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Streaming Sports on Social Media and Its Impact on Sports Sponsorship

DOI: 10.15340/978-625-00-9894-3_16

Published: 2021 | Pages: 327 - 344

Jim Pokrywczynski
Diederich College of Communication at Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI USA

Dave Bohnsack
Research & Insights at GMR Marketing, New Berlin, WI USA

Almost every sports league has used social media and streaming of sports events to expand their viewership base beyond those typically watching sports on television. This is particularly attractive to younger sports fans who don’t have access to traditional television delivery systems like cable and satellite television and are more likely to engage with sports teams via social media than at in-person events. Different pay wall methods, different delivery systems, and channels, and various levels of technological and production quality are all considerations in assessing the environment for sports sponsors in social media and streaming situations.

One main objective of this chapter is an assessment of how sports sponsorship changes in the streaming world. This topic is particularly relevant in light of the worldwide pandemic, which has closed sports to in-person spectators, leaving digital coverage as its only means of reaching fans. For one sports league (NBA), streaming increased almost 40 percent in 2020 over the previous year (SBJ Unpacks 2020). The discussion will tap research looking at how sponsorship exposure works or doesn’t work in a streaming context. The chapter will conclude with best practices or recommendations for how sponsors can gain brand exposure, influence attitudes, and motivate purchase using social media combined with streamed events, highlighting the challenges and distractions that streaming may pose for the viewership condition.

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Jim Pokrywczynski is an Associate Professor in the Diederich College of Communication at Marquette University. His teaching focuses on communication research methods and advertising in the Department of Strategic Communication. His research covers risk communication particularly related to health, sports marketing, and advertising effectiveness. He received his M.S. and B.S from the University of Illinois and his Ph. D. from the University of Georgia. He has presented at the Academy of Advertising Asia-Pacific Conference in Beijing and Arab-US Association for Communication Educators Conference in Cairo. He is published in Journal of Communication Research, Journal of Advertising Research, Journal of Promotion Management, Journal of Brand Strategy, Journal of Sports Media, Newspaper Research Journal, Journal of Digital & Social Media Marketing, and Journal of Middle East Media. His most recent co-authored work, on global COVID-19 informational, transformational, and narrative advertising strategies, is published in the journal Health Communication. 


Dave Bohnsack earned his Ph.D. and Master’s degrees from Arizona State University, where he taught quantitative research methods, and his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is Director of Research & Insights at GMR Marketing, New Berlin, Wisconsin, a global event and sports marketing agency. Informed by primary and secondary research, at GMR Dr. Bohnsack provides strategic support and business development guidance to a diverse range of creative and account management teams. He has previously worked in several marketing research positions, including Director of Research at GM Eventworks and GM R*Works at General Motors in Detroit. 


Cite this chapter as:

Pokrywczynski, J., Bohnsack, D. (2021). Streaming Sports on Social Media and Its Impact on Sports Sponsorship In: Bakan U. & Lengel M. L. (eds) Social Media Archaeology from Theory to Practice (pp. 327-344). MacroWorld Pub.

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