In 2004, South Africa was awarded the opportunity to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The opportunity to reshape their national identity in the spotlight of the World Cup came at a particularly useful time for South Africa. Despite the country’s seemingly miraculous transition from apartheid to democracy—a transition lauded around the world—the country’s reputation was soon dragged down by concerns about crime, unemployment, and a rising rate of HIV infections. Although a number of scholars have looked at the long- and short-term effects of South Africa’s effort at creating a national identity during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, questions of process remain to be explored. What rhetorical strategies were employed to build this national image? What role did developing social media platforms play in the World Cup campaign? What were the communication tactics that led to a successful World Cup campaign? Using the theory of dialectical vernacular, I argue that South Africa was able to use the stage and emotional setting of the World Cup, in combination with a unique moment in time in branding and social media, to cultivate and deploy user-generated content to create a sense of authenticity that successfully sold a positive image of South Africa to the world. Essentially, South Africa was able to take digital material that was submitted by citizens around the country, and around the world, and use it to build a campaign that was vernacular, transnational, and embodied in nature. This allowed them to manufacture a national identity that effectively (at least in the short term) redirected conversations away from the more complicated issues affecting the country to, instead, showcase South Africa as a successful democratic nation.
This research examined the ball-handling errors that referees called against historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in Division I women’s college volleyball. A ball-handling error is an impermissible nonverbal communicative act such as a ball being lifted, a ball being thrown, or a ball being double hit. Previous research on referee bias was reviewed. Expectancy violations theory served as the theoretical frame because it focuses on nonverbal behaviors and how a message receiver responds to violations. Using publicly available data, this research sought to draw points of comparison between HBCUs and predominantly White institutions. The uncovered data revealed that referees called more ball-handling errors per set against HBCUs relative to predominantly White institutions. Furthermore, only HBCU conferences were penalized at a statistically significant level, while no predominantly White institution conferences were penalized at a statistically significant level. Theoretical implications for expectancy violations theory and practical implications for HBCUs were the focus of the study discussion.
Kelsie Saxe, Lauren Beasley, Elizabeth Taylor, and Robin Hardin
Voluntary occupational turnover is rampant within the economy and, thus, a timely line of inquiry within sport management. However, sport management literature has primarily explored turnover intentions rather than the realized experience of voluntary occupational turnover. Thus, the purpose of this study was to understand sport management employees’ experiences of voluntary occupational turnover using the Transtheoretical Model of Change as a guiding theoretical framework. Interpretative qualitative inquiry guided the research design with 12 former Division I swimming coaches. Findings illustrated themes aligning with the Transtheoretical Model of Change. However, an additional theme was identified: the tipping point, occurring between contemplation and preparation when a discernible event occurred which prompted the participant to move from contemplation to preparation. This study further extends the Transtheoretical Model of Change and its applicability within sport while providing implications regarding the retention of sport management employees.
Considering the inconsistency in the literature on crowdinvestment motivations and the uniqueness of football club investors, the purpose of this study is to identify the motivation to invest in football clubs through equity crowdfunding. Following Churchill’s scale development procedure, it is found that those who crowdinvest in football clubs are fans who highly identify with these teams. The fans’ motivations include supporting the cause of the campaign, acquiring the status of a football club owner, and gaining rewards. These findings show the dominance of intrinsic motivations among crowdinvestors of European football clubs, providing evidence for compensatory activities assumed in self-determination theory, which is the theoretical framework for this research. Moreover, we devise a motivation scale that can be adopted in future research on equity crowdfunding for football clubs. For sports managers, the results offer practical recommendations for marketing communication and relationship marketing of equity crowdfunding campaigns by football clubs.
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.
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.
Jonas Biel, Tobias Finger, Vincent Reinke, Jennifer Amann, Arne Niemann, and Marc Jungblut
In recent decades, the administrative and competitive structures of men’s elite club football in Europe have undergone a profound transformation toward Europeanization. As a result, football fans are increasingly exposed to European influences. These dynamics shape fans’ perceptions of and orientations toward Europe and contribute to constructions of collective identities. Because football is a highly mediatized sport, fans’ exposure to European influences and their constructions of identity are highly dependent on the representation of Europe in football media. To analyze this, we conducted a quantitative analysis of text-based online news media. Using selected German media outlets, we examined the extent and the patterned variation of media representation of Europe in football news articles. Our results indicate a highly selective media environment focused on a limited set of countries with high sporting relevance and a presence of German national-team players, while other countries rarely enter the media discourse.
Heather Kennedy and Daniel C. Funk
Uses and gratifications theory has often been used in (sport) communication studies to examine social media usage. Yet, criticisms of uses and gratifications theory (e.g., it overstates purposefulness) and competing research suggesting media use is more habitual and unconscious in nature have often been overlooked. Thus, through semistructured interviews, this research explored how social media is used, identifying five themes: passively, distinctly, periodically, habitually, and universally. Theoretically, this research contributes by highlighting the passive, habitual, and unconscious nature of some sport social media behavior, thereby challenging our current assumptions that sport social media usage is always active, purposeful, and goal directed. It also considers the uniqueness (or lack thereof) of sport content within the social media experience. Managerially, this research helps sport organizations understand how consumers use social media to inform marketing and communication strategies.
This article is based on the 2022 Earle F. Zeigler Lecture Award that I presented in Atlanta, Georgia. For this paper, I reflect upon my career as a qualitative sport management researcher, with a specific focus on the mistakes I have made. I have two objectives with this paper. One objective is to advocate for continued learning about and rethinking how we conduct qualitative research. The second objective is to highlight ways in which we, as a field, can improve our qualitative research literacy. In the paper, I discuss eight learnings on the topics of ontologies and epistemologies, research designs, themes, pseudonyms, rigor, generalizability, positionality, and the publisher SAGE. In learning from my mistakes, we can be better consumers, producers, and evaluators of qualitative research.
Zachary W. Arth, James R. Angelini, Patrick C. Gentile, and Andrew W. Hard
This case study assessed the differences in time on camera dedicated to men and women athletes at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. An analysis of the entirety of the programming on the the American broadcast television company NBC, including the prime-time broadcasts, the daytime programming, and the additional nightly content, yielded nearly 185 hr of coded Olympic content. When excluding mixed-sex events, in the 61.5 hr of prime-time coverage, women received 60.05% of the time on camera. During the non-prime-time coverage, which spanned 123 hr, men received the majority of clock time, accounting for 51.6% of coverage. In addition, differences by sport were uncovered, with the major differences occurring in alpine skiing, which saw more women’s coverage regardless of broadcast. In contrast, women received more coverage in freestyle skiing and snowboarding during the prime-time broadcast, but men were more emphasized in these competitions during the non-prime-time content. Utilizing agenda setting as the theoretical framework for this case study, ramifications for these broadcast trends and differences are discussed.