Marjon News

University Leads Debate on Whether Social Media is Changing Sport

Released: 02.04.14

Professor Andy Miah

The lecture will cover the sport revolution brought about by social media and how we all now see sport through the lens of new media. Spectators have a direct impact on news coverage, which can affect athletic performance, good or bad. It can open up celebrity and citizen valuation of sporting events, lead to political observations as it did with the Olympics Opening Ceremony and even draw in political leaders, like the Prime Minister, tweeting comments. It can rank sports personalities for popularity or become a vehicle for mob-mentality over social-sport issues.

This presents a massive shift in culture and helps us to understand how social media creates windows onto people’s enjoyment of watching sport. It also presents us with a view on how athletes prepare psychologically and have to consider social media, due to its extra pressures, along with their concerns about self-censorship.

Andy Miah is a Professor in Ethics and Emerging Technologies; along with being the Director of Creative Futures Research Centre. He coined the term ‘socialympics’ after London 2012 and has been published in over 150 academic articles and has appeared on BBC Newsnight, Andrew Marr’s Start the Week, The 7.30 Review and The Hour. Professor Miah is the Social-Media Mentor for the International Olympic Committee Young Reports Programme.

Professor Miah said, ‘The shift towards social media in the 21st century is as important as the shift towards television in the 20th century. Social media changes how spectators consume sport, how athletes create sport and how journalists report sport. There is a lot at stake with social media and my talk will address how social media and a future of wearable technologies is transforming sport as we know it.’

The event is being chaired by Professor Cara Aitchison, the University’s Vice-Chancellor and Chair of the Research Excellence Framework Panel in Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism. She said, ‘Professor Andy Miah is highly sought after around the world for his knowledge on how social media affects modern sporting events. Listening to his research will bring a real insight into the extensive changes taking place in our sporting culture and will be of interest to sport, health and media professionals.'

The lecture takes place Thursday 1 May, 18.30, in the Chaplaincy Centre. Places can be booked via the events page.

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