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Thomas W. Doellman, Brian R. Walkup, Adrien Bouchet, and Brian R. Chabowski

In this paper, the authors argue that the firm value implications of sport sponsorships for sponsors may depend on the competitive environment during the bidding process for different types of sponsorships. More specifically, the authors contend that the bidding environment for professional football (soccer) kit sponsorships represents a form of common value auction, while the bidding environment for corporate logo sponsorships on teams’ shirts does not. As common value auctions are prone to winner’s curse, the firm value implications should be different for kit sponsorship announcements than for shirt sponsorship announcements. Our results suggest that shareholders indeed perceive the value derived from kit and shirt sponsorships differently, resulting in the predicted distinction in their impact on sponsors’ firm value. This study sheds light on conflicting results on firm value implications of sport sponsorships in the prior literature and provides rich areas for future research.

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John Reid-Hresko and Jeff R. Warren

This article explores how White settler mountain bikers in British Columbia understand their relationship to recreational landscapes on unceded Indigenous territory. Using original qualitative research, the authors detail three rhetorical strategies settler Canadians employ to negotiate their place within geographies of belonging informed by Indigeneity and recreational colonialism: ignorance, ambivalence, and acknowledgement. In Canada’s post-Truth and Reconciliation Commission climate, the discourses settlers use to situate themselves vis-à-vis landscapes and Indigenous people contribute to the conditions of possibility for meaningful movement toward a more equitable existence for all. This work points to a growing need to problematize the seemingly apolitical landscapes of recreation as a prerequisite toward meaningful reconciliation.

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Jessica L. Trapp, Alicja B. Stannard, Julie K. Nolan, and Matthew F. Moran

The purpose of the current investigation was to report acceleration and deceleration match data in female collegiate soccer players and compare between positions and game halves. A total of 24 players (11 defenders, five midfielders, and eight forwards) (age: M = 19.1, SD = 1.2 years; height: M = 1.64, SD = 0.05 m; and mass: M = 62.2, SD = 5.8 kg) underwent global positioning system monitoring and performance testing. Forwards covered significantly more distance per minute during high-intensity running (effect size [d]: 0.49) and sprinting (d = 0.64) when compared to midfielders across 16 matches for players logging  22.5 min per half. Significant and meaningful positional differences were determined with forwards covering the greatest average distance per acceleration efforts (d = 0.55) and initiating acceleration and deceleration efforts from a greater initial speed (ds = 0.57 and 0.69). When analyzing across all matches for players logging ≥ 40 min per half, second half decreases occurred in the number of accelerations (p < .001; d = 1.98) and decelerations (p < .001; d = 1.92), average distance of accelerations (p < .001; d = 0.83) and decelerations (p = .03; d = 1.30), and starting speed of accelerations (p = .01; d = 0.92) and decelerations (p = .04; d = 1.28). These results provide useful context when interpreting global positioning system–derived player-tracking metrics and can improve positional-specific training programs.

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Nicholas M. Watanabe, Hanhan Xue, Joshua I. Newman, and Grace Yan

With the expansion of the esports industry, there is a growing body of literature examining the motivations and behaviors of consumers and participants. The current study advances this line of research by considering esports consumption through an economic framework, which has been underutilized in this context. Specifically, the “attention economy” is introduced as a theoretical approach—which operates with the understanding that due to increased connectivity and availability of information, it is the attention of consumers that becomes a scarce resource for which organizations must compete. Using data from the Twitch streaming platform, the results of econometric analysis further highlight the importance of structural factors in drawing attention from online viewers. As such, this research advances the theoretical and empirical understanding of online viewership behaviors, while also providing important ramifications for both esports and traditional sport organizations attempting to capture the attention of users in the digital realm.

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Willis A. Jones and Wayne L. Black

Guarantee games are among the most important revenue streams for historically Black college and university (HBCU) intercollegiate athletics departments. Some scholars, however, have critiqued these games and even questioned their legality. This study examined the contracts of guarantee games in men’s basketball to assess whether HBCUs and non-HBCUs are equally compensated for their participation in these games. The findings point to the existence of a basketball “Black tax” where HBCUs are not given equal compensation for their participation in men’s college basketball guarantee games. The authors discuss the implications of this inequality along with recommendations for future research.

