This research collection explores the ongoing interaction between sports, media, and society throughout important periods in history, from the nineteenth century to the present day. It examines both historical moments and broader trends in sports, with an emphasis on the media’s role.

Encompassing a variety of research approaches and perspectives, the book looks at the individuals, mass media outlets and communication technologies that have affected societies on a global scale, including print, photography, broadcast (radio and television), Internet-based media, and public relations/marketing. It presents fascinating new case studies covering topics as diverse as sports journalism and the Third Reich, Argentina at the Mexico World Cup, post-9/11 sports reporting, Martina Navratilova and women’s tennis, the growth of fantasy sport, and the significance of Joe Louis and Jackie Robinson in the history of US sports reporting.

This is essential reading for any researcher, student or media professional with an interest in the relationships between sports, culture, and society or in the history of media, culture, or technology.


Introduction.  Section I: Early influences, early developments  1.Curiosity shop, toy department, and beyond: The development of visual baseball journalism in Frank Leslie’s illustrated newspaper  2.The photo-finish as sport media  3.Hawking kings of the diamond: How specialty sports magazines sold the national pastime, its stars, and its audience fables of manliness  4.Joe Louis: The first Black White hope  5.Dizzying Up the Broadcast Booth: The Player-Broadcaster in the Early Years of Televised Baseball  Section II: Sports, media, and evolving identity issues  6.‘Do tennis-girls make good wives?’: Exploring media representations of women’s sport in interwar Britain  7.From base paths to bylines: Jackie Robinson’s prodigious career in journalism  8.Major League Baseball and the development of Spanish-language radio broadcasts  9.Defying race ideology in the South: Print media’s role in the erosion of the unwritten rules in college basketball  10.Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the Super Bowl as a narrative for civil rights  11.Martina Navratilova: Out in the (relative) open  Section III: The global reach of sports and media’s influence  12.Sport journalism in wartime: Orders of worth and the Third Reich  13.Trapped in America: How the Masanori Murakami debacle redefined U.S.-Japan baseball relations  14.Argentina in the Soccer World Cup Mexico 1971: A collaborative approach in building a theoretical landmark  15.For profit or for country? The Daily Mail and the Zola Budd affair  Section IV: A first look at emerging sports media history topics  16.Labor’s denial: A case study of how labor used the media and public relations to block the first NBA-ABA merger attempt  17.Clyde Lear and the Learfield Sports empire  18.Remembering NCAA v. Board of Regents: The Supreme Court foundation of a mediated college football cartel  19.The ultimate value-added proposition: How fantasy sport evolved to accommodate the changing social needs of sports fans  20.Covering terror: The New York Times’ post-9/11 sports reporting