Beyond the arena: a three-part study of communication efforts in the sport of rodeo

Date

2018-04

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Abstract

This three part, mixed-method study explored the communication efforts in the sport of rodeo. The overall purpose of the study was to develop an understanding of the different outlets rodeo organizations use to reach their audience. The study was carried out using both quantitative and qualitative methods. In the quantitative portions of the study, Meltwater, a social media monitoring software, was used to explore the social media activity during the 2017 National Finals Rodeo. The data collected in the first part of the study, provided a “broader picture of the social media conversations. The second part of the study used Meltwater to identify the sentiment associated with the NFR in both social media and online news content. The sentiment analysis found content discussing the 2017 National Finals Rodeo was predominantly neutral or positive in sentiment. The final part of the study was qualitative interviews with communications practitioners in the rodeo industry to explore communication efforts in the sport. The major findings indicated social media platforms are a popular tool for communication in rodeo. The interviews with practitioners provided insight on communication in the sport, different types of crises, and how those are handled in each organization. The study concluded the sport of rodeo is adapting to use modern communication platforms to reach today’s audience.

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Keywords

Rodeo, Communication, Meltwater monitoring, Social media monitoring, Sentiment, Communications practitioners, Sports communication

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