Changing nature of media production and consumption in sport

As I revisit stumblings by high profile Australian athletes around the micro-blogging social media platform Twitter for the purposes of my current research, I look with fresh eyes at the Faggot Tweet: Sponsors Speak scandal of last year.

Refreshingly, my position on the relevance of context and content remains unchanged. If anything, I would further jump up and down on my strategic communicators tool box with the intention of seeing more support given to our elite athletes in navigating the new media channels.

In order for this to happen however, it’s the administrators and communications professionals who need to stop, listen and learn from the tech team.

It’s the marketing communications leaders who need to patiently stumble through diciphering the tech team’s codes and ‘geek jargon’, just as they have had to endure our homage to the acronym for the past 20 years.

People and business fundamentals haven’t changed, technologies have.

With technology, new communications platforms have been consumed by information-hungry individuals and groups as the nature of association and information gathering has become more social. By this, I mean a global sharing process.

Not surprisingly, this change in the production and consumption of information now brings new, global and dynamic communications channels into the structured and controlled environment of corporate entities.

This embedded disconnect does not have to be detrimental to the evolving relationship between corporate, team and individual brands, it just requires an entirely new approach which permits key players to not always get it right.

Stumbling isn’t a problem for those businesses with strong key stakeholder engagement and support.

So maybe the evolution towards transparency of communications through technology and the inherent nature of the new communications environment in the business of international sport, is more reflective of the health of key partner relationships than anything to actually do with sport performance.

While this is a sentence I never thought I’d write, it is undeniable, that when it comes to intra-organisational social media engagement in sport, the UFC is streaks ahead of the professional sporting pack.

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