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The Utility of Including Regular Sport Team Events in Event Portfolios

Vitor Sobral, Sheranne Fairley, and Danny O’Brien

Event portfolios are a useful way for destination managers to holistically manage their community’s collection of events and, through strategic integration and common objectives, more effectively produce benefits. However, regular sport events such as those played by professional sport teams in a sport league have received little attention from event portfolio managers and researchers. Understanding the value and utility of sport team event assets can inform the successful integration of these events into event portfolios. This research used qualitative methods to examine how team asset components can contribute to achieving event portfolio objectives. The results have significance for event tourism researchers and practitioners and demonstrate that contributions are largely founded on the focal professional sport league structure, which provides constant content and regular communications with key target markets. Analysis of the findings led to the development of a model on the utility of including team events in an event portfolio.

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An Analysis of Identity Conflict Among Health-Conscious Sport Fans

Aaron C. Mansfield, E. Nicole Melton, and Matthew Katz

Scholars have begun to explore the interplay between the multiple identities within a sport fan’s salience hierarchy, noting fandom may compete with other central roles. Researchers have also recently emphasized well-being outcomes for fans, with increasing focus on physical health. Though sport consumer behavior and health consciousness have concurrently emerged, the social psychological connection between the two is unclear. Thus, we aim to clarify this relationship. We leverage an emerging quantitative approach: polynomial regression and response surface methodology. Our findings indicate individuals who value both fandom and health consciousness (i.e., demonstrate high fan identity and health consciousness congruence) experience identity conflict, with men reporting higher levels of identity conflict than women. Thus, we contribute to literature on the potential negative sides (or challenges) of fan identity. The food and sedentarism common to fan culture appear to prompt psychological turmoil for health-conscious individuals. Fan identity may naturally integrate with other social roles, yet our results indicate fandom and health consciousness are often viewed in conflict.

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Image Repair Using Social Identity Leadership: An Exploratory Analysis of the National Football League’s Response to the National Anthem Protests

Daniel Read and Daniel Lock

Events such as player protests can create image crises that require sport organizations to engage in political issues. In this manuscript, we blend image repair theory with the social identity approach to leadership to advance knowledge about how sport organizations communicate in response to crises. Applying a discursive social psychology framework to analyze 21 NFL communications and interview statements, we explored how the NFL’s rhetoric evolved in response to the 2016–2020 national anthem and Black Lives Matter protests. The NFL augmented its traditionally militarized patriot identity as the crisis progressed, to address the social change issues raised by protestors. We show that sport organizations use rhetoric to mobilize support for their version of events to manage threats to organizational image. Accordingly, we provide theoretical and managerial implications arguing that apolitical identities are increasingly untenable in sport.

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Social Media in Sport: Theory and Practice

Claudia Benavides-Espinoza and Amanda Wheeler Gryffin

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Volume 36 (2022): Issue 3 (May 2022): Special Issue: State of Literature

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Toward a Better Understanding of Fair-Weather Fandom: Exploring the Role of Collective Narcissism in Basking in Reflected Glory and Cutting Off Reflected Failure

Ben Larkin, Janet S. Fink, and Elizabeth Delia

Researchers have found highly identified sport fans exhibit almost unwavering loyalty. Such loyalty has been exhibited by fans basking in reflected glory (BIRGing) following team wins, but not cutting off reflected failure (CORFing) following team losses. In short, they stick with the team through thick and thin, and thus would not be construed as fair-weather fans (those who associate with the team when they are winning, but disassociate when they are losing). Despite their presence, little is known about fair-weather fans, including the roots of their fandom. In the current study, we explore the role of collective narcissism—a type of in-group identification characterized by an insecure self-esteem—in predicting BIRGing and CORFing patterns. We find collective narcissism to be a predictor of BIRGing and CORFing patterns characteristic of fair-weather fandom. This extends research on collective narcissism, BIRGing, and CORFing, while also providing actionable insight for practitioners seeking to combat fair-weather fandom.

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Customer Engagement in Sport: An Updated Review and Research Agenda

Heath McDonald, Rui Biscaia, Masayuki Yoshida, Jodie Conduit, and Jason P. Doyle

Customer engagement (CE) is an emerging perspective that provides a holistic view of the ways in which customers’ interactive experiences with organizations create value for both the parties. Central to this, is the need to develop an understanding of why a customer would choose to invest their resources (cognitive, emotional, and behavioral) with an organization, to be able to better facilitate this engagement and properly value the outcomes from it. Sport, with its inherently strong interactions for both participants and fans, would seem an ideal setting to study CE. To date, however, the CE work in sport domains has largely followed established paths. Given CE’s potential to unify many disparate areas of sport research, this paper presents a comprehensive review of the CE work to date and highlights several ways sport can leverage and advance this work through both academic research and management practice.

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Great Expectations: A Critical Review of Interorganizational Relationships in Amateur Sport

Katie E. Misener, Kathy Babiak, Gareth Jones, and Iain Lindsey

The study of interorganizational relationships in amateur sport has developed significantly over the past 30 years alongside rising expectations for multisector integration between sport organizations and other partners. This stems from sport organizations seeking innovative ways to achieve their mission and neoliberal government policies adding institutional pressure for interorganizational cooperation. This review paper discusses the wider cultural and political forces that shape the drive for legitimacy through partnerships across sector boundaries and outlines the theoretical influences on interorganizational relationship research in amateur sport between economic and behavioral paradigms. In addition to considering how prevailing frameworks and findings inform the current body of knowledge in sport management, we critically reflect on implicit assumptions underpinning this work given that partnerships now saturate the discourse of sport management policy and practice. Our review questions whether reality lines up with our “great expectations,” and explores what limitations and opportunities remain for future interorganizational relationships research in amateur sport.

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Introduction: State of Literature Special Issue

Janet S. Fink, Jeffrey D. James, and Scott Tainsky

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What Is Blackness to Sport Management? Manifestations of Anti-Blackness in the Field

John N. Singer, Kwame J.A. Agyemang, Chen Chen, Nefertiti A. Walker, and E. Nicole Melton

This article is written in response to the collective “reckoning” with anti-Black violence in 2020. We share our perspective in solidarity with the long traditions, and contemporary, everyday actions of survival and resistance from millions of unnamed members of Black, Indigenous, and other racialized communities across the world. This article calls in the field of sport management, while calling attention to ways anti-Blackness has permeated the academy. Through observations, reflections, and interrogation of literature in the field, we illustrate the invisibility/marginality/erasure of Blackness in this body of knowledge and discuss missed opportunities for sport management. With the hope that the field will transform into a more inclusive, equitable, and just intellectual space, representative of Black, Indigenous, and other racialized voices, perspectives, experiences, and cultures, and accountable to rectifying the injustices inflicted upon Black and other racialized bodies, we offer calls to action for everyone in the field to consider.