Date Approved

6-30-2003

Embargo Period

5-10-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Public Relations

Department

Public Relations & Advertising

College

College of Communication & Creative Arts

First Advisor

Bagin, Donald

Subject(s)

Athletes; Sports--Public relations

Disciplines

Public Relations and Advertising

Abstract

In this day and age of high salaries, free agency and shuffling around from city to city and team to team, sports figures are not concerned with being role models. Public appearances, management of image and the distinct understanding of how actions affect fan approval are being ignored.

This study examines the benefits of public appearances for a sports figure's image and examines if there is a discrepancy between what executives think fans feel is important and what fans really feel is important.

Six interviews were conducted with sports executives and sports professionals to gather information about the views of public appearances and what is expected of players. One hundred intercept surveys were conducted with sports fans. The surveys obtained information on what fans feel are important characteristics in a sports figure.

The study revealed that there are benefits to public appearances. The study also showed that the things sports fans find important are changing and sports organizations may have to change the approach used to reach fans. Suggestions were made on how sports organizations and sports figures can use public appearances.

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