New media and authentication of sport tourism place: social (Re)production of Alpe d’Huez as a sacred Tour de France site

Matthew Lamont, Andrew S. Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

‘New media’ such as social media content-sharing apps and podcasting platforms have democratised mass media by enabling producers to disseminate content that is otherwise of limited interest to mainstream broadcast media, though may be of great interest to members of nuanced social worlds. Producers of bespoke sport-related content have recently harnessed new media platforms to create commercially viable broadcast outlets. We contend that the producers of sport-related content can contribute to authentication of places of sporting significance and may also play a role in shaping contemporary sport tourism. This paper examines new media content published on YouTube relating to Alpe d’Huez, a ski resort in the French Alps that is historically and culturally synonymous with the Tour de France. Our multimodal discourse analysis shows how YouTube content contributes to ‘hot' authentication of Alpe d’Huez as a metaphorical ‘stage’ for the Tour de France by articulating the attributes of Alpe d’Huez as a cycling space and simulating vicarious experiences of embodied and socially-constructed elements of climbing Alpe d’Huez by bicycle. Our analysis further shows how new media producers deploy complex combinations of imagery, aural, and linguistic strategies to (re)produce hot authentication of Alpe d’Huez as a mystical, sacred, ‘must visit' site within the global cycling social world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-296
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Sport and Tourism
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes

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