With the expansion of the esports industry, there is a growing body of literature examining the motivations and behaviors of consumers and participants. The current study advances this line of research by considering esports consumption through an economic framework, which has been underutilized in this context. Specifically, the “attention economy” is introduced as a theoretical approach—which operates with the understanding that due to increased connectivity and availability of information, it is the attention of consumers that becomes a scarce resource for which organizations must compete. Using data from the Twitch streaming platform, the results of econometric analysis further highlight the importance of structural factors in drawing attention from online viewers. As such, this research advances the theoretical and empirical understanding of online viewership behaviors, while also providing important ramifications for both esports and traditional sport organizations attempting to capture the attention of users in the digital realm.
Nicholas M. Watanabe, Hanhan Xue, Joshua I. Newman, and Grace Yan
Willis A. Jones and Wayne L. Black
Guarantee games are among the most important revenue streams for historically Black college and university (HBCU) intercollegiate athletics departments. Some scholars, however, have critiqued these games and even questioned their legality. This study examined the contracts of guarantee games in men’s basketball to assess whether HBCUs and non-HBCUs are equally compensated for their participation in these games. The findings point to the existence of a basketball “Black tax” where HBCUs are not given equal compensation for their participation in men’s college basketball guarantee games. The authors discuss the implications of this inequality along with recommendations for future research.
Lauren C. Hindman and Nefertiti A. Walker
Since the 1970s, National Football League (NFL) teams have hired attractive women to dance in scantily clad uniforms as a means of entertaining their heterosexual, male fans—offering a reflection of hegemonic gender ideology in the process. In recent years, a handful of these professional cheerleaders have spoken up and taken action against gender discrimination. Yet, little has changed. This study takes a feminist critical discourse analysis perspective to examining how gender ideology is (re)produced in discourse surrounding the employment roles of NFL cheerleaders, contributing to the perpetuation of gender inequality in sport. Findings demonstrate that three distinct gender ideologies are (re)produced in the discourse, competing with each other to define meanings associated with NFL cheerleading employment roles. Additionally, analysis reveals that while NFL teams have made changes to their cheerleading programs in response to feminist critiques, discourse surrounding these changes continues to (re)produce hegemonic femininity.
Anton Behrens, Yanxiang Yang, and Sebastian Uhrich
Professional team sport brands are increasingly striving to conquer markets abroad. However, little is known about promising brand positioning strategies in international markets. In the context of U.S. team sport brands’ efforts to attract satellite fans in two different target markets (i.e., Germany and China), this research uses three experimental online studies to test the relative effects of two foreign brand positioning strategies (purely foreign vs. locally integrated foreign) on satellite fans’ attitudes toward the strategy and brand interaction intentions. Findings suggest that fans’ responses depend on the target market. While German fans respond more favorably to purely foreign brand positioning, Chinese fans prefer local adaptations of the U.S. brands to Chinese customs. These diverse effects can be explained by different underlying mechanisms: purely foreign brand positioning increases perceptions of authenticity among German fans, while locally integrated foreign brand positioning increases perceived customer orientation and pride among Chinese fans.
Kamran Eshghi, Hesam Shahriari, and Sourav Ray
Sports sponsorships are almost a $20 billion business in North America alone. Yet, despite the significant academic and corporate interest in such high financial stakes, the literature is equivocal on several key aspects. While some papers report that sports sponsorships enhance shareholder value, others dispute this. Furthermore, the marketing determinants of this value are unclear, particularly the role of firms’ marketing capabilities. To address these, the authors first created a database of sports sponsorship announcements over 19 years by Canadian and U.S. firms, complementing it with the stock market and firm-level financial and marketing data. The authors then conducted an event study and found that investor response to sports sponsorship announcements is, on average, positive. The authors found that investors not only credit firms with higher marketing capabilities, amplifying their positive reaction, but that they also seem to use firms’ marketing capabilities to offset the potential barriers to the value generated from these announcements. Specifically, for investors, the firms’ marketing capabilities can compensate for the dampening effect of financial risk. Our results are robust to considerations of sample selection bias, endogeneity, and outliers.
Susan B. Foster and David A. Pierce
Experiential learning has played an integral role in curricular innovation since the inception of North American sport management education. However, internationally, work-integrated learning, and specifically cooperative education, have proven to be robust methods for preparing students for the workforce with little to no mention of these terms as applied to sport management curricula in the United States. This educational research review positions involving both of these structured pedagogies that combine classroom instruction with highly contextualized, authentic work experiences of at least two semesters to improve experiential learning and calls for more research to be done to demonstrate its efficacy. Recommendations are made to spur faculty to consider ways these pedagogies can be applied to their sport management curricula. In addition, this review addresses keys to successfully implement them on campus.
Ted Hayduk and Johan Rewilak
It is acknowledged that the economic benefits of hosting a sporting mega event are overestimated and/or short lived. However, many studies neglect the impact of the industrial sector, preferring to focus on service sector activity. It is further claimed that hosting a sporting mega event funnels a nation’s resources into one specific region at the expense of others. Therefore, this article empirically investigates whether industrial firms in Beijing disproportionately (a) increased their invested capital ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games and (b) became more profitable after the Games relative to similar firms from comparable Chinese nonhost cities. Using a difference-in-difference estimation strategy, the authors find no disproportionate impact of the Olympic Games on Beijing firms’ invested capital or profitability.
Emma O’Brien, Stacy M. Warner, and Melanie Sartore-Baldwin
This case study helps students better understand barriers to youth sport participation that low-income families face and then offer solutions to alleviate some barriers and create a more inclusive sport community. The case focuses on the struggle that many sport organizations face when trying to increase diversity and inclusiveness, regardless of socioeconomic status. Greenville Recreation and Parks Department Development Intern Sarah identifies issues with the department’s current financial assistance program and collects parents’ feedback detailing community needs that are not being met. This case provides an opportunity for students to (a) examine how sport organizations unintentionally create barriers for some community members and (b) find innovative ways to reduce barriers to youth sport participation and create more inclusive systems.