Tour de France in Denmark - An analysis of discursive modes on Twitter among Danes experiencing...

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In 2016 Danish authorities successfully bid for the right to host the start of the Tour de France 2021, the so-called Grand Départ (subsequently postponed to 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic). Using with slogan "The greatest cycling race in the world meets the best cycling city in the world" , the Danish arrangers in Copenhagen accentuated cycling as a central part of Danish culture and a sustainable and healthy way of living. Eventually, during the three opening Danish stages on July 1st-3rd, the French sporting mega-event (Horne & Manzenreiter 2006; Wenner & Billlings 2017) was welcomed with huge crowds creating an enthusiastic, jubilant atmosphere.
This paper examines how Twitter was used to respond to this event, including reflections of and responses to the general atmosphere surrounding the race. Drawing from studies of host country receptions of sport events (Bull & Lovell 2007; Polcsik & Perényi 2022), the Danish Grand Départ is considered as a case of globalization with particular attention to expressions of national and cultural themes (Couldry et al. 2010; Rowe & Hutchins 2014). Central research questions address whether and how Danes assimilate a French vibe as the Tour travels through Denmark, or whether and how they promote aspects of Danish culture, identity and history to the global Tour de France twitter audience? In comparison, how did international audiences interpret and assess the experience of watching ‘le tour’ situated in a distant northern country? How was the festive atmosphere reflected, performed, and experienced in Danish and global networked audience communities constructed around the use of designated Tour de France hashtags?
As part of the general mediatization processes of sport (Frandsen 2020), the emergence of social network media such as Twitter has enabled global, heterogeneous sport audiences to engage with and discuss sport events like Tour de France, essentially transforming them into transmedia events (Bacallao-Pino 2016; Duncan 2020; Frandsen, Jerslev & Mortensen 2022). Applying the official Twitter API, tweets containing the hashtags #letourdk or #tdf2022 was collected to examine audience comments from the three Danish stages days.
Initially, each audience tweet is characterized according to a typology (Olesen, in press) that distinguishes between race-oriented and context-oriented comments, as well as between comments of immediate, affective style and more public-oriented, presentational style, which altogether result in four discursive tweet modes: analytic, reactive, social and personal. Whereas the analytic and reactive modes refer to tweets addressing the race itself, the subsequent analysis will, in accordance with the research questions, focus on the social and personal modes concerning reconstructions and interpretations of Tour de France within the Twitter audience.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date10 Mar 2023
Publication statusUnpublished - 10 Mar 2023
EventIACS 2023 Summit on Communication & Sport: The International Association for Communication and Sport (IACS) - Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 9 Mar 202311 Mar 2023


ConferenceIACS 2023 Summit on Communication & Sport
LocationUniversitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Internet address

ID: 372611207