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Robert J. Lake and Simon J. Eaves

Increasingly, sport has become an important lens through which to examine the historical influences of, and issues related to, transnational interactions and exchanges, yet the term “transnational” remains beset with disagreement regarding its precise meaning and definition. Commonly, transnational approaches to the historical study of sport provide opportunities to reach beyond “the nation,” whereby the nation–state is not positioned, necessarily, as the central category of analysis in discussions of cultural exchange between or across nations and borders. In such analyses, nonstate actors—essentially, those working outside of government influence—can move from the periphery to the center of focus. Challenging the dominant narrative of much historical research into globalization in sport that has tended to dwell on the negative, transnational approaches, as evidenced in this collection, offer new opportunities to consider positive, progressive, and co-operative aspects inherent to the connections and exchanges examined.

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Lauren C. Hindman and Nefertiti A. Walker

Since the 1970s, National Football League (NFL) teams have hired attractive women to dance in scantily clad uniforms as a means of entertaining their heterosexual, male fans—offering a reflection of hegemonic gender ideology in the process. In recent years, a handful of these professional cheerleaders have spoken up and taken action against gender discrimination. Yet, little has changed. This study takes a feminist critical discourse analysis perspective to examining how gender ideology is (re)produced in discourse surrounding the employment roles of NFL cheerleaders, contributing to the perpetuation of gender inequality in sport. Findings demonstrate that three distinct gender ideologies are (re)produced in the discourse, competing with each other to define meanings associated with NFL cheerleading employment roles. Additionally, analysis reveals that while NFL teams have made changes to their cheerleading programs in response to feminist critiques, discourse surrounding these changes continues to (re)produce hegemonic femininity.

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Anton Behrens, Yanxiang Yang, and Sebastian Uhrich

Professional team sport brands are increasingly striving to conquer markets abroad. However, little is known about promising brand positioning strategies in international markets. In the context of U.S. team sport brands’ efforts to attract satellite fans in two different target markets (i.e., Germany and China), this research uses three experimental online studies to test the relative effects of two foreign brand positioning strategies (purely foreign vs. locally integrated foreign) on satellite fans’ attitudes toward the strategy and brand interaction intentions. Findings suggest that fans’ responses depend on the target market. While German fans respond more favorably to purely foreign brand positioning, Chinese fans prefer local adaptations of the U.S. brands to Chinese customs. These diverse effects can be explained by different underlying mechanisms: purely foreign brand positioning increases perceptions of authenticity among German fans, while locally integrated foreign brand positioning increases perceived customer orientation and pride among Chinese fans.

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Andrew Dix

This study focused on historically Black colleges and universities in men’s college basketball. A review of previous literature revealed that referee bias was a recurring phenomenon, while whiteness studies served as the theoretical frame. The data for this analysis centered on a 16-year period of time. The referees called a statistically significant number of personal fouls per game against men’s college basketball teams from historically Black colleges and universities relative to the number of personal fouls per game that referees called against men’s college basketball teams from predominantly White institutions. These findings suggest that men’s college basketball players were judged differently depending on whether the student-athlete played for a historically Black college and university or a predominantly White institution. The implications for critical and social theories were noted in the study discussion.

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Kamran Eshghi, Hesam Shahriari, and Sourav Ray

Sports sponsorships are almost a $20 billion business in North America alone. Yet, despite the significant academic and corporate interest in such high financial stakes, the literature is equivocal on several key aspects. While some papers report that sports sponsorships enhance shareholder value, others dispute this. Furthermore, the marketing determinants of this value are unclear, particularly the role of firms’ marketing capabilities. To address these, the authors first created a database of sports sponsorship announcements over 19 years by Canadian and U.S. firms, complementing it with the stock market and firm-level financial and marketing data. The authors then conducted an event study and found that investor response to sports sponsorship announcements is, on average, positive. The authors found that investors not only credit firms with higher marketing capabilities, amplifying their positive reaction, but that they also seem to use firms’ marketing capabilities to offset the potential barriers to the value generated from these announcements. Specifically, for investors, the firms’ marketing capabilities can compensate for the dampening effect of financial risk. Our results are robust to considerations of sample selection bias, endogeneity, and outliers.