Adding to research on team identification and well-being, inquiry into meaning in life and team identification could illuminate how sport fandom impacts consumers’ lives. In the current study, an instrumental case study design was used to explore how team identification impacts meaning in life, focusing on significance. Participant diaries and interviews with identified fans of a professional women’s basketball team revealed that connecting with family and friends, supporting women’s sport, and enhancing mental health via support of the team were sources of significance in participants’ lives. The findings illustrate that meaning in life is not necessarily experienced just from being a highly identified fan. Instead, specific elements of one’s connection to the team provide meaning. The findings also highlight the importance of close relationships over imaginary intimate relationships, impacting social justice among fans of women’s sport, and how mental health via fandom may provide older adults significance.
Elizabeth B. Delia, Jeffrey D. James, and Daniel L. Wann
Gareth J. Jones, Elizabeth Taylor, Christine Wegner, Colin Lopez, Heather Kennedy, and Anthony Pizzo
A large body of research has examined the influence of sport for development and peace (SDP) events on community development, focusing primarily on SDP events delivered by nonprofit “change agents.” Although scholars have highlighted the need to more meaningfully incorporate local governments into SDP event management, there has been limited attention to government-led implementation. The purpose of this study was to explore a government-led SDP event through the lens of the S4D Framework to understand how the approach to implementation influenced sport event management, direct social impacts, and long-term social outcomes. Data were generated primarily through interviews with members of the event leadership team and supplemented with observations and focus groups with event participants. The findings indicate that the structural and social resources of the local government were key to activating different phases of the S4D Framework, yet also revealed unique challenges that have important implications for SDP event management.
Kaveepong Lertwachara, Jittima Tongurai, and Pattana Boonchoo
Building on the location advantage theory for international business, the authors used the event study approach, used extensively in the finance literature, to examine the effects of hosting mega sporting events on inward foreign direct investment (FDI) in countries that hosted the Olympic Games, the International Federation of Association Football World Cup, the Union of European Football Associations Championship, and the Asian Games between 1960 and 2018. In general, the authors’ findings suggested that host countries experienced beneficial effects from hosting mega sporting events. Increases in FDI inflows were more pronounced following the hosting announcements and until the event year. Hosting the Summer Olympic Games, the Union of European Football Associations Championship, and the International Federation of Association Football World Cup all drew a high level of positive abnormal FDI, while hosting the Asian Games induced negative abnormal FDI. The effects of hosting mega sporting events on inward FDI were also found to differ between countries. For instance, host countries in the Middle East and North Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean appeared to benefit more from hosting a mega sporting event.
Vassilios Ziakas, Christine Lundberg, and Giorgos Sakkas
Building upon the perspectives of sport value co-creation and symbolic action, this study employs a hermeneutic analysis of the socio-cultural dynamics shaping value in events. It examines the symbolic co-construction of a participatory small-scale event and the attached meanings that instantiate perceptions of value. The authors investigate a free-diving event held on the Greek island of Amorgos commemorating the 1988 film “Big Blue.” Fieldwork was conducted during the event, including focus groups, semi-structured interviews, and observation. Findings demonstrate the event’s dramaturgic hypostasis acting both as symbolic social space and multi-stakeholder value co-creation platform. Three overarching themes epitomize the actors’ experience: connecting, communing, and belonging. This reveals a dramaturgical world-making stage in which co-creative instantiators embody meanings that coordinate interaction, communicate information, integrate resources, and evaluate value. This study calls for comprehensive dramatological inquiries embracing the collective embodiment of events as social dramas that enable collaboration through the instantiation of shared meanings.
