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Volume 37 (2023): Issue 2 (Mar 2023)

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Feeling Vital by Watching Sport: The Roles of Team Identification and Stadium Attendance in Enhancing Subjective Vitality

Masayuki Yoshida, Mikihiro Sato, and Jason Doyle

Subjective vitality is an important, yet understudied, indicator of eudaimonic well-being. People experience subjective vitality when they engage in need-satisfying activities. We investigate two sport consumption activities (stadium attendance and sport television viewing), team identification, and subjective vitality to understand how sport consumption mediates the impact of team identification on subjective vitality. Throughout a season, data were collected from local residents (n = 618) living within the franchise area of a Japanese professional baseball team. Structural equation modeling and bootstrapping mediation analysis showed that team identification exerted both a direct and an indirect effect via attendance frequency on subjective vitality. The proposed model and the findings offer new theoretical insights into the roles of subjective vitality, team identification, and stadium attendance in spectator sport. Consequently, sport teams can leverage these insights to intensify consumer experiences when people attend games, positively contributing to their well-being.

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Analogous Forecasting for Predicting Sport Innovation Diffusion: From Business Analytics to Natural Language Processing

Liz Wanless and Michael L. Naraine

The purpose of this study was to analyze the diffusion of one sport innovation to forecast a second. Contextualized within the diffusion of innovations theory, this study investigated cumulative business analytics diffusion as an analog for cumulative natural language processing (NLP) diffusion in professional sport. A total of 89 teams of the 123 teams in the Big Four North American men’s professional sport leagues contributed: 21 from the National Football League, 23 from the National Basketball Association, 22 from Major League Baseball, and 23 from the National Hockey League. Utilizing an analogous forecasting approach, a discrete derivation of the Bass model was applied to cumulative BA adoption data. Parameters were then extended to predict cumulative NLP adoption. Resulting BA-estimated parameters (p = .0072, q = .3644) determined a close fit to NLP diffusion (root mean square error of approximation = 3.51, mean absolute error = 2.98), thereby validating BA to predict the takeoff and full adoption of NLP. This study illuminates an ongoing and isomorphic process for diffusion of innovations in the professional sport social system and generates a novel application of diffusion of innovations theory to the sport industry.

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A Segmentation Analysis of American Sports Bettors by Involvement

Brendan Dwyer, Stephen L. Shapiro, and Joris Drayer

Sports betting in the United States is exploding in popularity and has the potential to change the way sports fans interact with sports properties and sports content. However, not all sports bettors are the same, and market segmentation research provides a resource for more targeted communication and marketing strategies. Utilizing behavioral and psychographic data, the current study segmented 1,077 sports bettors by involvement. The segments were then contrasted on a number of factors within the framework of Mowen’s 3M model of motivation and personality. A sample of 513 nonbetting sports fans was also included as a segment within the analyses. Statistically significant differences were found at the motivational, elemental, compound, and surface trait levels between the betting segments and between the betting and the nonbetting sports fans. The findings point to a strong emotional draw regardless of involvement yet a clear need for the betting industry to educate on issues related to jurisdictional legality and common language.

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Does It Matter if Sport Fans “Root for the Home Team?” A Test of the Team Identification–Social Psychological Health Model

Benjamin J.I. Schellenberg and Patrick Gaudreau

The team identification–social psychological health model outlines that fans of local sport teams are more likely to experience feelings of social connectedness compared with fans of distant teams. We tested this proposition across two sufficiently powered studies. In both studies, sport fans (Study 1: N = 291, Study 2: N = 430) completed online surveys assessing their levels of identification with a favorite sport team and social connections derived from their fandom for that team. Team localness was operationalized based on team location (Study 1) or responses to survey questions assessing team localness (Study 2). In both studies, the positive association between team identification and social connectedness was not moderated by team localness. This research contributes to the team identification–social psychological health model and our general understanding of fan behavior by showing that the social benefits of being a highly identified sport fan are not limited to fans of local teams.

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The Effect of Remote Work on Family and Work Dynamics Within the Sport Industry

Matt R. Huml, Elizabeth A. Taylor, and Eric M. Martin

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of required remote work on work–family spillover within U.S. college sport. In particular, we examined the changes in work–family spillover (positive and negative), job commitment, and workaholism as employee’s work environment changed from traditional work expectations to work from home, and if these changes were, at least partially, due to parental responsibilities. Data were collected from full-time, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) athletic department employees (n = 1,139) in November 2019 and again in May 2020 following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and after the transition to remote work. Results showed that sport employees found a number of benefits associated with working remotely, including a significant decrease in negative work–family spillover. However, employees with children at home reported higher levels of negative family–work spillover after going to remote work. Workaholism was also higher after the move to remote work. Both theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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Volume 37 (2023): Issue 1 (Jan 2023)

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The Routledge Handbook of Sport and Sustainable Development

Grzegorz Botwina

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Why Do Unfairly Paid Trainees Persist? Pay Fairness and Human Capital Investment in Development Leagues

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.

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Grassroots Coaching: Using Sports Psychology and Coaching Principles Effectively

Jillian McNiff Villemaire