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by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

East Stroudsburg University to perform year-long study on the Islanders’ dedicated area for bloggers

The Islanders have formed a partnership with faculty from the East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania Sport Management Department to evaluate the effectiveness of the NYI Blog Box, a first of its kind dedicated area for bloggers to observe a professional sporting event with some of the same access afforded members of the mainstream media.

Dr. Stephen W. Dittmore, an assistant professor of sport management at ESU, and Professor Craig Crow, a sport management instructor at ESU, met with the initial 12 bloggers credentialed for the opening game on October 6, 2007. They intend to follow the bloggers’ writing, along with that of subsequent Blog Box invitees, throughout the course of the season as part of an ongoing academic research project.

"The unique nature of the NYI Blog Box creates an opportunity to test academic theories concerning relationship management between a sport organization and its key publics, in this case, their fan base," Dittmore said. "We hope to provide the Islanders with some sort of quantifiable measurement to evaluate the effectiveness of this endeavor."

Dittmore is in his second year at ESU and previously spent 10 years as a sport public relations practitioner, mostly in the Olympic movement. He is co-author of Sport Public Relations: Managing Organizational Communication, published in 2006 by Human Kinetics. His research interests include the use of blogs as two-way forms of communication.

Crow is in his first year at ESU and previously worked in athletic compliance at West Virginia University where he is a PhD candidate.

East Stroudsburg University is located in the Pocono Mountains just off Interstate 80 in eastern Pennsylvania, a few miles from the New Jersey border.
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