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.
Vassilios Ziakas, Christine Lundberg, and Giorgos Sakkas
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.
James Tompsett and Chris Knoester
Understandings of who plays college sports are dominated by assumptions that lack academic scrutiny. Using the Education Longitudinal Study (N = 7,810) and multilevel modeling, this study examines the extent to which high school indicators of family socioeconomic statuses, athletic development and merit, academic expectations and knowledge, and school contexts predict the likelihood of becoming a college athlete. The authors find evidence that supports our understanding of the process of becoming a college athlete being shaped by family socioeconomic status. Still, high school sport participation characteristics, academic expectations and knowledge, and school contexts also seem to offer independent contributions to the odds of becoming a college athlete. Overall, these results suggest that college athletic opportunities are not simply a function of athletic merit, based on unique analyses of quantitative empirical evidence from a large national sample of high school students.
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.
Dino Numerato and Arnošt Svoboda
This paper examines the role of collective memory in the protection of “traditional” sociocultural and symbolic aspects of football vis-à-vis the processes of commodification and globalization. Empirical evidence that underpins the analysis is drawn from a multisite ethnographic study of football fan activism in the Czech Republic, Italy, and England, as well as at the European level. The authors argue that collective memory represents a significant component of the supporters’ mobilization and is related to the protection of specific football sites of memory, including club names, logos, colors, places, heroes, tragedies, and histories. The authors further explain that collective memory operates through three interconnected dimensions: embedded collective memory, transcendent collective memory, and the collective memory of contentious politics.
Ryan Sandrin and Ted Palys
Recent high-profile incidents involving racism at hockey’s highest levels have cast serious concerns regarding the prevalence of racism in the sport. However, limited scholarly literature has examined the prevalence of racism in Canadian hockey across the lesser-known competitive developmental levels (e.g., junior, collegiate, and minor-professional). Employing a critical race framework, we interviewed Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) regarding their experiences with racism in Canadian hockey. The findings reveal that actions that keep BIPOC players on the outside looking in exist at even the sport’s youngest levels. The findings also indicate that governing bodies often fail to protect BIPOC players when racist incidents occur. Further research regarding racism in hockey is needed to more fully understand the deleterious impact of racist behavior on the sport and those who play it, and to identify strategies that can promote a more egalitarian opportunity structure than currently exists.
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.