This study examined the planning, design, and implementation of a culture change program in a major North American public sport organization. Using interview data from 67 participants, the authors offer a rare, in-depth account of organizational culture change and discuss in particular how the change agent in charge of the initiative was able to manage employee concerns and resistance. At the heart of this successful transformation was a careful and intentional willingness of the change agent to consistently revisit, reinforce and recommunicate culture change along with all its facets and to connect all steps of the process to the ritualistic expression of the organization’s identity. This research offers a counter-perspective to technocratic imaginations of organizational culture change as neatly programmed, stepwise activity. Instead, the authors highlight the importance of attending to the continuous, local, and heterogeneous reframing activities underpinning organizational change efforts.
Florian Hemme, Dominic G. Morais, Matthew T. Bowers, and Janice S. Todd
Jochem Kotthaus, Matthias Schäfer, Nikola Stankovic, and Gerrit Weitzel
In this case study, the authors elaborate on the narrative structure of transnational popular media events. Drawing from Dayan and Katz’s concept of media events and Julia Sonnevend’s exceptional work on iconic global media events, they argue that fundamental changes in the way occurrences are being reported on and news is structured must be considered. Allowing for recent technological advancements, the role of the consumer and the compression of time in media use, the authors develop a methodological and theoretical framework fitting a more mundane and everyday life–based approach. They derive their results from the analysis of the “Podgorica Media Event,” a news cycle emerging from a racist incident during an international soccer game between England and Montenegro. Based on the body of 250 international news pieces, they identify a primary mother narration and a distinctive narration as the typical ways of storytelling on a transnational level. While differing greatly in content, aspects of transnational popular media events serve to protect and reify the cultural background they are grounded in on a national level. Thus, we assume that sport, or, more specifically, soccer, may become political in media communication not by the impact of state government but by the consumers themselves choosing and developing a popular media event in the first place.
Evan Frederick, Ann Pegoraro, and Jimmy Sanderson
The purpose of this study was to investigate how Donald Trump used Twitter to position sport within the greater sociopolitical landscape. An inductive analysis of Trump’s sport-related tweets revealed four themes including (a) sport as self-promotion, (b) sport as fandom, (c) sport as battleground, and (d) sport as American identity. This study found that Trump positioned sport as a status symbol. In doing so, he leveraged his power, wealth, and connections to the industry to belittle and champion sport entities. Trump simultaneously leveraged Twitter to display how sport relationships can further one’s business ventures and build a personal brand. In addition, Trump’s discourse shifted sport away from fulfilling a central role in society, as a beacon where social inequities can be critiqued and perhaps elevated into the public consciousness.
Vered Elishar-Malka, Yaron Ariel, and Dana Weimann-Saks
The World Cup is among the most popular televised sport events. This case study examined how enjoyment from and transportation into World Cup broadcasts affected WhatsApp use on a second screen. The authors hypothesized a negative correlation between World Cup enjoyment and WhatsApp use (both match related and unrelated), mediated by transportation into the match. Based on an online survey of 454 participants, they found that the more enjoyment the viewers experienced, the less they used WhatsApp for non-match-related purposes and (contrary to their hypothesis) the more they used it for match-related purposes. It was also found that the more enjoyment viewers experienced, the more transported they were into the match, leading to higher match-related and lower non-match-related WhatsApp use.
Katherine Sveinson, Larena Hoeber, and Caroline Heffernan
Critical discourse analysis (CDA) is a theory, methodology, and type of analysis used across various fields, including linguistics, sociology, and philosophy. CDA focuses on how language is used; discourses are found within language, and knowledge is created through these discourses. CDA can be beneficial to sport management scholars who seek to question existing power structures. The purpose of this paper was to highlight the value and appropriateness of CDA for Journal of Sport Management readers in an effort to see this approach become more prevalent in the journal. The authors shared their perspectives about the lack of critical qualitative methodologies in Journal of Sport Management, presented theoretical foundations of CDA, showcased its application in sport management studies, and explored four theoretical, methodological, and analytical approaches for future use. The authors also provided suggestions for scholars to adopt discourse-related methodologies to enhance knowledge creation in their field. Finally, the authors acknowledged the limitations of this approach.
