A Deep Dive into Sports Media Research

Building off Elon’s status as a national leader in student-centered learning and experiential education and led by Associate Professor David Bockino, the Sports Media Lab provides a structure for students, faculty and industry partners to pursue a variety of sports media-related research questions.

The lab explores a variety of topics including: sports gambling, fantasy sports, player/team content creation, broadcast innovations and the perceived value of streaming services.

An integral component to the Sports Media Lab is its mutually beneficial relationship with sport industry partners. These partners – media companies, leagues, clubs, digital brands – have the opportunity to both contribute questions to the lab’s ongoing research agenda and to gain insights about the evolving sports media habits of college students.

During the 2024-25 academic year, the Sports Media Lab will partner with Charlotte FC where students will pursue research projects developed in collaboration with the team.


New book examines history of sports media industry

Bockino wrote this green-covered book titled "Game On: How Sports Media Grew Up, Sold Out, and Got Personal with Billions of Fans."Authored by Bockino, “Game On: How Sports Media Grew Up, Sold Out, and Got Personal with Billions of Fans” is the first comprehensive, general audience history of the sports media industry. Written at a time of great uncertainty and rapid change, the book details the most important events, platforms, and personalities in the evolution of the industry over the past 100 years including:

  • What everybody gets wrong about the most famous football game of all time
  • How “Crocodile Dundee” helped reinvent one of the world’s most popular sports
  • The untold story of the long-forgotten Sports.com
  • Why Mark Cuban went from “king of streaming” to “king of being quite content with cable television”
  • How the United States went from betting on “the bowel movements of a large heifer” to widespread legalized sports gambling

New research explores what college students think of sports gambling

We are approaching the six-year anniversary of the monumental Supreme Court decision that paved the way for widespread legalized sports gambling in the United States. Yet despite billions of dollars of investment, there’s still so much we don’t know about the major players and participants across this emerging landscape.

In an attempt to fill in the gaps, a team at Elon University’s Sports Media Lab undertook a five-month project to talk to college students about sports gambling. As part of this research, which is highlighted in a Sports Business Journal op-ed, four insights emerged from a mixture of discussions, surveys, interviews, and focus groups with more than 100 college students, ages 18 to 22.

Student Involvement

All students involved with the Sports Media Lab contribute to the lab’s ongoing research agenda while also pursuing individual projects.

Anthony Bamford

Anthony Bamford

Anthony, a media analytics major, is working on a project in collaboration with the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) that explores the variables behind college football game lengths.

Heath Foster

Heath Foster

Heath is involved with two projects: a quantitative exploration of how different groups value NFL players and how those values differ from on-field production and an investigation that looks at how qualifying times and point systems influence global F1 viewership. His research was accepted for presentation at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research in Long Beach, California, and at the annual conference of the Broadcast Education Association in Las Vegas, Nevada. Heath studies media analytics and marketing.

Carlos Levy Lanado

Carlos Levy Lañado

In anticipation of the 2026 FIFA World Cup in the United States, Carlos, a sport management major, is exploring how European soccer clubs market and promote their team to an American audience.

Photo of Elliot Rezek.

Elliot Rezek

Elliot, a media analytics and computer science double major, is using eye-tracking software to study viewers’ affinity for new camera angles in National Football League (NFL) broadcasts. His research was accepted for presentation at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research in Long Beach, California.

Bernardo Vargas Lopez

Bernardo Vargas-Lopez

Bernardo, a sport management major, is studying the role of soccer in the assimilation of international students on a college campus. He’s focusing specifically on how collective viewing of soccer matches helps ease the transition to a new country and a new school.


Sports Media Lab News