Good sports event analysis paper essay example


Sports and media have always had a direct link between them. In the modern context, it is even argued sports and media cannot exist without one another. Sport can be defined as a “ repeatable, regulated physical contest producing a clear winner”. The evolution of the media has had a direct impact on sport. Currently, the media chooses, analyzes, interprets and finally represents sporting events mainly to attract audiences. Sports in the media have increased dramatically, and some media firms have even abandoned other communication roles to focus primarily on sports. The content and style of sports programs are designed to entertain the audience. This paper aims to show the relationship that exists between sports and media. To give more insight into this relationship will analyze an NBA basketball game and analyze how it was represented in various forms of media including television, sports websites and the social media site Twitter. The paper will particularly focus on how both the match buildup and the game build up received on the three media brands mentioned. The game in question is one that was played on March 3 and was played between the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trailblazers.

Basketball and the NBA

Basketball is a game that has always had a massive following in the United States of America, as well as other parts of the world. With its origins in Springfield, Massachusetts, the game has continuously evolved and has spread to almost every corner of the world. It was its intense popularity during the early 20th Century that the first professional basketball league was established in the US. The National Basketball Association or the NBA, as it is popularly known, was formed in the years 1949. The American NBA league is currently a multibillion-dollar franchise that continues to grow every day. The League comprises of about 30 teams. Many of these teams are based in the United States although there are few from Canada such as the Toronto Raptors. Unlike many other sports where games are only played during the weekend, the NBA games are played even on weekdays.
The NBA games are played in massive arenas across different cities and states, and there are large audiences in every single game. Some big names in the NBA such as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, and Dwayne Wade amongst others have developed a cult following from their fans.
With the current intensity of the NBA, it is very likely that the game will continue growing and generating more revenue.


The Lakers vs. Blazers game was played at the Moda Center at the Rose Quarter, Portland, Oregon. The game was aired on ESPN, a sports dedicated channel. ESPN had prepared a special commentary on the team’s performance since the start of the season, which was aired prior to the game. The 5-minute commentary featured both the good and the bad times that both times had experienced. There was a special focus on Lakers given their poor from since the start of the season. The presenters also focused on the creation of narratives on how the team’s current form, as well as the venue factor, could affect the game’s outcome. There are about 20 games left for each team before the commencement of the play offs and the presenters were all aware of this fact. The presenters; therefore, tried to analyze how the outcome of this game would affect the following games before the start of the players. However, the game’s analysts focused on what each team needed to do to gain that crucial win.
The analyst particularly focuses on the current team tactics and analyzes whether these team tactics will work in the current match. The look at the team’s strengths, weaknesses, and try to discuss how the team can build on its strength and eliminate its weaknesses. For instance, the analyst discussed how Lakers would look feeble without the influence of Kobe Bryant.
I observed how the presenters on ESPN built on small storylines about the teams and how they incorporated their own opinions into these stories. This is used to generate audience interest particularly basketball diehard fans who like to know everything about the game.
With the playoffs fast approaching, the sport anchors also focused on some behind the scenes elements of the sport particularly player trades. This is something that many sports enthusiasts are thrilled about. Everyone wants to know whom their favorite team has bought and sold and how they might affect the team. I also noticed how the anchors have a habit of incorporating sideline reporters who they often refer to as “ undisclosed sources” into their broadcasts. These reporters for instance are used to give inside team information such as proposed trades or feuds within the team. By doing this, the television is trying to make the audience believe that are privy to inside information about teams and players. For example, the reporter talked about a supposed player altercation in the Heat camp and tried to analyze how this might affect teamwork. The presenters also focus on some light aspects of the game such as celebrity attendance, which is a very common feature in NBA games.
During the game, the presenters try to analyze the strong and the weak points of the game. For instance, they focus on how a player is playing and how his performance is affecting the team. The most surprising thing about the presentation is that, during the game, the presenters decline the natural urge to favor one team. They talk about both teams without a trace of biasness. The commentators talk about how a particular player needs to do to help his team more.
In the course of the game, the commentators also provide previous match statistics, for instance, the average number of points scored during the first quarter of a game.
The commentators also do not fall short of criticizing the players who are letting their team down. For example in this game, the commentators were criticizing LeBron James for his poor conversion as well as another team member for his seemingly lack of motivation.
One thing that I realized from this game is that commentators and analysts are quite similar to editorial writers. This is in regards to the high value placed on their opinion by the audience especially in cases where the presenters are basketball experts such as former players or referees.
In the course of the game, the camera is always focused on the spot where most action is taking place. If a basket is scored, there is a slow-motion playback of the events leading to the score. This is a way of justifying some of the things discussed prior the game, for instance if a certain analyst talked about a particular strategy that the team needs to employ in order to score, then the commentators will try to see if the strategy was indeed used.

