Research – Sustainability
Confident is such an awkward term to define. In this venture I have discovered there are many extreme sport websites and some dedicated blogs but I believe the area of interest is not overly saturated. My amateur marketing and entrepreneurial knowledge and skills tend to make me naive of such exercises however I do think that there could be a market for a website dedicated to the psychology behind extreme sport athletes.
Such a website would contain research from academics marketing and advertising gurus while still staying current and change with the trends of the extreme sport culture. Although it’s very easy to write and say what it will be and represent, actually creating it and bringing it to life so to speak is much much harder.
There are many websites out there created to stay in touch with extreme sport events and athletes, there are not so many that are solely dedicated to the psychology links of why individuals take part in such life threatening activities.
Why do they do it? What makes them do it? Are very common questions that are on everybody’s lips after watching someone dive off a cliff with only an aero- dynamic suit to keep them alive. This is one of the reasons why I think a website dedicated to such questions would fill a void in the extreme sport market.
Not only would it be a one stop shop to all your extreme sport questions but it would also be of use to the friends and family members of an extreme sport athlete.
The sustainability of this website idea would mostly be through advertising extreme sport sponsors. It would also have the have links to other websites that talk more about extreme sport events and extreme sporting personalities. This caters for the extreme sport enthusiast and the extreme sport fan in keeping them up to date with all the goss from the crazy world of extreme sport.
Research – Timeline of News articles
“700m plunge at Avalanche Gully: doctor killed in extreme skiing accident” the Sydney Morning Herald reported on August 25 2011.
“Extreme skier killed in 700-metre plunge” stated The Age online on August 25
“Australian Dr Graeme Nelson dies in ski accident at Mt Feathertop” declared the Daily Telegraph on August 25
And the headlines go on and on. At the beginning of this blogging exercise the term ‘Extreme sports’ was defined.
Although there are many different and complex definitions one could sum it up to being a sport that produces a certain level of risk to ones’ life.
Sadly these headlines are quite often read in the extreme sport industry. The risk that an individual takes when performing the death defying acts is what makes this topic both popular and at the same time, newsworthy.
Although it may never have a regular spot in the mainstream media publications it will always have followers.
The media followed this story until the very end. However it was not really the major players that stuck with the story but smaller regional papers and radio programs that reported on the community and the family of the deceased.
“Skiers body recovered from Mt Feathertop” Ninemsn news reported
“Skier who fell to his death at Mt Feathertop ‘not a risk-taker’” said The Herald Sun August 25
“‘Committed’ rural GP dies in tragic skiing accident” from the Medical Observer August 26
“Eden mourns Doctor lost in ski plunge” stated The Border Mail August 26
“Community farewells Dr Graeme Nelson” from the Merimbula News September 7
Research – Audience and Participants
This week it is all about research in extreme sports, who has done it and why. Since doing this blog I have discovered that compared to other interests, extreme sport has only a limited amount of fans. These fans also include researchers in either marketing, academic or even advertising. This made researching for this blog quite difficult.
However I am not here to disappoint. I have found two different studies one academic and the other more for marketing and advertising purposes. Both of these studies relate very closely to the same topic in extreme sport, what makes people do it?
The Daily Galaxy: the great discoveries channel, is a more marketing and advertising website almost commercial in its purpose but the research published on the website was done by a University of College London by Bianca Wittmann. The article talks about how British researchers have discovered that the human brain has a primitive area that makes us adventurous. The new research suggests “that new experience drives choice behavior in humans, even when the degree of familiarity with an option is completely unrelated to choice outcome”.
Studying Extreme Sports: Beyond the core participants discusses not only the limited range of extreme sport research but also looks beyond the subculture of the sport genre to examine the forms of authentic participation. This type of research is an academic paper from McMaster University by Michele Donnelly.
Having found two pieces of research on extreme sports it suggests that there is a market out there for a website dedicated to extreme sport research and findings. Although this idea is only in its raw and new babe stage, it does make you wonder and almost admire how much work goes into marketing to create a product for the right niche market.
Research – Common Form of Content
Okay so this week I will be discussing the most common forms of content representing my area if interest.
As you should know by now, the area that draws my particular interest is extreme sports and WHY people part-take in life threatening activities. There are many different theories but none of which I will focus on today because today I wish to tell you why I think that most forms of content in extreme sports seems to multiply itself via the medium of visual representation.
By visual representation I’m referring to mediums or media like, DVD’s, YouTube clips, Video’s, and Online Multi-media content. Although these are the main supporters of extreme sport print media still plays a small hand at the extreme sports table. Things like glossy photo shopped adventure advertising, posters and billboards, magizines that tell of a magical place far away from the hum drum office desk life.
