The Public Diplomacy of Celebrity Athletes

Sports diplomacy is often brought up in discussions of mega events such as the Olympic Games or the FIFA World Cup, but sometimes it is the athletes—beyond the sport itself—that bring publics together.

Michael K. Park's 2017 article, "Long Shot: The Prospects and Limitations of Sports and Celebrity Athlete Diplomacy" in InMedia: The French Journal of Media Studies explores this phenomenon.

The article looks at the intersection of celebrity and sports diplomacy and uses Dennis Rodman's "basketball diplomacy" with North Korea as a case study. According to the author, the practice is important because "[s]ports diplomacy via the celebrity athlete are a nascent and underutilized soft power resource worth further consideration to bridge dialogue and diplomatic relations between publics, including estranged nations and their heads of state."

The full article is available on the OpenEdition Journals website.

Photo by European Commission DG Echo I CC BY-SA 2.0

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