Marketing to minority groups through MLB coverage: An examination of two U.S. sport magazines
Major League Baseball (MLB) is the most racially diverse professional sport league in the United States out of the three largest leagues (Lapchick, 2009a, 2009b, 2009c). The U.S. Census Bureau (2008) reports that the racial makeup of the U.S. is also becoming increasingly diverse, and according toFahmy (2010), m inorities continue to show increased buying power. Therefore, it is important to understand the extent to which sport media outlets are marketing to minority groups through their coverage of diverse athletes. This study employed a content analysis methodol ogy and examined MLB coverage in Sports Illustrated and ESPN The Magazine over an eight - year time period. The findings revealed no statistically significant differences between the percentage of coverage given to White, Black, Latino, and Asian MLB players and the percentages of players from each race in the league, nor between the percentages of each race in the U.S. population. Both magazines exhibited a trend of focusing coverage on mostly White and Black MLB players over the last few years, however, and implications from the findings, limitations of the study, and ideas for future researchare explained in the discussion and conclusion sections.
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