Differences in Official Athletic Website Coverage and Social Media use Between Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams

Authors: Steve Shih-Chia Chen, Terran Duncan, Eric Street*, and Brooklyn Hesterberg

*Corresponding Author:
Eric Street, MS
1048 Lemon Rue Way
Lexington, KY 40515
esflair@hotmail.com
859-797-1479

Steve Chen, D.S.M., is an associate professor at the Department of Management and Marketing in Morehead State University, Morehead, KY. He received his doctorate in Sport Management from United States Sports Academy in Daphne, AL. He currently serves as the chief editor of the KAHPERD (Kentucky Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance) Journal. (s.chen@moreheadstate.edu)

Terran Duncan, M.A., is an assistant coach of Lindsey Wilson College’s Women’s Basketball. She received her Master’s degree in Sport Management from Morehead State University, KY. (duncant@lindsey.edu)

Brooklyn Hesterberg is an undergraduate Sport Management student of Morehead State University. She is an assistant softball coach at Rowan County High School, KY. (blhesterberg@moreheadstate.edu)

Eric Street, M.S. is a doctorate student at the United States Sports Academy in Daphne, AL. He received a BA and MS in Sports Management from the University of Kentucky. He currently works as Director of Fitness and Training for LA Fitness in Lexington, KY. (esflair@hotmail.com)

ABSTRACT
Since the implementation of Title IX, there have been significant gains in the area of equity between men’s and women’s sports. Instituted in 1972, Title IX has leveled the playing field by offering the same amount of opportunity for women as men. Deficient media coverage in female sports is a less examined and recognized issue among various types of Title IX violations in collegiate sports. The study examined if there was equal coverage between men’s and women’s basketball programs on the athletic department’s webpages and social media websites. The collected data included traffics for the athletic website, Facebook, and Twitter pages of Southeastern Conference institutions. The findings indicated that there was slightly more men’s coverage than women’s (53% vs 47%). Among those 14 schools, eight schools had more content coverage for their men’s team. Only six women’s programs received more official website coverage than their male counterparts. The exact tendency also occurred regarding the number of total Twitter posts. The analysis of Facebook posts displayed an unexpected result, as 13 schools had more posts related to women’s teams than men’s teams. The results tended to support the vital promotional role that social media may play to increase the awareness and popularity of women’s sports. In general, the schools’ official website still maintained an accepted coverage proportion toward both genders without heavily gravitated toward men’s teams. Practical implications are addressed for better utilizing social media to promote women’s sports and maintain gender equity in media coverage.

Keywords: Social Media, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Title IX

Continue reading