Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Social media and image restoration of sport icons: Lebron James and the "Return to Cleveland" debate
by Gonzalez, Steven R., M.A., Northern Arizona University, 2015, 90; 1602690
Abstract (Summary)

Social media has changed the way fans identify with professional athletes and it has created a tangible relationship for fans through internet messages. Social media messages creates synergy where information is constantly moving among fans, athletes and media outlets. Celebrities often deal with controversy and many use image repair in order to make amends within the public. LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010, announcing his decision on national television. James left his hometown for the Miami Heat, causing damage to his image, essentially breaking up with his hometown team for the entire nation to see. In 2014, James had yet another decision to make on where the play professional basketball. This time, James took a different approach and avoided a public spectacle, announcing his decision on social media, using multiple social media platforms. James used image repair messages in order to make amends and redeem his image. Findings suggest that fans were supportive of his decision. The use of domain analysis and image repair theory prove that social media can shape public opinion by using social media in strategic ways.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Short, Brant C.
Commitee: Hardy-Short, Dayle C., Hoskins, Dale W., Short, Brant C.
School: Northern Arizona University
Department: Communication
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 55/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Communication
Keywords: Lebron james, Social media, Sports
Publication Number: 1602690
ISBN: 9781339184258
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