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Accelerating direct virtual public relations for sport organizations through information subsidies during COVID-19

In: Research Handbook on Sport and COVID-19


  • Mark Dottori
  • Alex Sévigny
  • Norm O'Reilly


In sport communication, the COVID-19 pandemic hastened a shift in the traditional relational dynamics in the MediaSport model between sports organizations and sport journalists. This chapter briefly describes the evolution of sports public relations by focusing on major theoretical models such as agenda-building, framing, and MediaSport. The authors examine how use of information subsidies increased because of the environment of canceled matches and social isolation that created empty airtime and lack of new content normally created by games being played. The authors contend that information subsidies are an opportunity for ethical public relations practitioners to increase their organizational prestige as a strategic function, while the role of journalists evolves. Finally, two drivers of this shift are noted: the movement of sports narratives away from mainstream media to interactive digital and social channels; an increase in control over media access to information sources by sports organizations.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Dottori & Alex Sévigny & Norm O'Reilly, 2022. "Accelerating direct virtual public relations for sport organizations through information subsidies during COVID-19," Chapters, in: Paul M. Pedersen (ed.), Research Handbook on Sport and COVID-19, chapter 12, pages 138-152, Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:elg:eechap:21289_12

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