Mega sporting events, as with the evolution of human progress, continue to be marked by trepidation and awe over the transformational power of technology. Today, mega sporting events like the Olympic Games and World Cup are increasingly the captivating spectacles of consumer capitalism. Whereas, since the 1980s, established media organisations have exerted a significant influence over the production of mega sporting event narratives, the mass availability of everyday digital technologies democratises media making, changing the way events are conceived, planned, mediatised and reported. Citizens, living digitised and social mediated lifestyles, are now important co-creators, shaping the design, delivery and dissemination of events to a wider audience. This article explores the emergence of digital tools and technologies and their impact on mega sporting event media narratives. It highlights how social media and ubiquitous digital technologies augment accelerated identities. As a means of illustrating the acceleration agenda and its impact on mega sporting event coverage, the author presents a case study of a citizen media initiative #citizenrelay, which focused on the Olympic Torch Relay on its journey around Scotland, UK in the summer of 2012. The article concludes by suggesting that the digitally democratised citizen has power in their pocket to make media that, when brought together as part of a collective, can present alternative narratives to those offered by the established media frame.
- citizen media
- social media