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Alliance of American Football shutdown is a shock

Woman outside in purple suit and black hair smiling

Jennifer L. Harker

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The sudden cease of operations for the Alliance of American Football came as a shock to everyone involved, including sport communication scholars. Jennifer L. Harker, assistant professor at the West Virginia University Reed College of Media, has been researching the AAF since before its inaugural launch in February. 

“The sudden collapse of the league is surprising given the effective communication efforts by the league to streamline their social media presence so pristinely through the brand-building consistency of hashtag use for the league and every team. Moreover, league rivalry is now emerging as the XFL experiences ‘schadenfreude’ and ‘glory out of reflective failure’ while ‘blasting’– three common facets of rivalry communication among sports fans – the AAF for folding so soon.” —Jennifer L. Harker, assistant professor at the Reed College of Media



CONTACT: Jennifer L. Harker
Assistant Professor
Reed College of Media; 806.220.1665

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