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Nathan Baer, Claire C. Zvosec, Brent D. Oja, and Minjung Kim

Ben Davis has recently been hired to take over as the president of business operations for Major League Baseball’s newest expansion club, the Nashville Comets. He is faced with a challenging task: filling out the rest of his senior management staff. Ben knows he needs to meet certain initiatives set by the ownership group. Of these, the most important is that the ownership team wants to build an organization that will set itself apart in the crowded Nashville entertainment market, allowing it to flourish in the long term. While consulting with some of his industry colleagues, Ben has honed in on innovation, job crafting, and meaningful work as a means of doing so. Ben is seeking to develop an organization that inspires innovation in its employees, maximizing his staff as a resource for change. Using concepts like meaningful work and job crafting, students will be tasked with assisting Ben in fleshing out the Comets’ front office in a way that fosters creativity and innovation among their employees, contributing to the success of the organization.

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Mitchell McSweeney, Per G. Svensson, and Michael L. Naraine

The case explores how Sport4Change will adapt its sport-for-development (SFD) programs in response to the current uncertainty presented by COVID-19. Being able to innovate program operations, implementation, and delivery is key to the success and long-term sustainability of Sport4Change, and changing program strategies needs to be done correctly given the organization’s varying locations around the world. Making such decisions requires consideration of the various contexts in which Sport4Change works, understanding diverse options to implement SFD through technological or remote means, and aligning remote delivery and operations with each SFD location and their in-person program focus and goals in order to come up with solutions to ensure SFD remains impactful during COVID-19.

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Clinton Warren

This case study asks students to assume the role of a ticket sales strategist hired to work as a consultant for the University of Minnesota Golden Gopher athletic department. In this case, you will be asked to work with members of the Gopher Fan Advisory Board to develop service innovations in the area of ticket sales. As a sales and marketing consultant, you will examine existing data on spectator attendance trends and focus group interviews to determine the current issues facing the athletic department. Then, you will be asked to suggest the manners by which the athletic department should innovate the ticket service, using a design thinking approach to grow ticket sales and spectator attendance for the men’s hockey program.

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Lucy V. Piggott and Jordan J.K. Matthews

Within this article, the authors explore the extent to which the administrative and governance hierarchies, rules, and processes of two English national governing bodies (NGBs) reproduce or resist gender segregation and male dominance within their leadership and governance. Drawing on Bourdieu’s theory of practice, the authors expand upon current literature to better understand the workings of gender power relations at the structural level of organizational practice. Semistructured interviews with male and female leaders were supplemented by an analysis of formal documents. The authors found that gender power relations privileging men were simultaneously conserved and resisted within the two NGBs. While resistance to male-dominated leadership and governance was evident, transformational organizational change was lacking. This highlighted the limitations of strategies being primarily driven through top-down, policy-based approaches. The authors end the article by emphasizing the importance of a combined approach at the structural, cultural, and individual levels to enable sustainable and transformational organizational change.

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Lucy V. Piggott and Jordan J.K. Matthews

Within this article, the authors explore the extent to which the administrative and governance hierarchies, rules, and processes of two English national governing bodies (NGBs) reproduce or resist gender segregation and male dominance within their leadership and governance. Drawing on Bourdieu’s theory of practice, the authors expand upon current literature to better understand the workings of gender power relations at the structural level of organizational practice. Semistructured interviews with male and female leaders were supplemented by an analysis of formal documents. The authors found that gender power relations privileging men were simultaneously conserved and resisted within the two NGBs. While resistance to male-dominated leadership and governance was evident, transformational organizational change was lacking. This highlighted the limitations of strategies being primarily driven through top-down, policy-based approaches. The authors end the article by emphasizing the importance of a combined approach at the structural, cultural, and individual levels to enable sustainable and transformational organizational change.

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Christine E. Wegner, Bradley J. Baker, and Gareth J. Jones

Volunteers provide essential services to community sport organizations; thus, it is important to understand the underlying factors in successful volunteer–organization relationships. Organizational identification, an integral component of relationship building for members in an organization, is a useful yet underutilized concept to understand how and why volunteers create lasting, deep relationships with sport organizations. This research utilizes a sequential mixed-method design to examine the evolution of organizational identification among volunteers in a community sport organization. The survey results indicate that new volunteers formed their organizational identification over the course of a single program season, such that, by the end of the season, they were similar to returners. Subsequent qualitative analysis of focus group data indicated that the content and evolution of organizational identities varied for newcomers and returners. These results provide important contributions related to the ongoing nature of identity work of volunteers and offer practical implications for volunteer management within community sport organizations.

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Christine E. Wegner, Bradley J. Baker, and Gareth J. Jones

Volunteers provide essential services to community sport organizations; thus, it is important to understand the underlying factors in successful volunteer–organization relationships. Organizational identification, an integral component of relationship building for members in an organization, is a useful yet underutilized concept to understand how and why volunteers create lasting, deep relationships with sport organizations. This research utilizes a sequential mixed-method design to examine the evolution of organizational identification among volunteers in a community sport organization. The survey results indicate that new volunteers formed their organizational identification over the course of a single program season, such that, by the end of the season, they were similar to returners. Subsequent qualitative analysis of focus group data indicated that the content and evolution of organizational identities varied for newcomers and returners. These results provide important contributions related to the ongoing nature of identity work of volunteers and offer practical implications for volunteer management within community sport organizations.

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David Cassilo and Danielle Sarver Coombs

The Pakistan Super League launched in 2016 with massive enthusiasm in its “cricket-mad” nation. However, safety concerns stemming from a 2009 terrorist attack in Lahore, Pakistan, meant all matches were played in the United Arab Emirates until the tournament’s final game in 2017—the ultimate test in seeing if top-level cricket could return to Pakistan. In this study, the authors examine framing of the creation in 2013 and first 2 years of the Pakistan Super League from news sources in Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. This study offers an opportunity to understand how Middle Eastern sport and the sport’s connection to national identity are framed in the media across multiple countries during a pivotal time for cricket in Pakistan.

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Richard J. Paulsen

This paper uses Major League Baseball data to examine the relationship between years remaining on player contracts and player performance. There is a potential for moral hazard to arise in this principal–agent relationship as the player may choose a less than optimal level of effort from the perspective of team management when the player has many guaranteed years remaining. A player fixed-effects estimation strategy, which finds a significant negative relationship between years remaining and performance, is employed. The primary contribution of this work is to show that this relationship is due to shirking. Alternative explanations for this relationship, such as teams signing improving players to multiyear contracts or players facing an adjustment process when joining a new team, are addressed. Additional evidence which is consistent with shirking behavior shows that shirking occurs on offense, not defense, and for position players, not pitchers.