The Digital NBA: How the World’s Savviest League Brings the Court to Our Couch
Jiho Kim and Braden Norris
“What Have I Learned . . . ” and How Did I Get There? Reflection on a Research Journey
Receiving a lifetime award allows one to pause and reflect on one’s research journey. In the spirit of Earle Zeigler himself, I reflect on: “What I have learned . . . ” on my research journey, and more specifically on how I got there. My research has always focused on the interaction between sport, economics, and society and evolved: “From socio-economic impacts on sport participation to socio-economic outcomes of sport events.” To cover 40 years of research, I am highlighting how: (a) “triggers,” (b) “influencers,” and (c) “lessons learned” intermingled to push my research agenda forward. This reflection proved to be a very gratifying exercise. I can highly recommend it to all researchers. Perhaps, this can become a stepping stone to be promoted to the rank of Prof. Emeritus or Emerita. Either way, sharing our experiences may trigger, inspire, and advance the learning of future generations of sport management scholars.
From the Classroom to the Industry: An Exploration of Sport Management Students’ Transitions to Employment
Ashley Gardner and Adam Love
Thousands of students graduate from academic sport management programs annually with hopes of breaking into the sport industry. However, securing full-time employment becomes a challenge for many sport management graduates. To examine the transitional period in which graduates seek employment, the current study interviewed people who had recently earned a sport management degree (n = 16) to explore their experiences during the job search process. Given the racial demographics of participants (eight Black, eight White), the findings provide particular insight regarding racial differences and barriers Black graduates face. Findings illuminate the importance of sport management graduates strategically networking, developing targeted experiences, and considering a realistic entry point when transitioning from the classroom to the industry.
Sport Event Sponsorship in the Midst of Crisis: A Teaching Case Study on the Partnership Between RunCzech and Adidas
William Crossan, Jan Šíma, and Brendan Dwyer
This case provides students with an opportunity to observe RunCzech, a historically successful sport event organization, as they navigate a crisis and strive to satisfy all stakeholders, with emphasis on the sponsor stakeholders. Students are familiarized with the challenges facing RunCzech and their corresponding response. The event organizers strive to mitigate these challenges with their crisis management strategy. This strategy includes creating new events in partnership with their sponsors while remaining in compliance with changing government restrictions. RunCzech’s crisis management, and the communication surrounding it, is framed in terms of Coombs’s situational crisis communication theory. The students see innovative crisis management, with a primary focus on sponsors as stakeholders, before being tasked with communicating these crisis management efforts to one specific sponsor, adidas.
Examining How High School Athletic Directors Leverage Communication With Key Stakeholder Groups to Inform Performance Appraisals of Head Coaches
To ensure that head coaches are effective in leading athletic programs, interscholastic athletic directors engage in a performance appraisal process that reviews coaching efforts. Given the demands of the athletic director role, these leaders are reliant on stakeholders to provide insight that informs the coaching evaluation. Therefore, using the tenets of stakeholder theory, the purpose of this study was to analyze the role that stakeholder feedback plays as athletic directors develop the full picture of coaching performance during an evaluation. Participants (N = 25) featured high school athletic directors represented across school classification (i.e., 1A, 2A, 3A, and 4A) and school type (i.e., public and private). Through semistructured interviews and a subsequent thematic analysis, saturation was achieved at this sample size. Two main themes (i.e., main stakeholder groups and leveraging stakeholder feedback) emerged and demonstrate how key stakeholders should be considered as important sources of information guiding interscholastic athletic directors when leading coaching evaluations.
Sport Mediatization, Connected Fans, and Playfulness: An Introduction to Parasocial Pretend Play
Jeffrey W. Kassing
In consideration of sport mediatization, mobile media, and fandom, this work introduces and outlines the phenomenon of parasocial pretend play. This is achieved by examining the popular television show Ted Lasso, which chronicles the activities surrounding fictional English football club AFC Richmond. Viewer involvement with the show, parasocial interaction with its characters, and social media use by connected fans combine to facilitate this new opportunity for playful collective engagement. By connecting concepts from parasocial interaction and play, the assessment theorizes about and documents how parasocial pretend play transpires. It also identifies factors that may disrupt parasocial pretend play, discusses the potential for its misuse, and details apparent variations of the practice.
Volume 37 (2023): Issue 6 (Nov 2023)
Incorporating Mental Health Literacy Into the Sport Management Curriculum
Lauren Beasley, Amy E. Cox, and Robin Hardin
Mental health is an emerging area of interest in sport, but there is a paucity of educational initiatives in sport management curricula to train the next generation of sport managers to address the mental health needs of athletes, a type of knowledge that the mental health literature operationalizes as mental health literacy. One goal of accrediting bodies such as the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation is for excellence in sport management education; thus, due to the changing landscape of sport, sport management curricula should incorporate mental health literacy competencies. This educational research review provides justification for the inclusion of mental health literacy competencies in sport management curricula and accreditation standards, as well as pedagogical strategies for implementation.
Renewable Energy Source Diffusion in Professional Sport Facilities
Liz Wanless, Chad Seifried, and Tim Kellison
Professional sport facility sustainability initiatives offer sport organizations an opportunity to demonstrate congruence with societal concern for the environment, an effort that also affects stadia revenue generation. Guided by diffusion of innovations theory, this study harnessed diffusion modeling and logistic regression to determine how quickly renewable energy source adoption is diffusing across 175 professional sport stadia in the United States and Canada and the factors catalyzing early renewable energy source adoption. Results revealed 86 (49%) facilities adopted at least one type of renewable energy source, with solar emerging as the predominant technology adopted (68 total adoptions). Full diffusion for renewable source adoption was predicted for 2061 (p = .0094, q = 0.1404, root mean square error = 3.25, mean absolute error = 2.51), while not all renewable energy sources were predicted to fully diffuse (wind; p = .0117, q = −0.0710, root mean square error = .853, mean absolute error = 0.675). New stadia construction during the time of adoption, facility type, and geographical social systems emerged as significant factors catalyzing adoption in the early majority.
Escape Narratives and Regional Identity: A Case Study of the Story of Joe Burrow
Michael Clay Carey and Betsy Emmons
This case study analyzes the news media’s framing of National Football League (NFL) quarterback Joe Burrow and his background during the 2019 football season, from the announcement of Burrow as a Heisman trophy finalist to the aftermath of his selection as the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft. With his heightened visibility on the field, Burrow’s background was increasingly of interest to football fans and sports journalists. It was not Burrow’s fairly “typical” family background as the child of a football coach in a nuclear family that received the most attention, but the Appalachian town of Athens, OH, where Burrow was a high school student, that became an important narrative. Emerging theme analysis suggests that sports journalists often extended idealized narratives to frame Burrow as an overcomer of a systemic cultural background with which he did not immediately identify. That narrative often utilized stereotypical representations of rural Appalachia as a place dominated by cultural poverty, highlighted representations of engrained hopelessness and lack of agency in the region, and reinforced problematic understandings of the nature of structural poverty and the ways it may be effectively challenged. The research addresses gaps in the literature about the college student-athlete in nuanced conversations about race and class in athlete-to-career narratives and notes the ways an athlete may call on such mediated tropes to extend a narrative for possible community or self-benefit.