A mediasport typology for transformative relationships: enlargement, enhancement, connection and engagement beyond COVID-19

Constantino Stavros, Aaron C.T. Smith, Hibai Lopez-Gonzalez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Research question: The business of sport has been radically challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic, impelling a rapid reassessment of practices to survive the disruption. One stakeholder comprehensively impacted has been the media, whose investments in augmenting sport’s commercial appeal have been immense. The media will need to rethink their strategies to adequately leverage their connections to sport products. Similarly, sport properties and content providers will need to reconsider their mediated offerings and how fan relationships can be sustained. In response, this article outlines a pathway to superior fan activation and engagement, noting the accelerated transformation of sport arising in consequence of the pandemic. Methods: An original, multi-dimensional typology is posited into the progression of mediasport and its key components in the context of amplified disruption during COVID-19, and the predicted, lasting consequences in its aftermath. Findings: A new typological framework for conceptualizing the media-sport-consumer triumvirate is presented, which illuminates the acceleration and nature of change brought about by the pandemic. It maps out and describes interrelated and escalating media and sport compositions, explains their pertinence and related exemplars in a COVID-19 context, foreshadows their deployment in a resurgence of sport, and theorizes about their technological, consumption and commercial properties. Implications: The typology-driven analysis culminates with the proposition that sport’s relationship with its consumers has been irrevocably transformed by COVID-19 and that this shift will demand a media-sport-consumer dynamic characterized by a radically compressed engagement between the triumvirate that effectively constitutes a new, sui generis form.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-91
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Sport Management Quarterly
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


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