This paper outlines the centrality of market structures in positioning Sport Management and in driving the institutional boundaries that guide most research in the field. I synthesize past work related to competition policy to center an approach to developing an impactful Sport Management literature, broadly speaking. Beginning with a description of industrial organizational lessons for Sport Management research, I exhibit how this frame provides additional scholarly substance to the trajectory of Sport Management as a discipline at the nexus of management, policy, and sport. Although this disciplinary framing is necessarily grounded in the economic structure of sport, and lessons from the Sports Economics literature, I do not argue for a supremacy or exclusivity of economics research. Rather, I propose that framing the discipline in the context of policy and market power allows for a more legitimized and inclusive area of social science that does not sacrifice its managerial roots.
Brian M. Mills
Changwook Kim, Jinwon Kim, and Seongsoo Jang
How to enhance community resilience to natural disasters is a major question for researchers and policymakers. Although researchers agree that sport generates community benefits, few scholarly efforts in sport management have been invested in understanding the sport–resilience association. This paper attempted to address whether and how sport clusters—the clustering of sport industries—are associated with community resilience across locations. To achieve this, geographically weighted regression and visualization techniques were applied to macro-level data regarding community resilience and the clustering of 13 separate sport industries across 3,108 counties in the contiguous United States. The results indicate that, overall, the clustering of eight sport industries was significantly associated with community resilience and demonstrates the existence of spatially heterogeneous associations in magnitudes and signs of community resilience in sport clusters. The findings of this paper have the potential to help community sport scholars and policymakers implement location-specific resilience policies through sport industry development.
Carter A. Rockhill, Jonathan E. Howe, and Kwame J.A. Agyemang
The lack of racial diversity, equity, and inclusion in leadership positions is an ongoing issue in intercollegiate athletics. The purpose of this study was to analyze the mission, vision, and diversity, equity, and inclusion statements of Power 5 athletic departments and their affiliated universities regarding racial diversity and inclusion to better understand how these two stakeholders work in unison or isolation when creating racially diverse environments. The authors utilized an innovative lens, which merges critical race theory with institutional theory to center race and racism while evaluating how these institutional logics interact in practice. The data show that Power 5 institutions maintain a lack of racial diversity through cultures and mission statements that omit diverse values, create symbolic statements, or lack meaning in creating a diverse reality.
Florian Hemme, Dominic G. Morais, Matthew T. Bowers, and Janice S. Todd
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.
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.
Daniel Weimar, Brian P. Soebbing, and Pamela Wicker
The identification of relevant effects is challenging in Big Data because larger samples are more likely to yield statistically significant effects. Professional sport teams attempting to identify the core drivers behind their follower numbers on social media also face this challenge. The purposes of this study are to examine the effects of game outcomes on the change rate of followers using big social media data and to assess the relative impact of determinants using dominance analysis. The authors collected data of 644 first division football clubs from Facebook (n = 297,042), Twitter (n = 292,186), and Instagram (n = 312,710) over a 19-month period. Our fixed-effects regressions returned significant findings for game outcomes. Therefore, the authors extracted the relative importance of wins, draws, and losses through dominance analysis, indicating that a victory yielded the highest increase in followers. For practitioners, the findings present opportunities to develop fan engagement, increase the number of followers, and enter new markets.
Adam Karg, Jeremy Nguyen, and Heath McDonald
Predicting attendance at events is important for efficient facility management and marketing to maximize crowds. Most work to date is conducted at the aggregate level; however, the large crowd size being predicted often means important individual decisions are masked. In many markets, increased nonattendance by season ticket holders (STHs) is being reported, which is troubling given they have prepaid and are expected to be highly loyal. To understand who attends, rather than just how many, the authors analyze the “no-show” behavior of over 5,900 individual STH of one professional team over a season. Results show that in addition to game viewing and quality conditions, age, tenure, expenditure, and prior game attendance are predictors of individual attendance decisions, with differences in how individuals are influenced by winning and uncertainty of outcome. The paper expands understanding of drivers of STH attendance decisions and provides guidance toward managerial strategies for STH management.
Nicholas M. Watanabe, Stephen Shapiro, and Joris Drayer
Big data and analytics have become an essential component of organizational operations. The ability to collect and interpret significantly large data sets has provided a wealth of knowledge to guide decision makers in all facets of society. This is no different in sport management where big data has been used on and off the field to guide decision making across the industry. As big data evolves, there are concerns regarding the use of enhanced analytic techniques and their advancement of knowledge and theory. This special issue addresses these concerns by advancing our understanding of the use of big data in sport management research and how it can be used to further scholarship in the sport industry. The six articles in this special issue each play a role in advancing sport analytics theory, producing new knowledge, and developing new inquiries. The implications discussed in these articles provide a foundation for future research on this evolving area within the field of sport management.