An upcoming conference at Northwestern University in Qatar will address the role of digitisation in transforming sports media and the effect this has on fans, sports journalism, and sports media consumers’ behaviours and experiences.
The day-long Digital Transformation of Sport Media conference to be held on January 30, will feature a keynote address, ‘The Pursuit of Soft Power Through Sport Mega-Events: China’s Lessons for Qatar’ – by Susan Brownell, professor at the University of Missouri-St Louis and a widely admired scholar in the field of sports anthropology.
Brownell’s talk will shed light on some of the most valuable lessons for media professionals in major sporting events, as well as the role of sports as a soft power within the realm of diplomacy and international affairs. She has extensive experience doing fieldwork in China, primarily in Beijing and Shanghai, and was a Fulbright researcher at the Beijing Sport University, where she focused on the 2008 Olympic Games.
“We hope the subjects covered in this conference will lend additional insight for Qatar as it prepares to host the largest media event in the world, the 2022 FIFA World Cup,” said Craig L LaMay, acting dean. “It is a chance for media and sport professionals to understand how digitisation has changed the way sports are played and managed, how they are delivered to consumers, how sports journalists do their jobs, and to openly discuss some of the more challenging topics in today’s mediasport industries.”
The conference will include three panel discussions: the digital transformation of sport and sports journalism, sports media and the future of women’s sport, and covering international sport.
In addition to LaMay and Brownell, panellists include Mohamed El-Said, beIN; Bagis Erten, Eurosport; Roisin O’Shea, Stubhub; Ania El-Afandi, beIN; Yagmur Nuhrat, Bilgi University; Luis Henrique Rolim, Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum; Mahfoud Amara, Qatar University; Patrick Hrub, HReal Sports Newsletter; and David Owen, InsidetheGames.biz.
The topic of sports journalism and diplomacy has been central in the development of NU-Q’s executive and graduate education programme. Most recently, a new master’s programme in Sports Administration, taught in collaboration with the Northwestern’s School of Professional Studies, was established as a means to offer professionals a chance to specialise and build essential skills for the sports industry including marketing, sponsorship, operations, compliance, and media relations.
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