This is an exploratory study on the consumption of sports vs. social media by US college students. It tested a prediction of a change in these consumers’ involvement of sports after a major economic recession took place in USA. The recession started in December 2007 and ended in summer 2009. We compared results of surveys conducted with US college students in the fall of 2005 and 2009—the case without the recession-- with those conducted with the same population in the fall of 2008 for the case with the recession. Based on the media consumption literature, we expect to observe a significant rise in the consumption of sports media, especially those under a social or group setting, from fall 2005 (before the recession) or fall 2009 (after the recession) to fall 2008 (during the recession) among US college students. The results supported our hypothesis when we use only the type of sports media that were most widely used by the above specified consumer group (i.e. the Internet) instead of all sports media to measure these consumers’ involvement of sports. Our study added to the existing literature with interesting findings about US college students’ use of the Internet before, during and after an economic crisis. We showed that US college students used the Internet rather widely both for general purposes and for the specific purposes of consuming both sports and social media.
|Keywords:||Media Consumption, Sports Media, Social Media, The Internet, Economic Recession|
Assistant Professor, School of Business, North Carolina Central University, Durahm, North Carolina, USA