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Ellen J. Staurowsky

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Fabian Kautz, Michael Schaffrath, and Alex C. Gang

The sport industry has long used social media as an effective instrument of communication. In the framework of the current study, a content analysis investigated how professional sport clubs in Germany use Facebook and Twitter. The study covers the entire 2015–16 season, which was illustrated via selectively choosing 2 weeks for data analysis; four clubs each from basketball, ice hockey, football, and handball were collected as a sample. All Facebook posts and Twitter tweets published by the 16 clubs during the 2 weeks, a total of 3,412 contributions (Facebook 717, Twitter 2,695), were included in the analysis. The codebook contained 57 variables, and this article presents the results on the identified topics of the published contents on the two social media platforms. On both platforms, the clubs under examination primarily issued statements regarding themselves and their sport-related activities. Twitter is predominantly used as a live medium during games, whereas Facebook allows for significantly greater reach. However, no sport-related differences were found between the two social media platforms.

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George B. Cunningham and Calvin Nite

Drawing from concepts in institutional theory, the purpose of this study was to examine how community measures intersect with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender inclusiveness to predict organizational success. The authors collected publicly available data about National Collegiate Athletic Association departments (N = 65) and their communities. Moderated regression analyses demonstrated significant interactive effects, such that performance was highest when the department followed an inclusive strategy and (a) the lesbian, gay, and bisexual population density was high and (b) the state-level implicit bias toward sexual minorities was low. Importantly, there were no negative effects in following an inclusive strategy, even when institutional logics did not prescribe such an approach. The models explained 60–62% of the variance in performance. The authors discuss theoretical and practical implications.

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Mark L. Howard

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Jimmy Sanderson, Matthew Zimmerman, Sarah Stokowski, and Alison Fridley

This research explored maladaptive parasocial interaction (PSI) expressed toward Chicago Bears kicker Cody Parkey after he missed a potential game-winning field goal in the 2019 NFL (National Football League) playoffs. Using a sample of 512 tweets posted during the week after the game, qualitative analysis revealed that maladaptive PSI manifested in the following ways: criticism, threats, anger, and support. The results help better illuminate the nature of virtual abuse and maltreatment of athletes that is increasing in online spaces. Results also suggest that maladaptive PSI expressed online creates friction among fans who have to reconcile defeat with problematic behavior from other group members. Implications for sport organizations are discussed, including the need to support and protect athletes against virtual abuse and maltreatment.