Online Media

A typical NBA game is also a center of attention on many websites. Many provide text commentary of the game or at least try to give as many updates on the game as possible. Examples of such websites include espn. com, bleacherreport. com and nba. com. The websites features a lot of reacted content about the game and the sport in general. They report on previous games results as well as interviews with players, coaches and team directors. For instance, nba. com featured a written interview with the Blazers head coach who talked about what his team needed to do to improve.
I noticed that the NBA website in particular featured a lot of content and features that were meant to promote the game. It had expert analyses, interviews as well as written opinions of various experts about the game. There was a time showing the countdown to the game as well as video recaps of the happening of the two team’s previous games.
When a game commences, most of the content is actually based on the happenings of the game. Many websites will try to provide as much commentary and updates on the game as possible. However, after the game, multiple articles appear on the websites. These articles provide recaps of the games and analyses. For instance, what the team did right to win and where the other team crumbled. For instance, in this game, an article on espn. com focused on how the Lakers were slightly overwhelmed by the Blazers but they managed to find back their rhythm and win the game. The articles will also focus on a particular player’s performance. The NBA website featured a former NBA Hall of famer talking about Blazer’s “ lackluster” offensive performance.
Online content usually gives journalists an opportunity to expand on real time game tweets. Here, they are able to provide detailed pieces on the game that they probably received at the game site. They are also able to provide concise recaps of the game. The reporters and journalists generate online sports contents in the form of interviews and detailed reports, therefore, creative massive content for sports media to communicate with sports enthusiasts throughout the world.
Narratives also form a key element of the online media sports communication and just like in television, the stakeholders try as much as possible to make them naturalistic, believable as well as exciting and therefore attract many audiences.


NBA games also generate a lot following on social networking sites such as twitter. I particularly found that there two main categories of Twitter users that wrote about the game- die-hards fanatics and journalists. The journalist mainly tweeted real time updates of the game, all the way from the game’s arena therefore, creating an impression that the fans were being given inside game info. In this sense, the journalists performed as sideline reporters. They were also not shy of making controversial comments, for instance one journalist tweeted “ The Blazers are being murdered in this game”.
This exemplifies just how hybrid the roles of journalists in the media. They act as commentators, analysts, critics and fans at the same time!
The fans also reply to the journalist’s tweets, for example, a journalist will receive massive backlash from the fans if he attacks a favorite player in one of his tweets. The fans also share opinions as well as the on-goings of the game. I found that many of the journalists who tweet about games have many followers, many of them being fans who value their expert opinion.
What perhaps makes Twitter different from other media forms dealing with sports communication is the fact that its model of communication is centered around giving opinion and feedback, A journalist will pose a question to his followers, and the followers will respond enthusiastically and in large numbers, something that would never happen in television or in other online websites. Twitter is the only platform that avails this level of two way communication.

Works Cited

Murphy, David. ” Los Angeles Lakers Enter Era of Transition at the Wrong Time.” Bleacher Report. N. p., n. d. Web. 4 Mar. 2014.
” Video: Lakers’ Kent Bazemore, Wesley Johnson hit on game-winning lob to top Blazers | The Point Forward.” SI. com. N. p., n. d. Web. 4 Mar. 2014.
Twitter Status – Anonymous.” Twitter. Twitter, n. d. Web. 2 March. 2014.
” Video: Lakers’ Kent Bazemore, Wesley Johnson hit on game-winning lob to top Blazers | The Point Forward.” SI. com. N. p., n. d. Web. 4 Mar. 2014.
“ Sports, Communication and Culture Course Notebook Spring”. 2014