Brian Petrotta

Brian Petrotta, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Sports Media & Communication

Brian Petrotta is an assistant professor of sports media and communications for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications. A 15-year sports PR and broadcasting veteran, Petrotta now studies emerging issues in sports media, primarily challenges presented by legalized sports betting in the U.S. His research interests include the nexus of legalized sports betting and the media, public relations in sport, esports on college campuses, historical research, and the rich relationship between sport, society, and policy. Petrotta earned his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, his M.S. from Oklahoma State University’s School of Media and Strategic Communication, and his B.S. from the University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism.

His research has appeared in Communication & Sport, International Gambling Studies, Journal of Sports Media (a University of Nebraska Press publication), and Journal of Historical Research in Marketing. His article "From Prohibition to Promotion: Framing and Sourcing the Legalization of Sports Betting in the U.S." arose from his dissertation and was published in Communication & Sport in 2023. Petrotta has presented research at numerous national and international academic conferences including International Association of Communication and Sport (IACS), Association for the Education of Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), International Communication Association (ICA), National Communication Association (NCA), and International Public Relations Research Conference (IPRRC).

Petrotta currently serves as Research Chair of the Sports Communication Interest Group for AEJMC. Previously, he served as Research Chair 2 and Graduate Student Liaison for the group. In 2021, Petrotta served as Chair of the Awards Committee for the Communication and Sport Division of the National Communication Association (NCA). He also spent three years as a representative on the University of Oklahoma Libraries Student Advisory Council.

Petrotta spent 15 years working in sports media as a play-by-play broadcaster and Sports Information Director. He began his career performing play-by-play for minor league baseball teams in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Ogden, Utah, Battle Creek, Michigan, and Vero Beach, Florida. While in Vero Beach, he assisted with public relations efforts for the Los Angeles Dodgers during Spring Training. In 2006 he broadcast several Dodgers games as lead play-by-play broadcaster on the Los Angeles Dodgers Radio Network. Following the 2006 baseball season, Petrotta became the Sports Information Director at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, where he oversaw publicity efforts for future MLB Cy Young winner Corey Kluber’s All-America campaign. Petrotta later transitioned to Wichita State University, where he served as an assistant SID and play-by-play broadcaster for women’s basketball. He also called select volleyball matches and baseball games (TV) while serving as a fill-in television studio host for the weekly Shocker Sports Report.

Curriculum Vitae