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Mark Falcous and Lauren Turner

This paper explores the narrativization of sports icons within the context of nationalist discourse. The authors explore New Zealand media coverage surrounding the death of Colin Meads in August 2017. Meads, a former all Black rugby captain, coach and administrator, media pundit, and corporate spokesman, was a high-profile public icon. His death was met with saturation national media coverage. The authors’ cultural studies informed analysis of Meads’ narrativization is twofold. First, the authors contextualize the cultural scripts surrounding him prior to his death. Second, they critically read media narrativization following his death within the context of narratives of nation. They explore this mediation in the context of intersecting themes of rurality, Whiteness, masculinity, and rugby. Print media coverage widely articulated Meads to the nation as the archetypical “kiwi,” liturgized his contribution to rugby during and after his playing career, and his “no-nonsense” character. In doing so, it reinforced a selective national narrative, premised on a combination of both remembering and forgetting. This narrative reaffirms White-settler, male heroism, and rugby as central to New Zealand nationhood and assuages contemporary national anxieties and the cultural hierarchies they entangle.

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Julie E. Brice

Over the past decade, activewear has become a booming international business and cultural phenomenon. It has simultaneously been critiqued for its pervasive neoliberal, postfeminist, and healthism rhetoric and the ways it continues to (re)produce hegemonic femininity. In this paper, the author drew upon new materialist theory, specifically Karen Barad’s concept of spacetimemattering, to contribute to this body of literature, providing an alternative perspective on the production of femininity and feminist politics within activewear. Using a Baradian-inspired approach, this paper brought various material-discourses and events from multiple time periods into dialogue with the activewear phenomenon to (re)think the production of femininity. Specifically, the analysis explored how activewear entanglements across various spatiotemporalities challenge appearance-based femininity and increase the visibility (and acceptance) of the moving female body. Through this exploration, the author provided a way to (re)imagine feminist politics that are embedded in women’s everyday fitness practices.

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Allison Jeffrey, Holly Thorpe, and Nida Ahmad

This article engages Rosi Braidotti’s writing on COVID-19 and affirmative ethics to expand understandings of the purpose of leisure and physical activity in women’s lives during the pandemic. Utilizing a feminist methodology informed by an ethics of affirmation, care, and creativity, the authors share insights from in-depth interviews with five dedicated Yoga practitioners living in Aotearoa New Zealand. Herein, they reveal how Yoga’s physical, mental, and ethical practices supported women as they navigated numerous challenges during the pandemic. The authors discuss the women’s complex experiences of affect, including shared exhaustion and compassion. Finally, they illustrate how experiences of discomfort encouraged some women to rethink collective responsibility and experiment with communal solutions to better support others in the face of uncertain futures.

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Katie Sullivan Barak, Chelsea A. Kaunert, Vikki Krane, and Sally R. Ross

Previous research suggests that sport media provide one avenue for boys and girls to learn what and who is valued in sport. We explored girl and boy athletes’ perceptions of photographs of female college athletes, which provided insight into young athletes gendered perceptions of athletes and sport. Sixty-nine sportskids participated in focus group interviews where they discussed what they liked and disliked about a series of photographs of college female athletes. Framed by feminist cultural studies, the authors situated their analysis within the current historical moment bounded by young athletes’ post-Title IX and postfeminist sensibilities. The authors present their appraisals of a few exemplar images that characterize themes that appeared across the whole photo collection. Emergent themes included gendered sport terrain, which situates their comments within the gendered milieu of their sport experiences. Data also revealed themes associated with the select images: female athleticism, inspiration versus objectification, transgressing heteronormative femininity, and sporty cute. Overall, both girls and boys struggled with images that were interpreted as too feminine or too muscular/masculine. These data also point to how little has changed in the past 50 years regarding how female athletes are culturally constructed. While the borders of acceptability may have shifted, female athletes continue tenuous navigation of socially acceptable boundaries of athleticism, femininity, and muscularity while masculine privilege in sport continues and the presence of females in sport is framed by a heterosexual male gaze.

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Patrick Tutka and Chad Seifried

The present study examines the early wooden facilities and grounds of American college football within National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Football Bowl Subdivision and Ivy League schools from 1869 through 1903. Within, we identify what set of events and opportunities led to the development of the earliest football playing spaces. Furthermore, we recognize and explain what patterns of construction and renovation influenced the creation of permanent stadia. Critical environmental conditions that impacted the spread of knowledge about football and its playing grounds are recognized in addition to specific rules, which influenced the evolution of fields and facilities. Finally, we recognize the importance of facility enclosure and interests in producing revenues, and feature discussion on the movement of games from off- to on-campus while offering a collective picture of what these places looked like as potential synedochial social anchors for their institutions.

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B.A. Thurber

During the second half of the nineteenth century, a unique style of figure skating developed in Great Britain. This style emphasized long, flowing glides at high speed with a stiff, upright body posture. It contrasted with the International style, a type of skating developed on the Continent that favored brisk limb movements and showy tricks, such as jumps and spins. English skaters saw the International style as effeminate, while their own represented their idea of masculinity and allowed them to express their national identity. After the founding of the International Skating Union in 1892, British skaters found it necessary to adopt the International style to be competitive. Women proved better able to do so than men, and Madge Syers won the gold in the 1908 Olympics. Over time, the process of transnational exchange enacted through international competition resulted in the near-disappearance of the English style.

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Thomas W. Doellman, Brian R. Walkup, Adrien Bouchet, and Brian R. Chabowski

In this paper, the authors argue that the firm value implications of sport sponsorships for sponsors may depend on the competitive environment during the bidding process for different types of sponsorships. More specifically, the authors contend that the bidding environment for professional football (soccer) kit sponsorships represents a form of common value auction, while the bidding environment for corporate logo sponsorships on teams’ shirts does not. As common value auctions are prone to winner’s curse, the firm value implications should be different for kit sponsorship announcements than for shirt sponsorship announcements. Our results suggest that shareholders indeed perceive the value derived from kit and shirt sponsorships differently, resulting in the predicted distinction in their impact on sponsors’ firm value. This study sheds light on conflicting results on firm value implications of sport sponsorships in the prior literature and provides rich areas for future research.