This essay examines the creation of a new undergraduate module on sport, tourism and heritage, at The University of Edinburgh, one based within the confines of a bachelor’s program in sport management. The author emphasizes that this is part of a growing trend toward integrating heritage (alongside history) into Scottish/U.K. sport management academia, as something which can potentially address skills and employability outcomes while still offering the opportunity to critically discuss issues in the sport industry. The creation, running, format, and content of this module is discussed, within the context of its first being offered remotely in September 2020 in between “lockdowns” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mu He and Weiting Tao
In 2019, a controversy between the NBA and China broke out. Although their relationship continues today, negative consequences still linger and cloud their future. As a transnational organization, the NBA was involved in a cross-national controversy, aligning with the theory of cross-national conflict shifting. The current study analyzed 703 posts on Weibo and 1,500 tweets by thematic analysis. It revealed diverse themes of online public discussions regarding the NBA–China controversy. It also found that social media speeded up the transmission of cross-national conflict shifting and complicated the cross-national conflict as it shifted back and forth between the home and host countries. Moreover, the study findings showed that when top executives engage in advocacy by taking a public stand on a controversial sociopolitical issue and get involved with cross-national conflicts, it is hard to separate them from the organization they represent. Also, their public stance might lead to public suspicion that they used social advocacy for private interests. Finally, the themes from the social media posts suggested cultural differences and an ideology crash between the host and home countries’ publics, which generated grander challenges for transnational organizations to deal with.
Jessica R. Braunstein-Minkove, Jaime R. DeLuca, and Sydney C. Baucum
Sport management programs have a long history of incorporating experiential learning practices into curricula for the purpose of cultivating students’ practical competencies, both applied and transferable. However, research considering the concept (and value) of transferable skills in sport management education is notably absent. Therefore, the purpose of this work was to understand the salient, transferable skills that sport management students acquire during their undergraduate education and how these are applied to careers both within and outside the sports industry. This research is based on qualitative data collection intended to assess the impact of sport management education on career preparedness. Major findings include the importance of skills in the following areas: teamwork/collaboration, critical thinking/comprehension/analytical skills, general business knowledge, time management, public speaking/presenting, and leadership/management. This research offers important implications regarding the preparatory role of sport management academic programs and educators moving forward.
Bo Li, Olan K.M. Scott, Jerred Junqi Wang, and Liang Xiao
With the development and advancement of new technology and the increasing penetration of digital media, traditional media outlets such as TV, radio, and newspapers are not the only platforms for sports audiences to watch major events such as the Olympic Games. In this study, we explored how Chinese Olympic audiences embraced different media platforms to consume the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Through a survey of 383 Chinese participants, results revealed that social media, TV, and digital media were the most popular platforms on which to watch the 2020 Olympic Games. There were generational differences in media behaviors, motivations, and preferences between Generations X, Y, and Z. In addition, findings revealed that traditionally popular sports in China, such as badminton and table tennis, were still the most popular across different generations. Theoretical and practical implications for Chinese viewers are provided.
Tyler John Hajek and Yoon Tae Sung
Guest speakers can reinforce relevance to course content in the classroom. However, integrating guest speakers in online, asynchronous settings may be challenging. To address this issue, sport management educators may utilize this activity with question submissions, guest speaker video interviews, and a cumulative review with consideration of the constructivist paradigm. As elements of constructivism are becoming prominent in higher education, students can construct their own learning and meaning from the insights of the facilitated guest speaker interviews.
Kenon A. Brown, Nicky Lewis, Matthew Barnidge, and Courtney D. Boman
The NBA’s (National Basketball Association’s) racial justice initiatives during the 2020 Playoff Bubble are considered an act of corporate social advocacy and provide an exemplary scenario to explore this intersection of sport and politics. Based on this observation, the purpose of this study was to explore how one’s level of identification with the NBA and his/her identification with a political party can impact one’s perception of the NBA’s racial justice initiatives. Specifically, the researchers wanted to determine if outrage toward the NBA and one’s perception of the NBA’s reputation is influenced more by one’s political identity or one’s fanship for the league. A survey was conducted using a national convenience sample of 518 participants recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk. Results showed that while both fanship and political identity had effects on one’s outrage toward the NBA and one’s perceived reputation of the NBA, the stronger factor differed between Democrats and Republicans.
Daniel Sailofsky, Madeleine Orr, and Lindsey Darvin
Sport management programs are essential pathways by which aspiring professionals in the sport industry achieve their university education. Although a substantial segment of sport management scholarship has focused on driving for higher rates of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the sport industry, less attention has been paid to the sport management academy. In this study, we examine the gender representation of full-time faculty positions, publications, and research methodologies in sport management. Our results show that men are employed in higher numbers overall. In the 329 sport management programs studied, the percentages of women employed at each level are assistant professor 46.8%, associate professor 39.5%, and full professor 37%, suggesting a drop-off aligned with the concept of career derailment or a time lag in reaching equity in the discipline. Women are also less published in top sport management journals (Journal of Sport Management, European Sport Management Quarterly, and Sport Management Review). Implications of these findings are discussed, as well as future research directions.
Christopher M. McLeod and Nola Agha
Pay fairness and human capital theories make different predictions about trainees’ occupational turnover in situations where trainees perceive unfair pay but receive huge potential returns from training. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine how pay fairness and human capital investment combined to explain why trainees are motivated to persist in employment when they perceive unfair pay. Cross-sectional survey data from 144 minor league baseball players showed that athletes perceived unfair pay but had low occupational turnover intentions because they perceived high learning achievement and expected to play in Major League Baseball eventually. Perceptions of unfair pay only increased occupational turnover intentions under certain conditions, such as when athletes had low expectations of playing at least one game in Major League Baseball in the next 3 years. The results support a framework that combines human capital theory and pay fairness theories to explain boundary conditions for trainee motivation.