touched on very much from a scholarly perspective. Looking at it through a slight twist in the traditional uses and gratifications lens. Published in Communication and Sport, a great new journal that covers this and other topics related to communication.

Here’s the abstract:

“As social media provide athletic departments and their constituents with an additional point of engagement with their fans, it is important to understand the social media audience. However, despite the growth of social media use among collegiate athletic departments, coaches, and teams, relatively little is known about the individuals who are utilizing various social media forums. This study was the first to attempt to understand why college sport fans engage in sport-focused social media use, with a theoretical grounding in uses and gratifications. Utilizing a survey of student fans from a large Division 1 institution, the results suggest that there is a relatively low level of social media participation among college sport fans in relation to official Twitter and Facebook feeds of the team, and a surprising prevalence of traditional media usage for informational purposes. Factor analysis reveals dimensions of gratification for social media use include content creation as an identifiable factor. These and other findings are discussed.”

2013 Clavio Walsh