Sport on short form videos - football fans on TikTok

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review

Increasingly, and especially among younger generations, sport is consumed through short, spectacular, highlight-focused formats as opposed to – or in addition to – watching entire games, matches, races etc. Short-form media includes e.g., memes, TikTok videos, YouTube shorts and Instagram reels that often frame and reconfigure sport and sport athletes in particularly interesting, sensational, comical contexts and framings. The emergence of sport as short form content has a range of implications. Commercially, there are assumed effects on the economic models underlying sports media with a potent shift towards highlights content in addition to the traditionally lucrative live rights. To my knowledge, no academic literature exists on this topic involving a media theoretical perspective.
However, aiming to function as an introduction to the topic, this paper takes a text analytical approach by focusing culturally on the ways short form platforms offer new forms of communicative affordances (Zulli & Zulli 2020). Methodologically, an ethnographic approach (Schellewald 2021, Stahl & Literat 2022, Vaterlaus & Winter 2021) is applied to examining how these media formats are involved in establishing entirely new ways of presenting, consuming, and discussing sport. This perspective includes identifying main genre formats among sport related content in short form media with specific attention to memetic (Milner 2016, Olesen 2016, Shifman 2014) formats, including how common meme genres such as lib dubs, image macros and rage comics (Miltner 2018) are adapted to sport culture.
As noted by Jenkins et al. (2013), lack of context as a pillar of internet culture. Nowadays, the effect of cutting out the context, i.e., recontextualizing, of any digital-cultural artefact is crucial to its memetisation. Within sport culture, this includes highlighting special sporting performances often with the aim of praising, pointing out controversies or achieve comical effect. Such selections are marked by border moments (Whannel 1992) that create eye catching visual narratives.
Other possible topics of interest include uses of affect and emotion, gender, signals of communities and identities and as well as comparing different sport stakeholders’ such as athletes, organizations and fans, usage of short form media.

Original languageEnglish
Publication date9 Nov 2023
Publication statusUnpublished - 9 Nov 2023
EventSPORTS COMMUNICATION IN TRANSITION: Conference of the ECREA Temporary Working Group "Communication and Sport" - Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 9 Nov 202310 Nov 2023


LocationCharles University
CountryCzech Republic
Internet address

ID: 372611412