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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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James E. Johnson, Robert M. Turick, Michael F. Dalgety, Khirey B. Walker, Eric L. Klosterman and Anya T. Eicher

Higher education in the United States, and sport management in particular, has faced contemporary attacks for its perceived lack of academic rigor. To investigate these criticisms, this study examined 830 students enrolled in 69 semester-long courses across four consecutive years in a single sport management program to measure perceived course rigor and its relationship to overall course ratings, course grades, and course level. Seven rigor questions were added to existing student ratings and distributed at the end of each semester. A factor analysis strongly supported the conceptualization of rigor utilized in the study. Pearson correlations indicated that student ratings and rigor were positively related. An ordinary least squares multiple regression also revealed that overall student ratings and course grades significantly aid in predicting course rigor. Pragmatically, the results suggest that sport management students appreciate rigorous courses and that faculty should strive to include elements of rigor into their courses without fear of retributional bias on student ratings.

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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).

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Elizabeth A. Taylor, Molly Hayes Sauder and Cheryl R. Rode

Relatively little is known about the experiences of sport management faculty in relation to job demands and resources. With the constantly evolving nature of higher education and growth of the sport management discipline, it is important to understand the perspective of faculty members, as they have a substantial impact on students, the discipline at large, and the sport industry. Thus, the purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of sport management faculty regarding several potential job demands and job resources in the academic environment. Survey research was conducted using a sample of sport management faculty (N = 144). The survey yielded both qualitative and quantitative data for analysis. Results indicated a job demand for faculty in that high levels of workplace aggression were reported. Job resources in the form of relationships with others and satisfaction with the nature of the work were identified. Pay, promotion, and perceptions of managers’ operational competence and ethics were illuminated as areas that must be improved if they are to serve as job resources. Finally, a number of demands and resources correlated with turnover intentions. Findings provide practical implications for the sport management academic discipline and suggest new avenues of productive future research.

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Tim Wilson