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Bob Heere, Henry Wear, Adam Jones, Tim Breitbarth, Xiaoyan Xing, Juan Luis Paramio Salcines, Masayuki Yoshida and Inge Derom

The purpose of this study is to examine how effective the international promotion of a sport event is on changing the destination image prior to the event if the sport event lacks global popularity. The authors conducted a quasi-experimental posttest research design, in which they used promotional information of a Tour de France stage to manipulate the destination image nonvisitors (N = 3,505) from nine different nations have of the hosting city, 5 months prior to the actual event. Results show that treating the international market as a homogeneous entity might be deceptive, as the effect of the event was different from nation to nation, pending on the popularity of the event or sport in the specific nation, and whether the nation itself offered similar events.

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Jens De Rycke, Veerle De Bosscher, Hiroaki Funahashi and Popi Sotiriadou

Many Nations are increasingly investing public money in elite sport on the belief that this will trigger a range of benefits for the population. However, there is lack of insight into how the population perceives elite sport’s impact on society. This study developed and tested a measurement scale assessing the publics’ beliefs of the positive and negative societal impacts that could potentially flow from elite sport. A sample of the Belgian population (N = 1,102) was surveyed. A 32-item scale was built using principal component and confirmatory factor analysis procedures for which the goodness-of-fit indices were excellent. Multivariate analysis revealed that the Belgian population perceived elite sport to have mostly positive societal impacts. The study findings can serve researchers wanting to measure the perceived potential positive and negative societal impacts of elite sport.

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Landy Di Lu and Kathryn L. Heinze

Multilevel examinations of sport policy institutionalization are scarce in sport management scholarship. As sport policies diffuse across geographic boundaries, there is often variation in the timing of adoption. In this study, the authors used event history analysis to examine the effect of institutional factors, within and between states, on the speed of youth sport concussion legislation adoption. Our quantitative analyses show that a series of intrastate factors—state norms, disruptive events, and local advocacy—had a significant influence on the timing of state policy adoption, but interstate social networks did not. Supporting qualitative data provide additional insight about the relationship between disruptive events and local advocacy in the adoption of concussion legislation. This study contributes to a better understanding of institutional factors in the diffusion of sport policy across geographic boundaries and offers an approach for future research examining variation in sport policy or practice adoption.

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Thilo Kunkel, Rui Biscaia, Akiko Arai and Kwame Agyemang

This research explored the role of athlete on- and off-field brand image on consumer commitment toward the athlete and associated team, preference by the athlete’s sponsor, and the mediating effect of consumers’ self-brand connection on these relationships. Data were collected from fans of soccer players through a cross-sectional survey promoted on social media platforms. A partial least squares structural equation model examined the direct effects of both athlete brand dimensions on athlete commitment, team commitment, and athlete sponsor preference, and the indirect effects mediated via self-brand connection. The results indicate that an athlete’s on-field image is significantly related to athlete sponsor preference, while the off-field image influences athlete commitment and team commitment. Self-brand connection is influenced by athlete off-field image and mediates the relationship between off-field image and athlete commitment. This study contributes to a better understanding of how to manage athlete brands and linkages between fans, athletes, and associated entities.

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Matthew Katz, Bob Heere and E. Nicole Melton

The purpose of this study is to utilize egocentric network analysis to predict repurchase behaviors for college football season-ticket holders. Using a research approach grounded in network theory, we included the relational and behavioral characteristics of sport fans in a binomial regression model to predict renewal decisions among college football season-ticket holders. More specifically, we developed a model that incorporates the egocentric network variables, past behavior, and behavioral intentions to empirically test which consumer characteristics predict future behavior. Building on previous research emphasizing the role of socializing agents and social connections in sport fan consumption, through the use of egocentric network analysis, we examined the effects of social structure and social context on repurchasing decisions. Moreover, the present study is positioned within the larger discourse on season-ticket holders, as we aimed to add a network theory perspective to the existing research on season-ticket holder churn and renewal.

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Sungho Cho, J. Lucy Lee, June Won and Jong Kwan (Jake) Lee

Under the federal trademark law, owners of famous sport trademarks may bring legal claims against unauthorized users of their marks under the infringement and dilution theory. Although the rationale of trademark infringement has been supported by various notions of consumer psychology and law and economics, the theory of dilution has been criticized for the lack of empirical support. This study investigated whether the junior use of major sport trademarks would have dilutive effects on the senior marks in financial terms. The study employed the contingent valuation method, a technique designed to estimate the economic values of nonpecuniary assets such as trademarks. A total of 140 subjects were exposed to dilutive information while they purchased sport brand merchandise. A series of pre- and posttests revealed that moderately famous sport trademarks suffered dilutive harm from junior use, whereas exceptionally famous marks were immune to the dilutive effects. Theoretical and practical implications were discussed.

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Shaun M. Anderson and Matthew M. Martin

In 1989, former Major League Baseball (MLB) player John Young created the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program as a way to increase the number of African Americans becoming involved with the game of baseball. Along with this program, MLB created the Urban Youth Academy (UYA) in 2006 as a way to not only teach the game but also provide life skills to youth and adults. However, MLB continues to struggle in developing relationships and increasing involvement of African Americans. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to understand why African Americans are not interested or involved in MLB. Corporate social responsibility and relationship management theory were used as the frameworks for this study. Eleven RBI and UYA program managers were interviewed to determine the challenges they face in getting African Americans involved in the game. Results from this study indicated four themes regarding MLB program managers’ challenges: inconsistency in measuring success, lack of parental involvement, and lack of trust. A discussion, implications, and future directions are addressed.