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Volume 38 (2024): Issue 4 (Jul 2024)

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Nation Branding and Sports Diplomacy: Country Image Games in Times of Change

Simon M. Pack

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The NCAA and the Exploitation of College Profit-Athletes: An Amateurism That Never Was

Jim Sarra

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A Typology of Design Archetypes in Professional Football Leagues: Autonomy and Openness as Key Factors Explaining Design Variance

Grant Hughes, Jon Billsberry, Mathew Todres, and Steve Swanson

Previous approaches to design archetypes in sport management have taken a single-country, multisport approach with a focus on National Sporting Organizations. While this line of research has provided significant breakthroughs for understanding sport organizations, there is a need to extend the boundaries of these investigations to explore variations within professional leagues in one sport and across multiple countries. Accordingly, the current study takes a single-sport, multicountry approach to explore how design archetypes vary and the factors influencing the variation. We analyzed the design archetypes of 104 professional football leagues using 44 organizational variables and identified four different design archetypes that can be used to categorize professional football leagues globally. Autonomy and openness were identified as the key factors determining design archetype structure in this environment. Our analysis of professional football league archetypes provides a foundation for understanding design archetype variation, and the insights can be used for comparison and analysis of meaningful change.

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Playing in Front of the Bench: Courtside Selection and Its Impact on Team Performance

Finn Spilker and Christian Deutscher

This paper analyzes the strategic decision of basket choice in the National Basketball Association. Before games start, the away team chooses whether to play on offense in front of their bench in the first or second half. Based on eight regular seasons and 9,308 games, we identify the standard strategy for away teams to play on offense at their own benches in the first half. Results indicate that both home and away teams score more points when they play on offense in front of their bench. More importantly, there is a strategic advantage for the away team to play with the offense in front of the bench in the second half, deviating from the standard strategy in the league. Finally, we demonstrate that the choice of the basket for the away team can partially offset the home advantage under normal spectator conditions and entirely nullify it in ghost games.

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Mandating Women Board Members in Sport Organizations: Change via Coercive Institutional Pressure

Kathleen B. Wilson, Adam Karg, Emma Sherry, Kasey Symons, and Tim Breitbarth

Boosting board representation of women redresses structural unfairness and improves corporate governance and performance. The Change Our Game initiative, running over 3 years statewide in Victoria, Australia, mandated 40% representation of women on state sport boards. At the start, only 44% of state sport boards had 40% women representation; by the mandate deadline, this had increased to 93%. Using an institutional theory lens, the authors qualitatively analyzed four stakeholder groups: mandators, policy champions, operationalists, and mandate targets. Stakeholder sentiments were analyzed pre- and postmandate deadline over 3 years. Sentiments ranged from positive to equivocation to denigration. The mandate’s coercive pressure, supported by institutional legitimacy and work to accelerate changes, led to institutional change and achieved a significant increase in women board members. Change was grounded in strong ethical and cognitive support from mandate champions. Microsocial expressions of denigration and change resistance did not prevent successful change.

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The Use of Bricolage in a Resource-Constrained Sport for Development and Peace Organization

Mitchell McSweeney, Landy Lu, and Gareth Jones

Despite the growth of the sport-for-development and peace (SDP) field, the sector remains heavily resource-constrained whereby organizations have limited resources but also operate in resource-scarce environments. Given this, we draw on the theoretical concept of bricolage to explore how such resource constraints are overcome. In this study, an organization implementing SDP for refugees and throughout their existence have been confronted with resource constraints is examined. Across the organization’s start-up phase and growth stage, multiple forms of bricolage are identified, which enabled the organization to address the social needs of refugees through SDP. We discuss these findings in relation to existing literature on bricolage as well as social entrepreneurship in SDP, emphasizing the way in which the recombination of resources offers opportunities for organizations and practitioners to effectively manage a scarce resource base.

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Volume 38 (2024): Issue 3 (May 2024)

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Factors Affecting Women Sports Officials’ Intention to Leave Across Europe

Pamela Wicker, George B. Cunningham, and Tom Webb

This study examines the factors affecting women officials’ intention to leave their chosen sport, including personal, work-related, and sociocultural factors. The empirical analysis is based on survey data of women officials in 69 different sports across Europe (n = 3,214). Overall, 10.7% of women expressed a turnover intention. Regression analyses indicate that this intention is higher for women who have more officiating experience (16–20 years), officiate at lower levels of sport (grassroots, junior), frequently experience abuse, and dislike the stress and time commitments of officiating, lack of support from the federation, and their lack of opportunity to progress. Younger women (≤24 years) with a mentor, who enjoy being part of a sport community and live in a more gender equal society are less likely to leave. The findings suggest that multiple factors are at work, which need to be addressed by sport managers to retain women in officiating roles.

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Tackling International Markets: Bicultural Brand Positioning of Sport Leagues in Foreign Countries

Christian Weisskopf and Sebastian Uhrich

As sport league brands have increasingly extended their marketing activities into foreign countries, international brand positioning has become a relevant research topic. In this research, we introduce and examine the concept of bicultural brand positioning, an approach that combines a sport league’s connection to its home country with target-country associations. We integrate bicultural identity theory with the literature on brand benefits to propose two types of bicultural brand positioning: functional versus symbolic. Three experiments, using the National Football League and German satellite fans as the empirical context, provide evidence that bicultural brand positioning incorporating functional (vs. symbolic) benefits for the satellite fans increases bicultural brand image integration, defined as the perceived compatibility of combining the two country cultures, and has positive indirect effects on intentions to use the brand and positive word of mouth. These effects are driven by increased perceptions of cultural authenticity of the brand and brand convenience.