Sport communication is more than the study of messages and the sport product is far more complex than the study of teams and their successes. When academics like the folks who created the Strategic Sport Communication Model study the field, they try to create theoretical frameworks to help us understand how everything happens within a sport organization.
That's what the SSCM tries to do. The model shows broad components that are labeled personal and organizational communication, mediated communication, and sport communication services. We're going to investigate them in the context of how certain tasks get done within one type of sport organization, a Division I intercollegiate athletics program, Texas Tech.
Component 1 describes what those who study the field have agreed are fundamental to any communication process. In other words these are the ways human beings communicate. We can think internally or inside our own heads. We can communicate one on one to another human being. We can communicate with a few other people at a time.
And then, whether it's a college athletics department or a law firm that specializes in player's contracts, sport organization's demonstrate one of two types of methods of communication processes, either intra or inter organizational. Intra means between departments in the same organization and inter means between one organization and another.
Let's look at the org chart for Texas Tech athletics. (You'll be able to use these links to investigate on your own, so don't worry if you can't read these screens now.) Here are the units of Tech athletics. So, regardless of what the unit is responsible for, when one person is thinking about something, they are intra-personally communicating. When they pick up a phone to talk to someone else, they are inter-personally communicating. If 3 to 20 of them get in the same room, well, God forbid, because then we have small group communication, aka a meeting.
When the AD writes a memo to all staff, he is sending an intra-organizational message. When he responds to a request from the NCAA for information regarding the Athletics department, that communication is now an inter-organization one regardless of the medium or channel he uses.
That part's fairly easy for anyone to follow. Component 1 is all about the basic communication processes there are.
Now let's look at Component 2: Mediated communication in sport. There are two segments here, sport mass media and emerging and social media in sport. Sport media are usually grouped as print, broadcast or electronic, and something newer called convergent media. This segment can be thought of as sport media, both people and the "things" they create which are also referred to as media making that term kind of obnoxious. Mediated communication in sport is conducted through many kinds of mass and social media endeavors that are usually external to a sport organization, which is why the word "mediated" is helpfully added. We'll look at this more deeply later.
Component 3 of the SSCM is a wonderful basket called Sport Communication Services and Support. It's that catch-all bucket that encompasses the processes we can call integrated marketing, public relations and research. Let's dive deeper into these, because this component is really all the people and units within an organization where the tasks of communication get done.
Integrated marketing includes sport sponsorship and advertising, athlete (or department) endorsements, broadcasting and new media integration.
Public relations encompasses those things that get done as part of our ongoing PR programs, projects and campaigns; and is also media relations, community relations and how an organization communicates during times of crises.
Research is illustrated in two parts named for general industries, media or academia. Media industry research would include any research that helps us get or stay informed. Any good communicator would tell you that before any strategy can be developed, a person has to do research on a variety of things--from the history of something to what's the issue involved.
Academic research is the type the authors of any text book do to try to aggregate or advance knowledge. You know, so we can draw and use models like this one.