A network approach to the use of social media in the Youth Olympic Games and the Olympic Games / Juha Yoon

Yoon, Juha

Edited by ProQuest / UMI - 2017

Online social networks (OSNs) have had a considerable impact on the way people interact with one another. In the sport industry, these platforms have had a marked effect on the interactions that exist between and among stakeholders (e.g., Naraine & Parent, 2016a). In particular, Twitter has become a popular communication medium for information distribution and a simple yet powerful tool for reaching a large audience and spreading information quickly at a low cost (Armstrong, Delia, & Giardina, 2016). Over the past decade there have been studies focused on Twitter and the sport industry, but only limited research has been conducted on social networks and large-scale amateur sporting events such as the Youth Olympic Games (YOG). Compared to the Olympic Games (OG), YOG events have received limited media coverage overall (Hanstad, Parent, & Kristiansen, 2013), and this has resulted in minimal public awareness of the YOG (Judge et al., 2015). The International Olympic Committee (IOC), the global sport organization overseeing both the OG and the YOG, has suggested that social media enable the organization to achieve its goals, which are to reach young audiences and potential stakeholders, and to inspire them via the YOG and its ambassadors (IOC, 2015a). In addition, the limited number of YOG-based social media studies conducted have found that social media have been used to encourage interaction among stakeholders and to promote the YOG and its events (Hanstad et al., 2013; Pedersen, Burch, Eagleman, & Yoon, 2014). As such, the assessment of social media usage in this context is important in helping sport management scholars and practitioners better understand and utilize more effective social media usage strategies as they pertain to future YOGs. Therefore, the purpose of this dissertation was to use a dual-study approach to conduct both in-depth and longitudinal social network analyses of the online communication surrounding the YOG.

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