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Richard J. Paulsen

This paper uses Major League Baseball data to examine the relationship between years remaining on player contracts and player performance. There is a potential for moral hazard to arise in this principal–agent relationship as the player may choose a less than optimal level of effort from the perspective of team management when the player has many guaranteed years remaining. A player fixed-effects estimation strategy, which finds a significant negative relationship between years remaining and performance, is employed. The primary contribution of this work is to show that this relationship is due to shirking. Alternative explanations for this relationship, such as teams signing improving players to multiyear contracts or players facing an adjustment process when joining a new team, are addressed. Additional evidence which is consistent with shirking behavior shows that shirking occurs on offense, not defense, and for position players, not pitchers.

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Joon Ho Lim, Leigh Anne Donovan, Peter Kaufman, and Chiharu Ishida

To examine how the level of humility expressed through athletes’ social media postings and post volume is associated with the athletes’ in-game performance, the authors collected National Football League players’ social media activities throughout one season, in addition to player performance and profile information. To account for the multilevel and panel structure of the data, they conducted a series of fixed-effects panel models. In addition to a negative relationship between social media posting frequency and performance, the authors found that players who post social media content with a higher level of humility are more likely to have better performances. However, this humility–performance association follows an inverted U-shaped relationship. The results provide insight into how critical athletes’ social media activity is for in-game performance. This study also provides important implications for athletes, team coaches, staff, and managers and provides guidance for future research.

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Chrysostomos Giannoulakis

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Adam G. Pfleegor

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Yann Abdourazakou, Xuefei (Nancy) Deng, and Gashaw Abeza

This study sought to examine season ticket holders’ usage of social networking sites during live sport consumption. Informed by uses and gratifications theory, the study examined three types of social media use by fans—Twitter/Facebook posting, Instagram/Snapchat posting, and mobile app use—during a live game. Survey data of 400 season ticket holders of a professional National Basketball Association team were analyzed. Regression results showed that age was a significant predictor of the fans’ in-game social media use in terms of Instagram/Snapchat posting and mobile app use, whereas gender was a significant predictor of their Twitter/Facebook posting behavior. Moreover, the study showed a mixed result for the predicted moderating effect of the season ticket holders’ tenure on the predicted relationships between the two personal characteristics (age and gender) and the three types of social media use. Theoretical and practical implications of the study for sports marketing management are discussed.

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Marlene A. Dixon, B. Christine Green, Arden Anderson, and Peter Evans

Adolescent sport participants, particularly girls, continue to drop out of sport at alarmingly high rates, which presents an opportunity for new sport programs to enter the marketplace to better cater to those participants. Starting new sport programs, however, presents significant challenges, including acquiring and mobilizing resources in innovative ways. Using theory in sport development and the resource-based view, the authors examined six emergent sport programs for girls within the United States and United Kingdom to identify the resources obtained and mobilized to create new and distinctive sport opportunities in a crowded marketplace. Following a case study approach, data from site visits and interviews with 137 individuals were analyzed using within- and across-case analysis. The findings reveal the resources needed to grow the programs, the ways in which those resources are attained, and strategies to mobilize resource bundles to maximize sport opportunities by differentiating programs from traditional, mainstream sport opportunities. The findings also highlight the distinctive opportunities and challenges for sport organizers in both top-down and bottom-up sport development systems. This study informs theory in sport development and provides insight for creatively designing and delivering sport opportunities that expand overall sport participation for adolescent girls.