The Linguistics of Social Media: Communication of Emotions and Values in Sport

Christopher Lee and Lynn Kahle

In spite of the prominence of social media within sport marketing and increased attention from researchers, very few studies have looked at the linguistic makeup of social media content in sport. The values and emotions a company tweets convey important information about brands and marketing efforts. The research used two studies to computationally analyze thousands of tweets from four baseball teams and four apparel companies. Results show unique relations between values and emotions across both baseball teams and apparel companies. As an example, Nike communicated the value sense of accomplishment—a positive value—significantly more than any other apparel brand, but it was also the least positive apparel brand from an emotional perspective. Additional results and future research directions for sport marketing researchers are discussed.