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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

Faculty and Staff

Cheng (Grace) Yan, Ph.D.

Title: Associate 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
Resources: Sport Media and Cultural Studies Laboratory
Cheng (Grace) Yan headshot


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 / 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 Research Publications

Watanabe, N. M., Yan, G., Soebbing, B. P., & Fu, W. (2019 ). Air pollution and attendance in the Chinese Super League: Environmental economics and the demand for sport. Journal of Sport Management, 33(4), 289-302.

Yan, G., Watanabe, N. M., Shapiro, S., Naraine, M. L., & Hull, K. (2019). Unfolding the Twitter scene of the 2017 UEFA Champions League final: Social media networks and power dynamics. European Sport Management Quarterly, 19(4), 419-436.

Watanabe, N. M., Yan, G., & Soebbing, B. P. (2019). Market disruption as a regime for athlete activism: An economic analysis of college football player protests. Sport Management Review, 22(5), 600-612.

Yan, G., Steller, D., Watanabe, N. M., & 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., & 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., & 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., & Li, R. (2017). Making extreme metal festivals: Through Lacan's gaze. Tourism Management, 59, 579-589.

Watanabe, N., Wicker, P., & Yan, G. (2017). Weather conditions, travel distance, rest, and running performance: The 2014 FIFA World Cup and implications for the future. Journal of Sport Management, 31(1), 27-43.

Watanabe, N. M., Yan, G., & Soebbing, B. P. (2016). Consumer interest in Major League Baseball: An analytical modeling of Twitter. Journal of Sport Management, 30(2), 207-220.

Watanabe, N., Yan, G., & Soebbing, B. P. (2015). Major League Baseball and Twitter usage: The economics of social media use. Journal of Sport Management, 29(6), 619-632.

Yan, G., & 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., & Yan, G. (2013). Evolution of sport-broadcast commentary: The case of China. International Journal of Sport Communication, 6(3), 288-311.

Yan, G., & Santos, C. (2009). “CHINA, FOREVER”: Tourism discourse and self-orientalism. Annals of Tourism Research, 36(2), 295-315.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.