Under the federal trademark law, owners of famous sport trademarks may bring legal claims against unauthorized users of their marks under the infringement and dilution theory. Although the rationale of trademark infringement has been supported by various notions of consumer psychology and law and economics, the theory of dilution has been criticized for the lack of empirical support. This study investigated whether the junior use of major sport trademarks would have dilutive effects on the senior marks in financial terms. The study employed the contingent valuation method, a technique designed to estimate the economic values of nonpecuniary assets such as trademarks. A total of 140 subjects were exposed to dilutive information while they purchased sport brand merchandise. A series of pre- and posttests revealed that moderately famous sport trademarks suffered dilutive harm from junior use, whereas exceptionally famous marks were immune to the dilutive effects. Theoretical and practical implications were discussed.
Sungho Cho, J. Lucy Lee, June Won and Jong Kwan (Jake) Lee
Scott Tainsky, Brian M. Mills, Zainab Hans and Kyunghee Lee
Investigation of minor league demand is scant relative to major leagues, particularly at the game level. This presents not only a contextual gap in the research, but also a conceptual one related to demand externalities. Minor League Baseball differs from major professional leagues in that gate revenue sharing is not a fixture in league policy, and talent investment decisions are made by the parent club. Nonetheless, it may be the case that a host club benefits from characteristics of its opponent. Econometric examination of over 31,000 minor league games across multiple leagues and seasons finds proximity to an opponent’s major league parent team increases attendance. Although the authors find evidence of increased demand for a top prospect from the home club, the presence of visiting top prospects is not associated with changes in attendance, prompting the question as to whether effective marketing efforts in this regard would increase home club revenues.
Erik L. Lachance and Milena M. Parent
Sport event volunteers have predominantly been examined in able-bodied events using quantitative methods. Studies examining the volunteer experience have focused on its relationship with different constructs, resulting in a siloed body of literature in which a holistic understanding of the volunteer experience remains poor. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships between key constructs (satisfaction, motivation, commitment, and sense of community) and the first author’s (E.L. Lachance) volunteer experience in a para-sport event. The analysis of the narrative using a volunteer experience conceptual framework composed of the key volunteer constructs identified two themes: (a) the power of sense of community and (b) the volunteer role as a source of dissatisfaction. Contributions include the volunteer experience conceptual framework and the relationships between the four constructs and the volunteer experience. Event managers should implement strategies to create a strong sense of community to enhance their volunteers’ experience.
Shaun M. Anderson and Matthew M. Martin
In 1989, former Major League Baseball (MLB) player John Young created the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program as a way to increase the number of African Americans becoming involved with the game of baseball. Along with this program, MLB created the Urban Youth Academy (UYA) in 2006 as a way to not only teach the game but also provide life skills to youth and adults. However, MLB continues to struggle in developing relationships and increasing involvement of African Americans. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to understand why African Americans are not interested or involved in MLB. Corporate social responsibility and relationship management theory were used as the frameworks for this study. Eleven RBI and UYA program managers were interviewed to determine the challenges they face in getting African Americans involved in the game. Results from this study indicated four themes regarding MLB program managers’ challenges: inconsistency in measuring success, lack of parental involvement, and lack of trust. A discussion, implications, and future directions are addressed.
Matthew A. Masucci
Lauren E. Brown
Michael L. Naraine
The sport industry has experienced significant technological change in its environment with the recent rise of Bitcoin and its underlying foundation, blockchain. Accordingly, the purpose of this paper is to introduce and conceptually ground blockchain in sport and discuss the implications and value proposition of blockchain to the sport industry. After a brief overview of blockchain and the technology stack, the mechanism is conceptually rooted in the network paradigm, a framework already known to the academic sport community. This treatment argues that the decentralized, closed, and dense mesh network produced by blockchain technology is beneficial to the sport industry. Notably, the article identifies blockchain’s capacity to facilitate new sources of revenue and improve data management and suggests that sport management and communication consider the value of blockchain and the technology stack as the digital footprint in the industry intensifies and becomes increasingly complex.
Sara Santarossa, Paige Coyne, Sarah J. Woodruff and Craig G. Greenham
ESPN The Magazine’s The Body Issue positions itself as an inclusive and sport-focused publication. With a focus on gender, the purpose of the current study was to examine the online thoughts and opinions that resulted from #BodyIssue on Instagram. In addition, the Instagram posting activity of ESPN (@espn) and espnW (@espnw) as it pertained to the promotion of the featured athletes and the Instagram accounts of the athletes featured in the 2016 Body Issue were explored. A text and network analysis surrounding #BodyIssue for both male and female Body Issue athletes was conducted using the Netlytic program. Manual Instagram tracking of @espn and @espnw, as well as the featured athletes’ accounts, was performed. In its entirety, this study was conducted between June 29 and July 13, 2016. Online thoughts and opinions, although differing by gender, were generally positive, with a large focus on physical form, not sexuality and/or nudity. Furthermore, a gender disparity was reported in regard to ESPN Inc.’s Instagram posting activity, with @espn choosing only to celebrate its male Body Issue athletes on Instagram and @espnw only posting about 2 of the 9 female athletes. There was a significant difference in the number of Instagram followers for the female athletes 1 wk prior to the online release of the issue (M = 105,767.78, SD = 141,193.71) and 1 wk postrelease (M = 109,742.56, SD = 142,890.11), t(8) = −4.29, p = .003. Further analyses of other Body Issue editions is needed to continue investigating this gender disparity and its potential impact on athletes, sport culture, and social attitudes.