Strategic Sports Communication

Article excerpt

Strategic Sports Communication. Paul M. Pedersen, Kimberly S. Miloch, and Pamela C. Laucella. Champagne, IL: Human Kinetics, 2007. 396 pp. $62.00 hbk.

Strategic Sports Communication is a strong introduction to a surprisingly powerful field. The sports industry continues to grow in both influence and economic power in the United States. As the authors note-contrasting a number of studies-the sports industry has grown from $50.2 billion in 1987 to an estimated size of over $200 billion today. And the last estimate may be conservative. While many people view sports as a mindless leisure activity of little note, the industry today can be shown to be "twice as large as the auto industry and seven times larger than the movie industry."

While it is obvious that curricula and careers will follow economic growth, there is a special importance to the sports field for journalism and mass communication. The sports business embraces all the disciplines in our field at the highest level in terms of prestige and technology. The top five sports advertisers spend over $700 million a year; the leading networks pay over $2 billion for the media rights to the NFL alone; and sports coverage is a major category in newspapers, magazines, and online. It can also be argued that sports provide an unparalleled opportunity to study the ongoing convergence of media with clarity and ease.

The goal of Strategic Sports Communication is to provide an overview of all aspects of the field. This is a daunting proposition, but authors Paul Pedersen, Kimberly Miloch, and Pamela Laucella succeed very well. Individual chapters cover print, electronic, new media, advertising, public relations, and research. …

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