The above mentioned forms of content may be different in delivery but all still have the same affect on the consumer. The strong visual images that stir feelings and passions that lay dormant inside a person in other surroundings. Although these forms of content play directly to the consumer’s visual sense it also captures their other senses like touch and sound.
Have you ever watched a snowboarding DVD or been a member in the crowd at a Banff Film Festival screening? Then you would know what I’m trying to say. With pumped up sound tracks, action packed sound effects and awesomely stunning visual photography or cinematography we can’t but help be in absolute awe of the extreme nut heads.
Thus my point is that any other form of content just wouldn’t have the same visual pull and stirrings of passion as what the above mentioned visual forms have in regards to extreme sports and really would you want it any other way?
Research – Interacting Online
In this blog post I aim to explore who one should follow in the online world to establish themselves in a particular area of interest.
As there are quite a few websites a that dedicate themselves in some way to my area of interest I will only focus on a small hand full of them as some i have already mentioned in earlier blog’s.
Eric Brymer: http://eprints.qut.edu.au/view/person/Brymer,_Eric.html Follow him by RSS feed. Why? Because he is an academic that has done extensive research in the area of extreme sports.
The Psych Files: http://www.thepsychfiles.com/2007/11/episode-35-the-psychology-of-extreme-sports/ Follow them by RSS Feed, Twitter and on Facebook. Why? Because it is run buy one guy, Micheal Britt and he offers in sight not only into extreme sport personalities but also talks more general about other everyday life activities which is great to compare against.
Science Line: http://scienceline.org/2009/07/health-konkel-extreme-sports-risk-psychology/ Follow them by RSS Feed and on Twitter. Why? Because this page offers more than just the psychology behind people who participate in extreme sports it also offers the science behind why people do what they do. It looks at why some people are more septible to extreme sports and risk taking activities compared to other who would much prefer a nice cup of tea and a comfortable warm couch.
Freecaster TV: http://freecaster.tv/ Follow them by Twitter and Facebook but also sign up to their Newsletter. Why? Becuase they cover all kinds of extreme sports events and individuals both in Australia but also world wide. This offers a solid overview of what is happening in the extreme sport arena.
Xsessions: http://www.xsession.com.au/ Follow them by RSS Feed. Why? Because of similar reasons to following Freecaster TV. They offer an extensive overview of the extreme sport area with particular focus to Australian Extreme Sporting events and Individuals.
Research – Media Professional
In this particular area of interest there are a few individuals that are or at the very least have engaged with online journalism in extreme sports.
Although from what my research has told me the definition of what makes an extreme sport is a difficult one to define as it keeps shifting from era to era.
In the 1980’s to the 1990’s for example the definition of extreme sport took a major make over when marketing guru’s covered the Xtreme games. One grossly over generalized definition of the term ‘extreme sport’ is “activities perceived as having a high level of inherent danger” (wikipedia.org)
However in 2004 Joe Tomlinson redefined the term buy categorising each of the extreme sports into those that take place in the air, land and water. This was a massive shift in the industry as never before had it been done.
It has also been defined as a counter-cultural concept, “as the norms of the sportsmen often go against those of the social mainstream” (Juliapsych.wordpress.com) Which I must admit is easy to see as most people would decline an offer to tied themselves to a piece of stretchy cord and jump off a bridge.
In 2005 Eric Brymer’s paper the ‘Extreme Dude: A Phenomenological Perspective on the extreme sport experience’ suggests that the broad definition for extreme sports has created a confusing array of research findings however from said findings, Brymer concludes that the young, male, thrill-seeking, adrenaline junky stereotype is exposed as an over simplification. Instead extreme sport participation points to a more potent, life-enhancing endeavour.
Research – Critical Summary
In this blog I will explore and critically summarise who both media and individuals are publishing material in my chosen area of interest, Extreme sports.
With only the occasional news story of some extreme sporting event, achievement and/or death not much is published in the mainstream news. This is due likely because is such a small interest sport. Although many of the events get sponsorship and some degree of advertising one is still hard pressed to find extreme sporting stories featuring nightly on their television screens.
However that said of course online publication is found in abundance. Websites like, Xsessions tries to cover all areas of extreme sports and plays host to a vast number of multi-media information outlets. For example, videos, interviews, news, articles, activities and even a forum which invites visitors to the page to connect and share common interests.
Another popular online publication is Xreme Sports.com.au. Being another Australian website it is very similar in its formatting to Xsessions however it is set up as more of a public page, where extreme sport nut heads can upload and share video participating in their chosen activity.
Taking that video sharing page idea and expanding upon it one is likely to come up with a website like Freecaster.TV. A website purely designed to encourage budding adventure filmmakers to showcase their talents. It also offers live streaming of events being held around the world.
These three online publications are but a small snap shot of what is actually out there on the web and it is here that I will this blog for now.