Stepping into the (social media) game: Building athlete identity via twitter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This chapter explores how rookie athletes in Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), and National Hockey League (NHL), used Twitter as an identity expression tool. A representative sample of tweets from athletes selected in the first round of the 2011 amateur draft of each sports league was selected for analysis. Results revealed that identity manifested in the following ways: (a) Athletes as dedicated workers; (b) Athletes as pop culture consumers; (c) Athletes as sports fans; (d) Athletes as motivators; (e) Athletes as information seekers; and (f) Athletes as everyday people. Through social media, athletes can more actively and diversely assert their identity. This action fosters identification, liking, and parasocial interaction with fans as athletes appear more approachable and similar. The ability to construct and disseminate a variety of identities holds important implications for athletes, which are discussed in the concluding section of the chapter.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDigital Arts and Entertainment
Subtitle of host publicationConcepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781466661158
ISBN (Print)1466661143, 9781466661141
StatePublished - Jun 30 2014


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