Call for Scholarly Commentaries | “Sport and the Coronavirus Crisis”, Special Issue of International Journal of Sport Communication. Call ends April 27, 2020

On December 31, 2019, the first reporting of unusual health activity came out of Wuhan, China. Eight days later, the activity was identified as a novel coronavirus, named 2019-nCoV or COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO, CNN Editorial Research, 2020). Over the next several weeks, cases began to grow in Asia, at first hitting China the hardest. As the world watched government actions and news updates out of China, Thailand, Japan, and South Korea, the virus began to make its way across the globe. In Europe, Italy and Spain have had the largest number of infections outside China. Given its spread, mortality rate, and global impact, the WHO declared the novel coronavirus a pandemic.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020 is a day that many will remember, as it relates to the Coronavirus. In same day the WHO declared this situation a pandemic and in the span of an hour, the President of the United States banned travel to and from most of Europe, actors Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson announced they had contracted the virus, and a National Basketball Association (NBA) game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz game was cancelled and the NBA season was eventually suspended after a player, Rudy Gobert, testing positive for the virus. While several sporting events were eyeing an alteration of fan attendance, many had not cancelled entire events or seasons prior to this day. What happened in the days following March 11 would shake the sports world now and into the unknown future. Alongside all of the cancellation or suspensions of recreational, high school, collegiate, and professional sport activities around the world, a litany of fan reactions, announcements, and media coverage sport communication channels. While the situation is still uncertain, there is a lot to learn about the impact the Coronavirus crisis has had on the sport industry.

The call for this special edition of the International Journal of Sport Communication asks sport-focused scholars to contribute short essays and analyses of how this unfortunate life-altering pandemic has affected the sport industry. While theoretically-sound qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods research studies may be submitted and considered, for the most part this special issue will be devoted to scholarly commentaries (e.g., perspectives, essays, overviews, analyses, opinions, observations, recommendations, cases, interviews) of how the sport industry has been affected by this pandemic. Below, please see some of the areas of focus (but don’t hesitate to contact the special issue co-editors with other suggestions). The special issue is open to short (6-to-12 double-spaced pages, including tables, references, etc.) submissions involving any aspect of sport (communication, media, marketing, management, etc.) as long as the submission is focused on the Coronavirus.

Because of the timeliness (and commentary focus) of this special issue, the following are the quick steps/ deadlines for this special issue:
      1. At any point between now and April 27, 2020, please send a 150-to-250 word abstract (which will serve as the proposal) for a proposed commentary to the co-editors of this special issue. Please copy IJSC editor, Paul Pedersen at when you reach out to the special issue co-editors.
      2. The co-editors will respond within two days informing you to proceed, make adjustments, or not proceed with the proposal.
      3. If the co-editors give the approval to move forward with the proposal, you have until May 18, 2020 to submit the full commentary (please submit the completed through the IJSC online submission system).
      4. Over a three-week period, the submissions will be reviewed by editorial board members and ad-hoc reviewers through a double-blind review process and authors will be notified of a decision (acceptance, revisions, rejection, etc.) by June 8, 2020

Potential topics for this special issue include (but not limited to) the following areas:

      • Public relations and crisis communication,
      • social media management,
      • public (e.g. fans, athletes, sponsors, events, tourism industry) perception and response,
      • emotional attachment and response,
      • media framing,
      • corporate social responsibility,
      • domestic and global market comparisons,
      • industry interview (media, communication, sponsorship, etc.),
      • sport communication with limited sport activity,
      • fantasy sport,
      • gaming, and gambling with limited sport activity, and
      • impact on sport media and broadcasting.

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