The role of brand associations and team identity in the sport management literature has received significant attention; however, there exists opportunities to investigate the way they impact one another over time. The authors examined the development of brand associations and team identification among fans of a new team to measure the impact the team’s brand held in the development of new fans. Longitudinal quantitative data were collected from fans of a new professional baseball team (N = 119) across three points during the team’s inaugural season. Using multilevel growth curve modeling, unconditional growth curve models provided evidence of the development and change of brand associations and team identification, while conditional growth curve models evaluated the percentage of change in team identity explained by the changes in each brand association. The findings provide evidence of brand associations as drivers in the development of team identification among fans of a new team.
Aaron C. Mansfield
Scholars have begun exploring how parenthood impacts individuals’ sport fandom. Limited work to date, however, has considered such a question in light of new parenthood. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine how new parent sport fans negotiate their multiple identities. To this end, I completed semi-structured long interviews with 27 sport fans with young children (i.e., individuals presently raising children of age 0–6 years). Drawing on the social–psychological foundations of identity theory, I examined these new parents’ salience hierarchy negotiation. I identified and analyzed two consumer groups: Maintainers (who have sustained the centrality of their fan identity despite a change in life circumstances) and Modifiers (who have “de-escalated” their fandom). These new parents’ voices are used to guide the findings. This study advances the theoretical understanding of how parenthood impacts fandom and illuminates how the sport industry can optimally serve new parent sport fans.
Damien Whitburn, Adam Karg, and Paul Turner
Relationship marketing through digital forms of integrated marketing communications can provide sport organizations with a range of positive outcomes. Given decreasing participation, membership and funding pressures, sport organizations need to engage with current and prospective consumers to alleviate these concerns. Drawing on existing research in the digital communications setting, a framework illustrating the end to end integrated marketing communications function as implemented by governing bodies as a form of not-for-profit sporting organizations is presented and tested. Satisfaction with integrated marketing communications was shown to have a direct effect on relationship quality and behavioral intentions, including revenue raising, increasing participation, raising awareness, and enhancing public perception providing practical and theoretical benefits.
James E. Johnson
Integration and consumption of sport are often used to build community identity, enhance health, and promote positive social interactions. Those benefits informed the purpose of this project, which was to integrate service-learning education and behaviors into a graduate sport management leadership course. Project L.E.E.P. (Leadership through Education, Experience, and Photovoice) benefitted local communities by providing an interactive service-learning project that was mutually beneficial to graduate students and surrounding community partners. Eleven graduate students in a sport administration leadership course partnered with different community sport organizations to execute a series of assignments designed to assess, plan, deliver, and reflect on more than 40 hr of sports service. Among those assignments was a photovoice project intended to capture service learning through the students’ perspectives and give voice to the sporting needs of a community. This project aligned with the experiential learning approach in many sport management programs, as well as the societal and service benefits outlined in the North American Society for Sport Management’s purpose and position statements.
Lynley Ingerson, Michael L. Naraine, Nola Agha, and Daniel J. Pedroza
Laurie Spinks is the Director of Social Engagement at NBC Sports Bay Area. She has been instrumental in developing strategies for social media platforms across a number of different sports, and must now develop a social media strategy which drives fans towards a new app. NBC Sports created the My Teams app to counter cord-cutting and allow sport fans to stream live games of their favorite local teams on their mobile devices. Prior to the launch of the app in the Bay Area, Spinks will meet with her team to formulate a social media strategy which supports the new app. This case explores some of the elements that contribute to the development of a social media marketing strategy for the NBC Sports My Teams app. In particular, the strategy focuses on targeting the San Francisco Bay Area sport audience by identifying and developing social media objectives, creating an audience profile for app usage, and implementing appropriate strategies to support objectives and attract the desired audience.
Liz Wanless and Jeffrey L. Stinson
While managing the intercollegiate athletic development office is critical to contributions generation, the nearly 40 years of research modeling intercollegiate athletic fundraising emphasized limited factors external to this department. Both theoretical and statistical justification warrants a broader scope in contemporary factor identification. With a resource-based view as the theoretical foundation, a list of 43 variables both internal and external to the intercollegiate athletic development office was generated through an extensive literature review and semistructured interviews with athletic and nonathletic fundraising professionals. Based on the factors identified, random and fixed effects regression models were developed via test statistic model reduction across a 5-year panel (FY2011–FY2015). Ninety-three schools were included, representing 73% of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) membership (85% of public FBS institutions). The results highlight the role of both internal and external factors in explaining intercollegiate athletic fundraising procurement.
Kyungyeol (Anthony) Kim, Kevin K. Byon, and Paul M. Pedersen
The stress and coping theory posits that in the face of negative consumption situations, individuals experience a sequential process: primary appraisal, secondary appraisal, and behavioral outcomes. Drawing on the theory, the purpose of the study is to test (a) the mediating effects of coping strategies (i.e., secondary appraisal) between the severity of spectator dysfunctional behavior (SDB; i.e., primary appraisal) and revisit intention and (b) the moderating effects of self-construal (i.e., interdependence vs. independence). Across two studies, using a survey experiment (Study 1) and a repeated-measures survey experiment (Study 2), the findings indicate that coping strategies (i.e., active, expressive, and denial coping) significantly and uniquely mediated the relationship between the severity of SDB (high vs. low) and revisit intention. Furthermore, in responding to highly severe SDB, spectators with interdependent self-construal engaged more in active and expressive coping, and less in denial coping and revisit intention than those with independent self-construal. Overall, the present study highlights (a) the importance of coping strategies for a clearer understanding of the SDB–revisit intention relationship and (b) a boundary condition of self-construal for the influences of SDB on coping strategies and revisit intention.
John Charles Bradbury
This study examines the determinants of Major League Soccer team attendance during the league’s recent era of growth. The estimates indicated that regular-season on-field performance is positively associated with attendance, but the returns to success are diminishing. The estimates identified positive novelty effects for newer teams and soccer-specific stadiums, but not for stadium age. Income and attendance were positively correlated, which indicates that Major League Soccer matches are a normal good. The population size, Hispanic share of the population, presence of other major-league franchises, and number of designated players on a team did not appear to be strong determinants of seasonal attendance.