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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

Faculty and Staff

Cheng (Grace) Yan, Ph.D.

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Department of Sport and Entertainment Management
College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management
Phone: 803-576-6358
Fax: 803-777-8788
Office: Close-Hipp 774
Cheng (Grace) Yan, assistant professor, sport and entertainment management


Ph.D., University of Illinois

Cheng (Grace) Yan's research focuses on the inter-related connections between sport, media, and society through critical theoretical lens. The subjects of Yan's work involve the power imbalances in the sport communication process, the attention economics of sport digital media, media representations of sport events and sociological implications, and digital democracy in the realm of sport. The research methods employed in her work encompass both qualitative and quantitative inquiries: narrative analysis, critical discourse analysis, and social network analysis, among others.

Honors and awards

  • Distinguished Conference Paper, The Sixth Summit on Communication and Sport, Austin, Texas
  • Christine Howe Graduate Student Award, University of Illinois
  • Best Conference Research Paper, Travel and Tourism Research Association Annual Conference, Philadelphia, Penn.


  • SPTE 385–Ethics in Sport and Entertainment Management

Research interests

  • Inter-related connections of sport and media
  • Evolving identities of sport practices
  • Production and interpretations of media at mega sporting events
  • Emerging dynamics on the digital realm of sport media: economics of attention
  • Narrative analysis, critical discourse analysis, social network analysis

Selected publications

Watanabe, N. M., Yan, G., Soebbing, B., and Fu, W. (In press). "Air pollution and attendance in the Chinese Super League: Environmental economics and sport demand." Journal of Sport Management.

Yan, G., Watanabe, N. M., Shapiro, S., Naraine, M., and Hull, K. (In press). "Unfolding the Twitter scene of the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final: Social media networks and power dynamics." European Sport Management Quarterly.

Watanabe, N.M., Yan, G., and Soebbing, B.P. (In press). "Market disruption as a regime for athlete activism: An economic analysis of college football player protests." Sport Management Review.

Yan, G., Steller, D., Watanabe, N. M., and Popp, N. (2018). "What determines user-generated content creation of college football? A big-data analysis of structural influences." International Journal of Sport Communication, 11(2), 219-240.

Podoshen, J. S., Yan, G., Andrzejewski, S. A., Wallin, J., and Venkatesh, V. (2018). "Dark tourism, abjection and blood: A festival context." Tourism Management, 64, 346-356.

Yan, G., Pegoraro, A., Watanabe, N. M. (2018). “Student-athletes’ organization of activism at the University of Missouri: Resource mobilization on Twitter." Journal of Sport Management, 32(1), 24-37.

Watanabe, N. M., Yan, G., Soebbing, B. P., and Pegoraro, A (2017). "Is there economic discrimination on sport social media? An analysis of Major League Baseball." Journal of Sport Management, 31(4), 374-386.

Yan, G., Kloeppel, M., and Li, R. (2017). "Making Extreme Metal festivals: Through Lacan's gaze." Tourism Management, 59, 579-589.

Watanabe, N.M., Wicker, P., and Yan, G. (2017). "Running performance, fatigue, and weather conditions: The 2014 FIFA World Cup and implications for the future." Journal of Sport Management, 31(1), 27-43.

Watanabe, N.M., Yan, G., and Soebbing, B. (2016). "Consumer interest in Major League Baseball: An analytical modeling of Twitter." Journal of Sport Management, 30, 207-220.

Watanabe, N.M., Yan, G., and Soebbing, B. (2015). "Major League Baseball and Twitter usage: The economics of social media use." Journal of Sport Management, 29, 619-632.

Yan, G., and Watanabe, N. M. (2014). "The Liancourt Rocks: Media dynamics and national identities at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games." International Journal of Sport Communication, 7(4), 495-515.

Watanabe, N. M., Nie, T., and Yan, G. (2013). "Evolution of sport broadcast commentary: The case of China." International Journal of Sport Communication, 6(3), 288-311.

Yan, G., and Santos, C. (2009). “‘China, Forever’: Self-Orientalism and tourism media discourse.” Annals of Tourism Research, 36(2), 295-315."

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.