Title page for ETD etd-11072010-113943

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author De Carlo, Cara Francesca
Author's Email Address cdecar1@tigers.lsu.edu
URN etd-11072010-113943
Title What Content Makes People Want to Use Sports Websites?
Degree Master of Mass Communication (M.M.C.)
Department Mass Communication
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Miller, Andrea Committee Chair
Porter, Lance Committee Member
Sanders, Meghan Committee Member
  • entertainment
  • information
  • credibility
  • community
  • sports
  • ESPN
  • Deadspin
  • Football Outsiders
  • Yahoo
  • humor
  • sports websites
Date of Defense 2010-10-19
Availability unrestricted
This study looked at sports websites to see how the variables information, humor, entertainment, community, and credibility affected sports website usersí intentions to use and re-use sports websites. Three groups of 25 and one group of 30 participants each completed a website viewing activity and corresponding survey. There were four website viewing activities (one for each group). The activities led participants on tours of ESPN.com, Deadspin.com, Football Outsiders, and Yahoo! Sports. Furthermore, the tours were designed to expose participants to the variables (as defined under disposition theory and uses and gratifications). Likewise, the corresponding survey assessed participantsí intentions to use each of the four websites based on the degrees to which they perceived each variable to be present.

In addition to the surveys, the study utilized focus group discussion data as a secondary method. Five focus groups and one interviewee each answered eight open-ended questions. All answers were analyzed according to which of the variables were important to participants on sports websites.

Results of the survey data showed that humor and entertainment content had the most positive effect on sports website usersí intents to use, whereas information and credibility content scored highest among the discussion participants. The community variable ranked last via both methods.

The ramifications for this study are that sports websites should develop their humorous and entertaining content regarding athletes and sports figures. Website partnerships with informative and credible sites should be formed to maintain sports information links.

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