In this case study, the authors examined media representations of two Chinese female athletes—state athlete Ding Ning and professional athlete Li Na—in China, a nation undergoing social transformation and a sport-reform initiative. Analyzing stories from two Chinese web portals (i.e., Sina and Tencent), the authors analyzed how (a) gender, (b) nationalism, and (c) the individualism–collectivism continuum entered into media representations of these two female athletes. Notable differences emerged in all three conceptual areas. A fourth theme, which the authors have identified as the commercialized athlete, also emerged. Possible explanations and implications are discussed.
Qingru Xu and Peggy J. Kreshel
John F. Gaski
Over the past 3 decades or so, some variation and revision have been introduced into the recording, reporting, and interpretation of the prime historical benchmark of individual golf achievement: number of established major tournaments won. In the interest of accuracy, consistency, and even equity, some analytic record-keeping suggestions are proffered here, based on coherence and logic, toward presenting the history of golf’s major championships in the fairest possible way. Idiosyncrasies of that historical sequence mean that the resolution is not obvious and more taxonomic work remains to be done. However, acceptance of the principles and conventions proposed herein may move the golf history culture and even basic golf chronicling closer to advantageous closure. One competitive implication of this reanalysis applies, significantly, to the total of “majors” won by historical greats Jack Nicklaus, Bobby Jones, and Tiger Woods.
Jennifer A. Scarduzio, Christina S. Walker, Nicky Lewis, and Anthony M. Limperos
This study examined how participants responded to incidents of athlete-perpetrated intimate partner violence in two separate contexts: one featuring an athlete from a league that is at peak popularity among sports audiences (National Football League; NFL) and one featuring an athlete from an up-and-coming league that currently has a lower standing in professional sports (Ultimate Fighting Championship League; UFC). The authors used the social ecological model to qualitatively analyze participant perceptions about athlete-perpetrated intimate partner violence composite news packages. For the purpose of this study specifically, they centered on 1,124 responses to one of the open-ended qualitative questions asked in a larger quantitative experiment. The authors found that the participants most frequently attributed the perpetrator’s behavior to either individual or relationship-level reasons and that there were differences in the level attributed for participants of different races and ethnicities. They also determined that the participants were more likely to ascribe the violence to the suspect’s job (i.e., athlete) if they were a UFC fighter than an NFL player. Theoretical extensions of the social ecological model and practical implications for journalists, the media, and fans are offered.
Daniel Yang and Kathy Babiak
A specific form of corporate social responsibility—corporate philanthropy—has received little attention in sport scholarship despite the increased formalization of this business function in practice. Specifically, few studies have explored the institutional mechanisms that influence the corporate philanthropy of professional sport teams. Given that teams receive simultaneous institutional pressures from their league and from the community in which they operate, this study examined how the presence of multiple peers from different fields affected teams in terms of determining the appropriate level of philanthropic activity. The hypotheses were tested through a longitudinal analysis of philanthropic data from team foundations in four professional leagues in the United States from 2005 to 2017. The authors found that teams were more likely to be affected by the philanthropic giving levels of league peers than local peers. Overall, this study provides a better understanding of simultaneous institutional pressures shaping the philanthropic activities of professional sport teams.
Leeann M. Lower-Hoppe, James O. Evans, Richard L. Bailey, and Shea M. Brgoch
Coopetition is a strategic concept that integrates elements of competition and cooperation. This strategy focuses on creating an environment where working together develops additional value for all entities involved, but there is still competition for this newly established value. Mock trial is an experiential learning technique that can serve as a platform to implement coopetitive strategies, providing students the opportunity to cooperatively apply theory to practice in a competitive courtroom simulation. This extended abstract details implementation of coopetition through mock trial for the sport management classroom. Implications for enhancing the coopetitive environment through course format, mentorship, and facilitation are also discussed.
Zachary W. Arth and Andrew C. Billings
This study analyzed the frequency with which the regional broadcasts of the 30 Major League Baseball (MLB) teams featured traditional and modern/advanced statistics. To understand these portrayals, 60 games, two from each MLB team, were coded. The coded content consisted of any on-screen graphic featuring one or multiple baseball statistics, as well as any comment from the broadcasters about statistics. The results indicated a clear spectrum of teams, with some featuring a high level of advanced metrics in their graphics and commentary, while some were substantially more traditional. Through the lens of framing, potential ramifications for statistical knowledge within different fan bases were discussed.
Allison Smith, Yan Gioseffi, and Jeffrey Graham
The Pointers are a soccer team that play in Division A of the Demolition League. The president of the Pointers is Fernando Garcia, and the head coach is Guille Muller. The league has a poor culture of firing coaches throughout the season. With only a couple of games left in the season, the Pointers are going through a losing streak, and there are rumors Muller may be fired if the team does not win their next game. Simultaneously, Muller is receiving coaching offers from other teams within the league. The ethical dilemma surrounding this case refers to two scenarios (a) whether it is ethical for the president to negotiate with another coach while there is still one employed and (b) whether it is ethical for a coach to negotiate with another club while employed. Drawing from research in sport management, this case focuses on three ethical theories to create discussion surrounding the scenario: Utilitarianism, Deontology, and Virtue Ethics. Undergraduate and graduate students in sport management, human resources, and those who seek to be in a leadership position will have the opportunity to understand, analyze, and discuss these three theories and apply them to real-life scenarios, such as hiring and firing employees.
Suzannah Armentrout, Jen Zdroik, and Julia Dutove
The COVID-19 pandemic changed not only the way professional sports were played in 2020, but also changed the way sport-related organizations had to operate. An example of this is a fictional sports app, FanStand, that primarily offered opportunities for sports teams to engage fans through team information, in-game trivia and contests, services at games, and the purchasing of tickets and merchandise. The primary use of the app was inside arenas and stadiums, meaning that when COVID-19 stopped all play, the app was not used. Even as professional sport returned to play, fans were not attending in-person games and were not using the app. The purpose of this case study is to consider how apps like FanStand can generate revenue during the COVID-19 outbreak and beyond, using strategic and operational planning, as well as stakeholder theory, to account for various groups and individuals who are impacted by the decisions FanStand makes during this time.