Jason Doyle, Kevin Filo, Alana Thomson, and Thilo Kunkel
Delivering community-based benefits is oftentimes cited to justify the high costs associated with hosting large-scale events. The current research is embedded in positive psychology to examine how an event impacts host community members’ PERMA domains, reflected through positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment. Adopting a longitudinal approach, the authors interviewed 15 host community members before and after a large-scale sport event to determine if and how the event impacted their well-being. The findings uncovered evidence that the event activated positive emotions, relationships, and meaning across both phases, and evidence of accomplishment within the postevent phase. The findings contribute to the knowledge by examining the links between large-scale sport events and well-being throughout the event lifecycle. This research forwards implications for event bidding committees, event organizers, and host community officials to maximize community well-being through hosting large-scale events and to help justify associated expenses from a social–psychological perspective.
Adam Karg, Ali Tamaddoni, Heath McDonald, and Michael Ewing
Season ticket holders are a vital source of revenue for professional teams, but retention remains a perennial issue. Prior research has focused on broad variables, such as relationship tenure, game attendance frequency, and renewal intention, and has generally been limited to survey data with its attenuate problems. To advance this important research agenda, the present study analyzes team-supplied behavioral data to investigate and predict retention as a loyalty outcome for a single professional team over a 3-year period. Specifically, the authors embrace a broad range of loyalty measures and team performance to predict retention and employ novel data mining techniques to improve predictive accuracy.
Karsten Elmose-Østerlund, Graham Cuskelly, Jens Høyer-Kruse, and Christian Røj Voldby
Despite a rich literature on organizational capacity (OC) in voluntary sports clubs (VSCs), few studies have examined OC building and its long-term sustainability. Against this background, the authors identified changes in OC among VSCs that participated in a club development program and examined the sustainability of these changes. The authors collected survey data 9 months after participation comparing the participating VSCs (n = 62) with similar nonparticipating VSCs (n = 64). A selection of the participating VSCs was then contacted 3–4 years later for a follow-up survey (n = 48) and focus group interviews (n = 5). The results show that (a) significant differences in human resource capacity, planning and development capacity, and infrastructure and process capacity were visible between the participating and nonparticipating VSCs, and that (b) certain changes in OC remain in the clubs 3–4 years after participation. A sustainable change was that core volunteers related differently to the work in their respective VSCs.
Gidon Jakar and Stephanie Gerretsen
European soccer clubs have different ownership models, some of which are still dependent on or controlled by the public sector. The authors investigate club performance in the 2006–2018 Union of European Football Associations’ Champions League seasons, using a random-effects and ordered logistic model, to identify how different ownerships are associated with performance and what other factors, such as Financial Fair Play, determine the likelihood of European soccer clubs progressing through the tournament and increasing their revenues. The private ownership structure is statistically significant and positively associated with the probability of qualifying for later rounds in the Champions League and consequently leading to increased revenues. These results, however, vary before and after Financial Fair Play was implemented. It is apparent that the objective to implement a policy designed to increase competitiveness requires a more in-depth approach than Financial Fair Play as wealthier clubs, despite their ownership model, are more likely to be more successful and widen the gap.
Cleo Schyvinck, Kathy Babiak, Bram Constandt, and Annick Willem
Despite the widespread growth of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives in sport, the majority of professional sport teams still manage social engagement in an opportunistic manner. Tactical attempts toward CSR management can provide discrete and short-term benefits, but lack the ability to create lasting social and economic impacts. This study uses an entrepreneurship perspective to study CSR management in sport. More specifically, it builds on the concept of corporate social entrepreneurship (CSE) to study the transition toward more strategic CSR approaches. Through an in-depth study of a single professional soccer case in Belgium, the drivers of CSE and their relation to strategic CSR development and implementation were explored. The findings indicate the importance of having an intrapreneur, an enabling organization, and, to some extent, stakeholder alliances. Challenges, however, arise at the level of organizational culture and aiming for shared value creation.