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Volume 15 (2022): Issue 4 (Dec 2022)

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Championship and Sponsor Analysis in Intercollegiate Athletics: A Case Study Examining the Effects of Identification, Expectations, and Game Outcomes on Event Sponsorship Evaluations

Natalie Brown-Devlin, Michael B. Devlin, and Vincent Peña

To examine the relationship among identification, fan expectations, and sponsorship outcomes, this study examined Alabama and Clemson fan expectations and responses to the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) football championship game outcome. This case study sought to understand how fans of winning and losing teams evaluated a sporting event’s sponsor following the conclusion of an event, positing that highly identified fans would demonstrate a halo effect, and report favorable attitudes toward the sponsoring brand as suggested by previous research. However, there is a lack of theoretical evidence regarding consumer expectations when applied within the context of sport. Thus, using the theoretical framework of identification and expectation violation theory, the authors inquired to what extent the outcome of the game and one’s expectations of the outcome influenced their evaluation of the event sponsor. The results support previous research regarding potential halo effects, but also add nuance to earlier work demonstrating that a halo effect is not unilaterally applied for all fans. Given the unpredictable nature of sport and the increasing cost of sponsoring sporting events, these findings help explain the extent to which violations of one’s expected outcome affect subsequent evaluations of a sponsor.

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We Did It: A Content Analysis of Australian and New Zealand Online News Media Coverage of the Bid Process for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup

Eleanor Crabill, Callie Maddox, and Adam Beissel

The purpose of this study was to examine online news media coverage of the Australia–New Zealand joint bid to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Following neoliberal feminist theory and a postfeminist framework, the meanings and discourses of women’s empowerment produced in, and disseminated by, Australia and New Zealand’s popular online news media were explored. A content analysis was used to examine 77 domestic online news media articles published in response to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup bid and hosting announcement. The findings revealed that the popular online news media centered on three themes: opportunities for women and girls in sport, legacy outcomes, and commercial benefits. However, there was a clear lack of critical engagement from the news media over the bid’s initiatives, claims, and promises. Only 2.5% of all online news media coverage engaged in meaningful discussion, analysis, and critique of the purported social and economic impacts of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. This study raises critical questions about the role of Australian and New Zealand (sport) media in (a) serving as a prominent forum through which the As One 2023 bid committee could circulate strategically crafted, preferred narratives regarding the event’s legacies and impacts to manufacture consent and public support for event hosting and (b) propagating a postfeminist celebration of women’s sport mega events that uncritically circulates specious claims of women’s empowerment, participation growth, and commercial benefits of the event.

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Sport Fan Motivation: A Comparison of Local, Nonlocal, and Distant National Basketball Association Fans in the United States and China

Sitong Guo

The aim of the current study was to examine the sport motivations of three types of National Basketball Association fans based on their geographic proximity to the team: local fans (i.e., U.S.-based fans of a local team), nonlocal fans (i.e., U.S.-based fans of a nonlocal team), and distant fans (i.e., China-based fans). The author used the psychological continuum model to measure level of psychological involvement with the team in order to determine whether fans were casual, moderate, or loyal. Using one-way analyses of variance and factorial analyses of variance, the author found that Chinese distant fans reported the highest motivation for seven of the nine types of motivation measured. Results also show that geographic locality predicted significant motivational differences among casual and moderate fans but not among loyal fans. The findings have both theoretical and applied implications and call for stronger focus on the influence of locality in the sport industry.

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“They Just See Guys as Bodies”: Assessing Credibility of Injury Communication in the National Football League

David Cassilo and Joseph McGlynn

This study examined interviews with former National Football League (NFL) players to better understand the role that source credibility plays in concussion and injury communication. The NFL has a complex history with concussions and other injuries, yet has made some recent attempts to improve player safety. Researchers interviewed 10 former NFL players about concussion and injury communication that is league-based, team-based, and teammate-based. The researchers performed a thematic analysis of those interview transcripts with a focus on source credibility and injury communication, finding that while the NFL has attempted to make the game safer, players still struggle to trust the league, which impacts their willingness to accept health information. These findings indicate that NFL players may never find the league truly credible or neutral toward injuries. Further, injury education programs that include greater involvement from teammates may be successful strategies to increasing awareness within the locker room, as players indicated that fellow players can be viewed as more trustworthy sources of information.

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Applied Sport Business Analytics

Wanyong Choi

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Interview With Sehoon Kim, Sports Journalist, The Kyunghyang Shinmun

Ji Hyun Cho

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Erratum. The Importance of an Organization’s Reputation: Application of the Rasch Model to the Organizational Reputation Questionnaire for Sports Fans

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The Importance of an Organization’s Reputation: Application of the Rasch Model to the Organizational Reputation Questionnaire for Sports Fans

Seomgyun Lee, Kyungun Ryan Kim, and Minsoo Kang

Crises are unavoidable in the sport world, and their relationship with reputation is inextricable. Protecting its reputation is a top priority for a sport organization in a crisis; thus, developing a valid and reliable instrument should be a precedent. In this study, Rasch analysis was applied to evaluate a 10-item Organizational Reputation Scale (ORP), extensively used in general and sport communication research, but whose development was made under classical test theory. This traditional method has several limitations (i.e., item and sample dependencies, nonaddictive features of ordinal data, and item category functioning). The main purposes of the study were to calibrate ORP items and evaluate their category functions. A total of 373 sport fans responded to the ORP on a 5-point Likert scale. Several analytic steps were applied to provide psychometric properties of each item in the ORP. The findings provided evidence that supports the unidimensional structure of the ORP with eight items. All items and a person’s ability exhibited satisfactory levels of variability along the continuum. The 5-category rating scale in Likert format functioned properly. As a better alternative to classical test theory, Rasch analysis provided information about the practicality of each ORP item in measuring individuals’ perceptual level of an organization’s reputation within a sport setting. Our study proposed some insights for enhancing each item’s quality and encouraging future scholars to make informed decisions when using the ORP.

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The Importance of Communication During a Bike Fit: A Call for Research

Alex Jane Smethurst and Iain Stuart Findlay

Bike fitting is a rapidly developing profession in the field of sport and well-being. The profession is governed by the International Bike Fitting Institute, which recently announced the creation of a common education syllabus. Although this is a positive step forward, to ensure the integrity of the profession, it is important that the content of the syllabus be evidence based. This, however, may prove challenging as there is currently a paucity of research regarding certain aspects of the bike-fitting role. One area that appears to have been largely neglected is the relationship and importance of communication between the bike fitter and client. This scholarly commentary presents research from other professions that demonstrates both the importance of this omission and the necessity to include training on communication and interpersonal skills in the International Bike Fitting Institute’s proposed education provision.