Communicating Fitness through Sport: An Examination of the Use of Athletes to Communicate Fitness in Print Media

By Antonio Williams, Tywan Martin and Rebecca Allen.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Communication

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: December 30, 2015 $US5.00

The current study examined images of celebrity athletes in Men’s Health Magazine. The purpose of this empirical investigation was to assess the usage of pictorial images of celebrity athletes—and models portraying athletes—in the popular print publication to develop a better understanding of how the magazine uses images to communicate and market to consumers. This study examined the frequency in which the magazine pictured celebrity athlete images, the utility of those images found in the magazine, and the agenda setting implications of the images. A content analysis of the images of celebrity athletes and models portraying athletes during a two-year timeframe (i.e., 2010-2011) of Men’s Health Magazine was conducted. A total of 908 images were coded. The results revealed that the use of models portraying athletes outnumbered celebrity endorsers and the magazine frequently employed sport-specific action photos in comparison to posed shots.

Keywords: Fitness, Athletes, Communication, Print Media

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Communication, Volume 10, Issue 4, December 2015, pp.9-19. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: December 30, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 585.807KB)).

Dr. Antonio Williams

Assistant Professor, Indiana University, Bloomington, Bloomington, IN, USA

Dr. Tywan Martin

Assistant Professor, University of Miami, USA