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Interactive Mechanisms to Improve Service Innovation Among Sports Clubs: A Consumer Perspective

Mohsen Behnam, Mikihiro Sato, Bradley J. Baker, and Mahdiyeh Jalili

Value co-creation for service innovation is a rapidly developing concept in the current competitive market. Prior studies emphasize the conceptual aspects of the value co-creation, with limited research focusing on the interactive effects between firms and their customers created in the process of value co-creation. We propose a framework for synthesizing the interactive concepts associated with service innovation based on the service-dominant logic. We recruited participants (N = 448) from 11 sports clubs in Iran. Results indicated that openness and consumer engagement facilitate value co-creation, which in turn leads to perceived service innovation. Furthermore, perceived brand interactivity moderated the mediating role of value co-creation in the relationship between consumer engagement and perceived service innovation. Results from this research suggest openness and consumer engagement are key antecedents of value co-creation and highlight the significance of perceived brand interactivity and value co-creation in promoting service innovation at sports clubs.

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Managing Organizational and Media Stress: The Case of Elite Norwegian Skiers

Elsa Kristiansen, Barrie Houlihan, and Hans Anton Stubberud

This case study focuses on how Norwegian ski jumpers performed in the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and the following FIS (International Ski and Snowboard Federation) ski flying World Championships 2022 in Vikersund, Norway, despite organizational conflict at the management level and intense and sustained media coverage the entire season. Five athletes (one third of the elite squad) were interviewed about how they coped with the stressors. The results revealed two main responses: One group avoided, as far as possible, hearing or reading about the conflicts and tried to stay in their “bubble” and focus on preparing for competition. The other group chose to follow the conflicts and was more willing to interact with the media, therefore experienced a higher degree of perceived stress, and consequently needed to employ a wider range of coping strategies. The findings highlight the importance of a consistent and effective management strategy in helping athletes to focus on training and competition preparation and insulate them from stressors generated by organizational turbulence and conflicts.

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Life After the Gridiron: Examining Retired National Football League Athletes’ Self-Presentation Strategies and Follower Engagement on Instagram Personal and Business Pages

Felipe Tamayo, Natasha T. Brison, and Hailey A. Harris

As athletes enter a new chapter in their lives retiring from their sport, the challenge of upholding and enhancing personal brands arises. There has been extensive research on athlete brand building via social media; however, there have been few studies analyzing how athletes build their own brands and brand extensions postcareer, particularly former National Football League (NFL) players. Sixteen retired NFL athletes were examined using Goffman’s theory of self-presentation to determine strategies used for building personal brand extensions and obtaining follower engagement via Instagram. Through a content analysis, a total of 2,933 Instagram posts were analyzed, and the findings from this study revealed that former NFL players with fewer followers received higher engagement rates, and retired NFL players made more backstage type of posts on personal pages compared with front-stage posts. Implications, recommendations, and future research suggestions also are discussed within the paper.

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Decision-Making Processes Used by Canadian National Sport Organization Boards: Differences Between Design Archetypes

Russell Hoye, Milena M. Parent, Ashley Thompson, Erik L. Lachance, Michael L. Naraine, Marijke Taks, and Benoit Séguin

This paper examines the decision-making role of Canadian national sport organization boards, identifies the processes used to facilitate decision making by these boards, and explores whether these elements differ between the various design archetypes that exist among these organizations. Forty-five semistructured interviews were conducted with board members and senior staff of 22 Canadian national sport organizations, and data were thematically analyzed. Findings indicate board members and senior staff focused on strategy as their primary role, along with control over other roles (e.g., providing advice and counsel or securing resources). Roles differed according to the organization’s design archetype. Our analysis showed clear differences between design archetypes in terms of how these the organizations used structural artifacts such as subcommittees to facilitate decision making, navigated decision rights between board members and paid staff, and adhered to the Carver policy governance model promoted for national sport organizations by Sport Canada.

