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Factors Affecting Women Sports Officials’ Intention to Leave Across Europe

Pamela Wicker, George B. Cunningham, and Tom Webb

This study examines the factors affecting women officials’ intention to leave their chosen sport, including personal, work-related, and sociocultural factors. The empirical analysis is based on survey data of women officials in 69 different sports across Europe (n = 3,214). Overall, 10.7% of women expressed a turnover intention. Regression analyses indicate that this intention is higher for women who have more officiating experience (16–20 years), officiate at lower levels of sport (grassroots, junior), frequently experience abuse, and dislike the stress and time commitments of officiating, lack of support from the federation, and their lack of opportunity to progress. Younger women (≤24 years) with a mentor, who enjoy being part of a sport community and live in a more gender equal society are less likely to leave. The findings suggest that multiple factors are at work, which need to be addressed by sport managers to retain women in officiating roles.

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Sport and Social Media in Business and Society

Taylor M. Hanson

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Integrated Marketing Communication in Football

Martin Barrett

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Social Media in Sport: Evidence-Based Perspectives

Peyton J. Stensland

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Front Office Fantasies: The Rise of Managerial Sports Media

Michael White

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Soccer’s Neoliberal Pitch: The Sport’s Power, Profit, and Discursive Politics

Luke Mashburn

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A Case Study of Marcus Rashford: The People’s Champion, a “National Treasure,” and an Inspirational Personal Brand

John Vincent, John Harris, John S. Hill, and Melvin Lewis

This case study examined the English soccer player Marcus Rashford’s personal brand and illustrates the transformational difference celebrity athletes can make through social activism and advocacy for philanthropic causes through their skillful use of social media. It employed a textual analysis methodology and drew conceptual insights from the revised Model of Athlete Brand Image to chronicle how Rashford’s social activism and philanthropy resonated with his fans, followers, and the public on social media. His authentic social activism and philanthropic advocacy for disadvantaged and vulnerable children gave the nation a “feel-good” story during the COVID-19 crisis and enhanced his personal brand image. This case study recommends that future analyses of celebrity athlete personal brands should consider including three new categories in the marketable life section of the revised Model of Athlete Brand Image: social activism, cobranding partnerships, and awards and honors.

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Increasing Sport Fans’ Receptivity to Sustainability Messaging Through the Enhancement of Brand Authenticity

Chanwook Do, Minjung Kim, Brian P. McCullough, Han Soo Kim, and Hyun-Woo Lee

Brand authenticity is a crucial concept in determining a continuing relationship between a team and its fans. To better understand brand authenticity in the sport industry, this study explored how professional sport teams’ brand authenticity can be enhanced by its antecedents and what is the role of brand authenticity on fan loyalty, ultimately enhancing receptivity to environmental sustainability messaging. A total of 349 fans of the National Football League participated in an online survey. This research employed structural equation modeling to examine the relationships among the eight main constructs in the hypothesized research model. The results indicated that the five predictors positively influenced the team’s brand authenticity. Furthermore, enhanced brand authenticity impacted fan loyalty, while receptivity to environmental sustainability messaging was affected by fan loyalty and environmental sustainability attitude. The findings demonstrate how sport organizations can increase fans’ receptivity to environmental sustainability messaging through fans’ perceived brand authenticity and loyalty.

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Tackling International Markets: Bicultural Brand Positioning of Sport Leagues in Foreign Countries

Christian Weisskopf and Sebastian Uhrich

As sport league brands have increasingly extended their marketing activities into foreign countries, international brand positioning has become a relevant research topic. In this research, we introduce and examine the concept of bicultural brand positioning, an approach that combines a sport league’s connection to its home country with target-country associations. We integrate bicultural identity theory with the literature on brand benefits to propose two types of bicultural brand positioning: functional versus symbolic. Three experiments, using the National Football League and German satellite fans as the empirical context, provide evidence that bicultural brand positioning incorporating functional (vs. symbolic) benefits for the satellite fans increases bicultural brand image integration, defined as the perceived compatibility of combining the two country cultures, and has positive indirect effects on intentions to use the brand and positive word of mouth. These effects are driven by increased perceptions of cultural authenticity of the brand and brand convenience.

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Front Office Fantasies: The Rise of Managerial Sports Media

Luke L. Mao