This research collection explores the ongoing interaction between sports, media, and society throughout important periods in history, from the nineteenth century to the present day. It examines both historical moments and broader trends in sports, with an emphasis on the media’s role.

Encompassing a variety of research approaches and perspectives, the book looks at the individuals, mass media outlets and communication technologies that have affected societies on a global scale, including print, photography, broadcast (radio and television), Internet-based media, and public relations/marketing. It presents fascinating new case studies covering topics as diverse as sports journalism and the Third Reich, Argentina at the Mexico World Cup, post-9/11 sports reporting, Martina Navratilova and women’s tennis, the growth of fantasy sport, and the significance of Joe Louis and Jackie Robinson in the history of US sports reporting.

This is essential reading for any researcher, student or media professional with an interest in the relationships between sports, culture, and society or in the history of media, culture, or technology.


chapter |5 pages


ByJohn Carvalho

part I|71 pages

Early influences, early developments

chapter 1|13 pages

Curiosity Shop, Toy Department, and Beyond

The development of visual baseball journalism in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper
ByScott D. Peterson

chapter 2|17 pages

The photo-finish as sports media

ByJonathan Finn

chapter 3|15 pages

Hawking kings of the diamond

How specialty sports magazines sold the national pastime, its stars, and its audience fables of manliness
ByAmber Roessner

chapter 4|15 pages

Joe Louis

The first black white hope
ByMark A. Mederson

chapter 5|9 pages

Dizzying up the broadcast booth

The player-broadcaster in the early years of televised baseball
ByElizabeth O’Connell Gennari

part II|84 pages

Sports, media, and evolving identity issues

chapter 6|13 pages

“Do tennis girls make good wives?”

Exploring media representations of women’s sport in interwar Britain
ByFiona Skillen

chapter 7|13 pages

From base paths to bylines

Jackie Robinson’s prodigious career in journalism
ByBrian Carroll

chapter 8|14 pages

Major League Baseball and the development of Spanish-language radio broadcasts

ByPatrick J. McConnell, Roberto Avant-Mier

chapter 9|14 pages

Defying race ideology in the South

Print media’s role in the erosion of the unwritten rules in college basketball
ByChristie M. Kleinmann

chapter 11|13 pages

Martina Navratilova

Out in the (relative) open
ByWilliam P. Cassidy

part III|49 pages

The global reach of sports and media’s influence

chapter 12|11 pages

Sports journalism in wartime

A case of sports journalism in the Third Reich
ByChristian Tolstrup Jensen

chapter 13|8 pages

Trapped in America

How the Masanori Murakami debacle redefined U.S.-Japan baseball relations
ByJohn Carvalho

chapter 14|15 pages

Argentina in the Women’s World Cup Mexico 1971

A collaborative approach to building a theoretical landmark
ByIldefonso Apelanz

chapter 15|13 pages

For profit or for country?

The Daily Mail and the Zola Budd affair
ByToby C. Rider, Matthew P. Llewellyn

part IV|62 pages

A first look at emerging sports media history topics

chapter 16|11 pages

Labor’s denial

A case study of how labor used the media and public relations to block the first NBA-ABA merger attempt
ByWilliam Anderson

chapter 17|12 pages

Clyde Lear and the Learfield Sports empire

ByJohn McGuire

chapter 18|13 pages

Remembering NCAA v. Board of Regents

The Supreme Court foundation of a mediated college football cartel
ByTravis R. Bell

chapter 19|11 pages

The ultimate value-added proposition

How fantasy sport evolved to accommodate the changing social needs of sports fans
ByBrody J. Ruihley, Andrew C. Billings, Nicholas R. Buzzelli

chapter 20|13 pages

Covering terror

The New York Times’s post–9/11 sports reporting
ByTimothy Mirabito, Robin Hardin