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An Analysis of Agenda Setting and Framing of American Marathon Television Coverage

Michael Clemons and Austin C. Bogina

This study examined nationally televised marathon coverage of three major U.S. marathons (the Boston Marathon, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and the Tata Consultancy Services New York City Marathon) to understand how able-bodied men and women, and men and women using wheelchairs were represented. Just under 8 hr of coverage was analyzed for clock time and the descriptions of athletes divided by divisions of able-bodied men and women and wheelchair athlete men and women. Able-bodied women received the majority of clock time in Boston and Chicago, while able-bodied men received the majority of clock time in New York City. Athletes using wheelchairs, both men and women, received much smaller amounts of coverage, especially in New York City. Women received more announcer mentions in all three races, with a heavier focus on their background, coaching, and emotion, although the only statistically significant category was emotion. Experience and race strategy/training were heavily emphasized for all divisions. Through this analysis, race producers have more guidance on how to cover future marathons in a more equitable and appropriate manner.

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The Footballization of China: Strategies for World Cup Glory

Umer Hussain

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Professional Team Sports and the Soft Budget Constraint

Jeffrey R. Farr

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No Longer a Sign of Weakness? Media Reporting on Mental Ill Health in Sport

Keith D. Parry, Abigail G. Braim, Rebecca E. Jull, and Matthew J. Smith

This study analyzed media framing of athletes who have suffered mental ill health. The mass media play a crucial role in shaping public attitudes and perceptions surrounding mental health, and the present study aimed to examine the media reporting of athletes’ mental ill health and to further explore how this reporting has changed over time. We examined the reporting of elite athletes in three U.K. media outlets between January 2000 and December 2019, identifying 75 athletes from 26 different sports. From analysis, four themes were developed to consider the content of media reporting and how it has changed over three time phases. The analysis revealed that media reporting of mental ill health has increased over time, and changes were observed in terms of the specific terminology used, with greater depth in the articles, such as journalists speaking to other professionals to construct the articles. This study contributes toward our growing understanding of the reporting of mental ill health by providing empirical evidence of the increased attention to the topic and increasingly responsible reporting in the media.

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His Work Here Is Done: How Sports Journalists and Commentators Framed Colin Kaepernick’s Possible Return to the National Football League

Ronald Bishop and Amanda Milo

A frame analysis was conducted of recent coverage by sports journalists of the on-again off-again possibility that Colin Kaepernick might sign a contract to play with a team in the National Football League (NFL). Kaepernick was blacklisted by league and team officials angry at, and hoping to avert public backlash from, Kaepernick’s 2016 decision to kneel during the national anthem to protest systemic police brutality and mass incarceration. The analysis enabled the creation of champions, distractions, exile, futility, impact, and spectacle frames. The analysis affirms that journalists may be priming readers to conclude that the NFL has learned its lesson, that some officials should be congratulated for generating the bravery to welcome Kaepernick back to the league and commended for their newfound insights about racism. The episodic frames emerging from coverage of the tryouts and a possible signing affirm that the “new appreciation” of Kaepernick has become a nonthreatening reverence for his place in history. Kaepernick’s exile now reads like a one-off, an outlier, rather than a glaring example of the systemic racism that still infects the league. Frames affirm that the NFL—with help from the nation’s sports writers and commentators—has taken control of the narrative with which fans process an athlete’s activism. They have legitimized the narrow space provided by the league for player protest.

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A Resource-Based View of Organizational Sustainability in Sport for Development

Wonjun Choi, Mi Ryoung Chung, Wonju Lee, Gareth J. Jones, and Per G. Svensson

A growing number of sport-for-development (SFD) organizations have emerged in the nonprofit sector to leverage sport for social change, yet many organizations struggle with chronic resource deficiencies that inhibit their long-term viability and highlight a pressing need to examine the sustainability of SFD organizations through resource-based perspectives. This study analyzed secondary financial and administrative data from SFD organizations in the United States to examine changes in key resources during early organizational life stages. Latent profile analysis was utilized to classify organizations based on their level of resources, and multilevel growth modeling revealed significant changes in key resources over the first 5 years of operation, as well as significant differences based on initial resource levels and rates of change. The results provide theoretical insight into the key resources associated with organizational sustainability in the SFD field and offer practical implications for resource procurement, prioritization, and management.