Sports Communication in Transition

Conference of the ECREA Temporary Working Group “Communication and Sport”

The myriad technological, economic, and social changes that have been going on in contemporary societies have had a dramatic impact on sports communication, bringing new issues to deal with and new actors coming into what was previously in a European context considered to be mainly a domain of journalism. In this conference, hosted by the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague on November 9 – 10, 2023, the ECREA Temporary Working Group on Communication and Sport calls for papers exploring the transition of sports communication from various perspectives. We would like to help expand the contemporary research on topics from different scholarly fields like media studies, cultural studies, sports journalism studies and sports strategic and PR communication, and sports audience studies, not necessarily only from Europe. 

The conference will feature one online panel that will allow participation of a select number of researchers who are unable to travel to Prague. 

With regard to the overarching topic of the conference, here are many issues that have arisen in recent years, including:

  • the massive development of so called in-house or team media, which in combination with direct usage of social media and many access restrictions, partially enforced by COVID-19 pandemics, but welcomed by major sports organisations, resulted in sports journalists struggling to find an original and interesting story more than ever; 
  • the strategic and often performative use of new media platforms by hitherto marginalized individuals or groups in sport 
  • the cases of cross of interest, when underpaid journalists have to start with moonlighting at PR positions; 
  • the wide reach and independence of successful athletes with their own channels (specially social media);
  • the increase of sports bloggers that was enabled by the technological development when everyone can create their successful website or podcast and enrich the sports journalistic field from its peripheries, sometimes even heading directly to its centre, reversing existing power balance; 
  • the discussions whether sports journalists and athletes should or should not speak up when for example the sports events are organised by countries where human rights have been repeatedly violated and their leaders only want to whitewash their reputation, or female athletes or spectators are not allowed to participate; 
  • the audiences (e.g., increasingly fragmented sports media repertoires in high-choice media environments and massive uncertainty about audience’s expectations of sports media content) 

This list is not exclusive, and we call for papers which in a broad sense deal with shifts in sports communication, including both theoretical and analytical perspectives on the tensions, conflicts, many dilemmas and negotiations involved, focusing on the sports communication creators, the sports media content itself or its audiences.

We invite abstracts between 300-500 words (excluding references) submitted in English language by June 19, 2023 (extended) via email to the main organiser Dr. Veronika Macková ( The submission should be anonymized.

The abstracts can be both for individual papers and panel proposals. Each panel proposal must include an abstract of the cover topic and the titles of 4-5 involved papers with the names of the authors. Each paper in the panel needs to be presented by people from different universities. Please indicate clearly whether the abstract is for individual paper or a panel proposal.

To support the integration of as many scholars as possible, we will hold approx. 5 onsite panels and 1 online panel for the colleagues who have difficulties travelling to Prague on the dates of the conference. Please indicate clearly whether the abstract is for onsite or online presentation. Authors will be notified about acceptance by July 15, 2023.