Jeffrey Q. Barden and Yohan Choi
This study examines the way competitive advantage and organization performance mediate the effect of potential slack—externally available resources—on organization risk behavior in Major League Baseball’s amateur draft. It tests the hypotheses that local market munificence provides payroll advantage and increases on-field performance and that payroll disadvantage and poor performance increase teams’ likelihood of selecting riskier high school players instead of college players. Consistent with risk sensitivity theory, results suggest that payroll disadvantage promotes risk-taking; however, on-field success encourages risk-taking early in the draft. Indeed, pick number appears to have a U-shape relationship with risk-taking where winning increases confidence earlier in the draft and low stakes promote risk-seeking later. This study contributes to the literature by suggesting that input- and outcome-based reference metrics have different effects on risk behavior and that managerial hubris may influence risk behavior through information availability rather than having a general effect.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether the in-game communication of football players from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) was excessively penalized in the field of play. Previous literature has found that referee bias is commonplace and uncovered evidence that referees socially judge the communicative behaviors of HBCU student athletes differently than the communicative behaviors of student athletes from predominantly White institutions. This led to social judgment theory emerging as the theoretical frame. Quantitative methods were utilized to analyze National Collegiate Athletic Association data for Division II college football. Findings revealed that referees disproportionately flagged football teams from HBCUs in comparison with predominantly White institutions. These results provide implications for theory. The uncovered results also support a well-developed line of communication research that has indicated that excessive penalties are levied against HBCU teams in multiple sports. A rhetorical call to action is made to facilitate officiating change in intercollegiate athletics.
NaRi Shin and Jon Welty Peachey
In this study, the authors sought to understand the influence of the Olympic Games on a host community’s globalization and development using world-systems theory and theories of globalization (i.e., glocalization and grobalization). The host community for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics (Daegwallyeong-myeon in South Korea) was the focus of this investigation. Using a global ethnographic approach, the authors collected diverse data through interviews, observations, archival and media documents, and field notes. Findings identified five key themes: (a) perception of underdevelopment, (b) the Organizing Committee’s institutional management of the global standard, (c) the Organizing Committee’s role as a negotiator between the global standard and the locality, (d) resident perspectives on global standards and regulations, and (e) aspirations to globalize Daegwallyeong-myeon. Through this study, the authors advance the use of world-systems theory and expand the concept of grobalization in the context of sport megaevent management by discussing global–local configurations and local agents’ desires to transform the community through Olympic-driven development and globalization.
Jason Stamm and Brandon Boatwright
Using a theoretical underpinning of parasocial interaction—BIRGing (basking in reflected glory) and CORFing (cutting off reflected failure)—this study explored fan reactions to high school athletes’ commitments to play football for National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I programs. A thematic analysis of tweets made by fans during the 2020 recruiting period was examined in two stages: (a) tweets directed toward recruits before they committed to a program and (b) tweets directed toward recruits after they committed. Findings show fan frivolity in regard to identification, as well as a desire to become part of the recruiting process of high school football players. In addition, results yield the possibility of a shift in athlete motivations for social media use, fan association with athletics programs, and how fans cope with unexpected loss. Theoretical and practical implications are further discussed.
Ted Hayduk III, Natasha Brison, and Joris Drayer
The efficacy of partitioned pricing (PP) has been investigated in a range of industries. This work showed that the usefulness of PP is situational, with numerous contextual factors playing important roles. Ticket pricing scholarship has yet to devote adequate attention to PP as a focal variable, which is problematic given the industry’s reliance on ticket revenue and the “service” fees ubiquitous in the ticketing industry. In addition, there is a need to investigate the moderating factors unique to sport consumption, such as team identification and the entertainment value of live sport. Using a sample of 403 sport consumers, this study found that PP is associated with lower perceptions of fairness but not lower enduring attitudes about the platform. Thus, sport consumers are displeased by PP, but not enough to dissuade them from future purchases. The analysis found that team identification—the entertainment value of live sports entertainment value—can further offset negative perceptions of PP.
Akira Asada, Yuhei Inoue, and Yonghwan Chang
The #TakeAKnee movement initiated by Colin Kaepernick and the measures taken by the National Football League (NFL) to handle the situation received mixed reactions from the public. The authors developed and tested a structural model using survey data collected from 698 residents of a Super Bowl host city. The results indicated a positive relationship between attitudes toward the movement and attitudes toward the league’s responses, which in turn influenced league credibility. However, after taking the indirect effect into account, attitudes toward the movement had a direct negative relationship with league credibility. In addition, people who viewed the NFL as a credible organization tended to perceive the Super Bowl as relevant to them and as impactful for the host city. Therefore, sport organizations should develop consistent, comprehensive communication strategies that enable them to maximize a positive synergy between their approach to crisis communication and their approach to other types of communication.