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Joshua R. Pate and Alyssa T. Bosley

Sport management academic programs can do better at preparing a graduate for a career by addressing the technology demands in the sport industry. Equally important is to weigh the skills that athletic department personnel want and need in a college graduate seeking an entry-level position in a sport communication, media relations, or sports information office. Those offices train student workers as an extension of their learning environment where they can put classroom learning to practice. The purpose of these interviews was to inform and equip sport management educators on how to best prepare students to enter the field of sport communication, specifically using social media in college athletics. Professionals indicated that students should be proficient in content creation and planning, representing an organization’s brand, and social media trends across all platforms. It is important for the sport management educator to know the skills and knowledge professionals desire from students so that classroom activity can be planned accordingly.

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Megan B. Shreffler

A number of benefits have been associated with discussing controversial topics in the classroom. In this article, the author provides an example of using classroom debates on controversial issues in sport as a learning method in an introductory sport management class. Students were assigned to a side of a topic on which they did not agree. This required them to critically think about their stance and seek information to understand why others might feel the way they do. After the debate, students completed a debate reaction paper in which they outlined their opinions not only about the topic but also about the process.

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John Miller and Todd Seidler

Experiential learning opportunities are significant supplements to the traditional lecture format. Among experiential learning methods, mock trials have been proven to be effective. Experiential learning provides the students with a platform from which they can integrate and apply concepts gleaned from class. Students are challenged to write and orally communicate these concepts at a level that would be clear to those involved in the experience. Kolb’s model of experiential learning provides four stages through which students may become genuine learners. This study illustrates how the authors implemented a mock trial experience into their classes to create an experiential learning opportunity.

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Mark R. Lyberger

Value-centric teaching is about creating a memorable learning environment that is attractive, meaningful, and relevant. A teaching philosophy that encompasses a strategic value-oriented approach integrates real-world and translatable experiences. The foundation is transferable. It strives to blend the passion for learning with foundational elements to motivate students to achieve and continue to grow. It is an emergent process that evolves over time and becomes stronger as it adapts to new challenges even as it remains true to its core principles. Educators have a vital role to play and must adhere to the principle of value orientation to further accentuate its educational and societal impact. Value-centric teaching enables a deeper exploration of life, enhancing knowledge, its values, its meaning, and responsibilities.

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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.

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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.

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Akira Asada, Yong Jae Ko, and Wonseok (Eric) Jang

The purpose of the current study was to examine how two key characteristics of sports fan communities—relative size and homogeneity (behavioral similarity among fans)—influence potential fans’ perceptions and intentions to support the team. Study 1 showed that relative size and homogeneity created a two-way interaction effect on potential fans’ support intentions, such that the low-homogeneity fan community resulted in greater support intentions in the minority condition, whereas the high-homogeneity fan community resulted in greater support intentions in the majority condition. Study 2 revealed a boundary condition of this interaction effect: The interaction effect disappeared when potential fans had extremely low levels of involvement with watching the sport. Study 3 showed that potential fans’ perceptions regarding similarity to fans and social pressure mediated the effect of relative size on their support intentions.

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Jue Hou, Xiaoxu Yang, and Elliot Panek

This paper examined the media and public relations coverage of e-sport in China over a 17-yr period, focusing on how the representations of e-sport as a fast-growing industry have changed in China during that time. With the theoretical underpinning of media framing, the study used content analysis and examined 400 e-sport-related reports. Specifically, it investigated the tone of coverage, the topic emphasis of e-sport-related stories, and the use of jargon and statistics in the reports. In general, findings indicated that both mainstream media and public relations gradually covered e-sport issues in a more positive way as time went by. Similar to reporting on traditional sports, the topic emphasis changed from nongame issues to player and team performance in the contemporary climate. The findings highlight the importance of live-streaming platforms in e-sport development and suggest that more traditional-sport-styled media coverage of e-sport might benefit the industry. Finally, the study calls for an evaluation of media e-sport coverage in different cultural contexts and comparisons between e-sport’s and traditional sports’ representation in the contemporary media climate.

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Fei Gao, Bob Heere, Samuel Y. Todd, and Brian Mihalik

Although the concept of social leverage has been a key component of research on mega sport events, authors know little about how the initial partnership between stakeholders of the event allows for social leveraging prior to the event. Thus, the purpose of this study is to understand what intentions stakeholders of a newly formed interorganizational relationship for the 2019 Federation of International Basketball Associations World Cup have toward social leverage initiatives and whether they coordinate such efforts with other stakeholders. Data were collected through two rounds of interviews with high-ranking leaders in the stakeholder organizations. The authors found that social leverage is not part of the early planning for the event because (a) different stakeholders/organizations have little knowledge of social leverage, (b) the media amplifies current values and beliefs of the interorganizational relationship stakeholders, and (c) the Chinese culture has an implicit/explicit influence on the interorganizational relationship. The study contributes to our understanding of challenges surrounding social leveraging.