Worldwide, sports gambling is a multibillion-dollar industry. Despite the industry’s size and success, little research has been conducted on sport-gambling operators (SGOs), and no research has examined their presence on social media. As such, this exploratory study aimed to examine the social media habits of SGOs through a relationship-marketing lens. To do so, 16,466 tweets were collected from the Twitter accounts of six Australian SGOs, with descriptive statistics from tweets presented and Leximancer performing automated thematic analyses. Results indicated that SGOs are discussing professionalized sport, influencers, and subbrands, as well as extensively making use of hashtags and mentions. Given these results, the strategies that SGOs are using to communicate and interact with their consumers focuses particularly on a North American professional-sport and horseracing context. This research contributes to the growing understanding of social media stakeholders in sport and provides an initial starting point for future research on SGOs given the recent legalization of sports gambling in the United States.
Emily Stadder and Michael L. Naraine
Agnes Kovacs, Tamas Doczi, and Dunja Antunovic
The Olympic Games are among the most followed events in the world, so athletes who participate there are exceptionally interesting for the media. This research investigated Olympians’ social media use, sport journalists’ attitudes about Olympians’ social media use, and the role of social media in the relationship between Olympians and sport journalists in Hungary. The findings suggest that most Hungarian Olympians do not think that being on social media is an exceptionally key issue in their life, and a significant portion of them do not have public social media pages. However, sport journalists would like to see more information about athletes on social media platforms. The Hungarian case offers not only a general understanding of the athlete–journalist relationship, and the role of social media in it, but also insight into the specific features of the phenomenon in a state-supported, hybrid sport economy.
Elizabeth B. Delia
To date, almost all team identification inquiries have focused on men’s sport, with minimal studies using women’s sport to examine the concept. Recognizing social identities are fluid and context dependent, the purpose of the current study was to understand the psychological meaning of team among individuals who identify with a women’s sport team. Using an interpretive mode of inquiry, the author conducted interviews with fans of a professional women’s basketball team. Central elements of team meaning were gender equality (contributing to social change) and pure sport (perceptions of game play and player characteristics). These aspects jointly contribute to a paradox experienced by fans, in that perceived purity may be sacrificed in realizing social change. Theoretical implications include the ability of teams to represent social movement organizations, as well as the need for individuals to shed status-irrelevant aspects of an identity to raise a low-status group.
Melvin Lewis, Kenon A. Brown, Samuel D. Hakim, Andrew C. Billings, and Carla H. Blakey
A national sample of 390 self-identified National Basketball Association (NBA) fans were asked motivational differences regarding use of four unique forms of social media information offerings: team-managed, media-managed, fan-managed and player-managed outlets. While entertainment emerged as the top motivational factor across all four offerings, many significant differences were found among the four information offerings in relation to 12 key uses and gratifications. Revealing which information offerings users tend to use when attempting to fulfill a specific gratification, this study yields insights for academicians and sport practitioners, pinpointing distinctive features of different social media platforms to frame social media goals, as well as matching the perceived strengths and features of a particular platform and information offering.
Thomas J. Aicher, Richard J. Buning, and Brianna L. Newland
Using social worlds as a framework, the purpose of this study was to determine the relationships between event travel career progression with travel behavior and related intentions. As such, this study has depicted the evolving behaviors and preferences of active sport tourists in an effort to improve the localized impact of events. Using previous research on social worlds and active sport event travel careers, the authors have hypothesized that differences in social worlds immersion would be present based on event participation, travel party conditions, flow-on tourism activities, and repeat/revisit intentions, as well as differences in flow-on tourism activities based on travel conditions. In partnership with a large running festival in the Midwest United States, data were collected and analyzed to test these hypotheses (N = 2,219). The results indicated support for the hypotheses previously outlined. Theoretical contributions to the study of active sport tourism and practical implications for the management of events and destinations are discussed.
Colin D. McLaren and Kevin S. Spink
Emerging evidence suggests that team success is associated with communication among group members. This study built on those findings by examining the degree to which members on a winning (n = 13) and a losing (n = 13) men’s soccer team exchanged task-related information during a single head-to-head game. Social network analysis was used to compute athlete information exchange at the individual and team levels by asking players to identify the specific members with whom they exchanged information during the game. As hypothesized, athletes on the winning team had higher average individual degree centrality and higher network-density scores than athletes on the losing team. This indicates that individual members on the winning team exchanged task-related information with more of their teammates and, as a result, engaged in more collective information exchange as a team. While replication is necessary to increase generalizability, this study suggests a possible link between the degree that team members exchange information (at the individual and team level) and team performance outcome (i.e., win or loss).
Steven Salaga, Scott Tainsky, and Michael Mondello
The authors demonstrate that betting market outcomes are a statistically significant and economically relevant driver of local market television viewership in the National Basketball Association. Ratings are higher when the local market team covers the point spread and when point spread outcome uncertainty is increased. They further illustrate that point spread market outcomes have a larger relative impact on viewership in less-popular games and when the local market team is expected to perform poorly. This suggests wagering market access serves as insurance to the league and its franchises against reduced viewership in games that are less appealing to consumers. The results assess the degree to which wagering interest has driven past revenues as well as how the legalization of sports wagering may influence future revenues.
Leeann M. Lower-Hoppe, Kyle B. Heuett, Tarkington J. Newman, and Shea M. Brgoch
Performance excellence is a core value in athletic teams. A team’s intraorganizational network has been considered an important determinant of team performance. However, the role of sport-team captains is often overlooked in lieu of the coaching staff. The purpose of this case study was to explore the relationship between team captains’ intrateam ego network and team-performance indicators. The researchers video recorded the intrateam communication of 4 college football-team captains over the course of 9 practices and collected secondary data pertaining to team performance. Analysis of the coded interactions revealed significant positive relationships between captains’ ego network and the previous week’s team performance, with a nonsignificant correlation with the subsequent week’s team performance. Analysis exploring the relationships between captains’ ego network and other team-performance indicators provides some support for the impact of intrateam communication on team performance. Implications for coaches and future directions for research are presented.