Although social media has been increasingly noted as an outlet for athletes to openly address social issues, there has been very little systematic examination on the organizational capacity of social media. To address this, our study seeks to focus on the strike organized by the football players through Twitter at the University of Missouri in 2015. Specifically, it adopts the theoretical framework of resource mobilization and conducts a comprehensive analysis composed of two parts. First, by identifying geographic characteristics and participant groups for #ConcernedStudent1950, it seeks to reveal the mobilization scope and impact. Second, a social network analysis is used to delineate the organizational dynamics of the players’ protest networks. The results yield both theoretical and practical implications for athletes’ engagement in social activism in the digital era.
Grace Yan, Ann Pegoraro and Nicholas M. Watanabe
Brian M. Mills, Scott Tainsky, B. Christine Green and Becca Leopkey
Sport rivalries have been shown to increase the emotional intensity of fans, which not only can lead to higher levels of interest and involvement but can also escalate negative fan behaviors based on in-group/out-group distinctions. This study represents the first use of an experimental economics approach in sport management to understand the behaviors of rival sports fans. Specifically, the classic behavioral economics experiment, the ultimatum game, was used to test the willingness of rival fans to make their out-group counterparts worse off. Using a $10 stake, proposers offered approximately 8.7% less to rival fans than to in-group fans, while the probability that a responder accepted an offer—holding constant offer size—was approximately 7% lower when the proposer was a rival. Team identification had no effect on offers or acceptances. Implications for understanding rivalry in sport are discussed, and advantages of behavioral economics for sport management research are noted.
Joon Kyoung Kim, Holly K. Ott, Kevin Hull and Minhee Choi
This study examined the impact of exposure to corporate social responsibility (CSR) messages on individuals’ attitudes and behavioral intentions toward a Major League Baseball (MLB) team’s CSR efforts. Using a 2 (information source: team source or a third-party source) × 2 (CSR initiatives: efforts to help cancer patients or military appreciation recognition) with two nonfactorial control conditions (team source or a third-party source) experimental design, this study aims to identify how factors such as information source, perceived sincerity, and different types of CSR activities impact a MLB team’s CSR messaging on social media. Path analysis was used to examine significant paths between variables; results indicated that CSR messages generated a halo effect, thus providing implications for how MLB teams should develop CSR strategies and most effectively communicate about these efforts. Theoretical and practical implications of study results are discussed.
Stephen Moston, Brendan Hutchinson and Terry Engelberg
One of the implicit justifications for antidoping is that athletes are so committed to winning that they will take performance-enhancing substances regardless of the apparent consequences. Athletes are alleged to be, quite literally, willing to die to win. Support for this claim usually centers on the results of research by physician Bob Goldman, in which athletes were asked to respond to a hypothetical dilemma in which they were offered spectacular success in their chosen sport, but at a heavy price: they would die after five years of glory. In this paper, we examine the origins of this bargain, now popularly referred to as the Goldman dilemma, finding that both the methodology and implications of the original work have repeatedly been described inaccurately in both popular and scientific writings. These errors reflect both poor scholarship and deliberate misuse, where the flawed narrative is used to justify contentious policy decisions.
Kenon A. Brown, Simon Ličen, Andrew C. Billings and Michael B. Devlin
Given Slovenia’s independence in 1991, examining the potential impact of Olympic media consumption on this young nation offers a unique opportunity for scholarly investigation. Prior examinations of Olympic telecasts in Slovenia have uncovered core elements of nationalized pride and focus (Ličen & Billings, 2013a), yet have not fully explored the potential effect of the mass viewership found within the Olympics. This study explores how social cognitive and social identification theories interact to influence consumption behaviors relating to international competition—in this case, the Olympics. For this study, 175 respondents were surveyed to examine the relationship among personal determinants defined by one’s national identity, Olympic fan involvement, and behaviors related to Olympic media consumption. Findings revealed that basic identification with Slovenia as a nation, and a need to defend Slovenia when faced with discouraging opinions, influenced one’s fan involvement with the Olympics, which in turn influenced digital and televisual media consumption.
Benjamin J. Downs and Adam Love
This study investigated the desegregation of Mississippi State University varsity football, focusing on newspaper coverage of the first Black players at the university, Robert Bell and Frank Dowsing. Two hundred and three articles about Bell and Dowsing from three newspapers (Starkville Daily News, Mississippi State Reflector, and Jackson Clarion-Ledger) were examined using a three-tiered qualitative analysis. Data analysis resulted in 426 frame instances and 686 theme instances, or a total of 1,112 codes. The resulting data were interpreted using Critical Race Theory (CRT) as an analytical lens to generate understanding of the desegregation of the football program. The CRT-guided interpretation challenges popular narratives about the amicable nature of desegregation at the university, indicating that the football team and the careers of Bell and Dowsing were covered in a way that promoted colorblindness and supported the Whitecentric interests of the university’s and community’s dominant power structure.
R. Glenn Cummins and Collin K. Berke
Although a variety of tools are employed to package sport for at-home consumption, instant replay is among the most ubiquitous. Excitation transfer theory has been a useful lens for explaining how emotion compounds during sport consumption, but research has failed to explore how instant replay can serve to facilitate the transfer of arousal between sequential events in televised sport. This experiment invokes excitation transfer to examine how both the nature of content and instant replay can facilitate sustained arousal and enhanced evaluations of events in the context of college football. Results suggest the superiority of game content to facilitate excitation transfer, both in terms of objective measures of emotion and self-reported enjoyment. The production feature examined here, instant replay, yielded mixed results. Although it failed to consistently impact objective physiological measures of emotion, it did elicit enhanced enjoyment when the content being represented was intrinsically exciting.