Fantasy Sports Collection, Inc. (FSC) is a fantasy sport organization offering fantasy play since 2005. Having plateaued in consumer growth, FSC is faced with difficult financial decisions. In a brainstorming session regarding new initiatives, Molly Brinkmeyer suggested an idea to purposefully market to and recruit more women to preestablished offerings. Molly’s reasons driving this idea were the fact that only 14% of their consumers were women and, after an evaluation of FSC’s marketing campaigns, employees of FSC quickly saw that advertisements were overtly produced for men. FSC’s management team felt that this was an idea worth pursuing. They charged Molly with acquiring information about women’s fantasy sport participation and gave her a 3-week window to learn more and report back. She found that women’s top perceptions of the activity were that: (a) the activity was time consuming; (b) the activity required research, surveillance, and information; (c) they had no interest or understanding of it; (d) they felt the activity was too competitive; (e) they thought it wasn’t real; and (f) they still had a positive opinion of fantasy sport. With this new information, marketing decisions could now be made to address existing concerns by women regarding fantasy sport participation.
Brody J. Ruihley and Heidi Grappendorf
Mitchell McSweeney, Per G. Svensson, and Michael L. Naraine
The case explores how Sport4Change will adapt its sport-for-development (SFD) programs in response to the current uncertainty presented by COVID-19. Being able to innovate program operations, implementation, and delivery is key to the success and long-term sustainability of Sport4Change, and changing program strategies needs to be done correctly given the organization’s varying locations around the world. Making such decisions requires consideration of the various contexts in which Sport4Change works, understanding diverse options to implement SFD through technological or remote means, and aligning remote delivery and operations with each SFD location and their in-person program focus and goals in order to come up with solutions to ensure SFD remains impactful during COVID-19.
Anya T. Eicher, James E. Johnson, Phoebe Campbell, and Benjamin J. Downs
As the commercialization of intercollegiate sport continues to grow, it is critical to understand how transitioning away from college athletics may impact student-athletes. Sport administrators, coaches, academic support personnel, and players should be aware of how athletic identity, unpreparedness, and a lack of social connection can drastically impact student-athletes postsport. Understanding the adjustment issues associated with transition away from sport is crucial in developing policies and support services to effectively help struggling student-athletes. Sport management students are particularly important in the transition because they will be at the forefront of programming efforts. In addition, sport management students need to be exposed to the issue of athlete identity and adjustment in order to act in the best interests of student-athletes. The discussion questions provide an opportunity for sport management students to critically evaluate these issues from a multitude of perspectives.
This case study asks students to assume the role of a ticket sales strategist hired to work as a consultant for the University of Minnesota Golden Gopher athletic department. In this case, you will be asked to work with members of the Gopher Fan Advisory Board to develop service innovations in the area of ticket sales. As a sales and marketing consultant, you will examine existing data on spectator attendance trends and focus group interviews to determine the current issues facing the athletic department. Then, you will be asked to suggest the manners by which the athletic department should innovate the ticket service, using a design thinking approach to grow ticket sales and spectator attendance for the men’s hockey program.
Lucy V. Piggott and Jordan J.K. Matthews
Within this article, the authors explore the extent to which the administrative and governance hierarchies, rules, and processes of two English national governing bodies (NGBs) reproduce or resist gender segregation and male dominance within their leadership and governance. Drawing on Bourdieu’s theory of practice, the authors expand upon current literature to better understand the workings of gender power relations at the structural level of organizational practice. Semistructured interviews with male and female leaders were supplemented by an analysis of formal documents. The authors found that gender power relations privileging men were simultaneously conserved and resisted within the two NGBs. While resistance to male-dominated leadership and governance was evident, transformational organizational change was lacking. This highlighted the limitations of strategies being primarily driven through top-down, policy-based approaches. The authors end the article by emphasizing the importance of a combined approach at the structural, cultural, and individual levels to enable sustainable and transformational organizational change.
Christine E. Wegner, Bradley J. Baker, and Gareth J. Jones
Volunteers provide essential services to community sport organizations; thus, it is important to understand the underlying factors in successful volunteer–organization relationships. Organizational identification, an integral component of relationship building for members in an organization, is a useful yet underutilized concept to understand how and why volunteers create lasting, deep relationships with sport organizations. This research utilizes a sequential mixed-method design to examine the evolution of organizational identification among volunteers in a community sport organization. The survey results indicate that new volunteers formed their organizational identification over the course of a single program season, such that, by the end of the season, they were similar to returners. Subsequent qualitative analysis of focus group data indicated that the content and evolution of organizational identities varied for newcomers and returners. These results provide important contributions related to the ongoing nature of identity work of volunteers and offer practical implications for volunteer management within community sport organizations.
David Cassilo and Danielle Sarver Coombs
The Pakistan Super League launched in 2016 with massive enthusiasm in its “cricket-mad” nation. However, safety concerns stemming from a 2009 terrorist attack in Lahore, Pakistan, meant all matches were played in the United Arab Emirates until the tournament’s final game in 2017—the ultimate test in seeing if top-level cricket could return to Pakistan. In this study, the authors examine framing of the creation in 2013 and first 2 years of the Pakistan Super League from news sources in Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. This study offers an opportunity to understand how Middle Eastern sport and the sport’s connection to national identity are framed in the media across multiple countries during a pivotal time for cricket in Pakistan.
Richard J. Paulsen
This paper uses Major League Baseball data to examine the relationship between years remaining on player contracts and player performance. There is a potential for moral hazard to arise in this principal–agent relationship as the player may choose a less than optimal level of effort from the perspective of team management when the player has many guaranteed years remaining. A player fixed-effects estimation strategy, which finds a significant negative relationship between years remaining and performance, is employed. The primary contribution of this work is to show that this relationship is due to shirking. Alternative explanations for this relationship, such as teams signing improving players to multiyear contracts or players facing an adjustment process when joining a new team, are addressed. Additional evidence which is consistent with shirking behavior shows that shirking occurs on offense, not defense, and for position players, not pitchers.
Joon Ho Lim, Leigh Anne Donovan, Peter Kaufman, and Chiharu Ishida
To examine how the level of humility expressed through athletes’ social media postings and post volume is associated with the athletes’ in-game performance, the authors collected National Football League players’ social media activities throughout one season, in addition to player performance and profile information. To account for the multilevel and panel structure of the data, they conducted a series of fixed-effects panel models. In addition to a negative relationship between social media posting frequency and performance, the authors found that players who post social media content with a higher level of humility are more likely to have better performances. However, this humility–performance association follows an inverted U-shaped relationship. The results provide insight into how critical athletes’ social media activity is for in-game performance. This study also provides important implications for athletes, team coaches, staff, and managers and provides guidance for future research.