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Melissa James

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Glynn M. McGehee, Armin A. Marquez, Beth A. Cianfrone and Timothy Kellison

Stadium-construction projects are costly and affect the community—positively and negatively. At urban universities, these impacts extend beyond campuses into the broader community. Thus, athletic-department communication about the value of stadium projects to a diverse group of stakeholders becomes important. Following stakeholder theory, the purpose of the study was to investigate social-media messages disseminated by an urban university engaged in a stadium-redevelopment project (Georgia State University [GSU]) and the public response. A content analysis of Facebook and Twitter posts by GSU (N = 39) and the public response (N = 359) yielded 8 themes: a focus on athletics, a focus on university, informing about urban community development impact, explaining capital project funding source, maintaining the stadium legacy, promoting public–private partnerships, and understanding effects on transit. Findings support previous literature that organizational communication reflects organizational priorities.

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Gregory A. Cranmer and Sara LaBelle

Despite advancements in concussion treatment and management, health and sports professionals largely depend on athletes’ self-reporting of symptoms to begin the process of diagnosis. With this in mind, recent scholarly attention has focused on understanding the barriers and processes of athletes’ self-disclosure of symptoms. The current study applied the disclosure decision-making model to understand high school football players’ disclosure decisions after experiencing symptoms of a concussion. Data obtained from 184 high school football players from across the United States demonstrated 2 significant paths by which players’ disclosures of concussion symptoms during a game can be understood. First, the perceived severity of these symptoms predicted athletes’ self-efficacy to disclose concussions, which subsequently predicted their intentions to disclose concussion symptoms during a game. Second, the felt stigma around disclosing concussion symptoms predicted athletes’ anticipated responses from coaches to such disclosures, which subsequently predicted their intentions to disclose concussion symptoms during a game. Furthermore, the effect of perceived stigma on the anticipated responses from coaches was moderated by the quality of athletes’ relationships with their coaches. These results highlight the importance of convincing athletes to take concussion symptoms seriously and the role of athlete–coach relationships in combatting stigma around concussion disclosures. These findings suggest that scholars and practitioners should acknowledge the social contexts surrounding disclosure of concussion symptom and shift educational efforts to focus on the dangers of concussions and the process by which athletes should report potential symptoms.

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Grace Yan, Dustin Steller, Nicholas M. Watanabe and Nels Popp

The question of how and why users engage in sport digital communication endures. In this study, structuration theory is employed to examine how social-media users exercise preferences in the creation of content as they respond to a variety of macrolevel factors pertaining to college football—the type of game, team strength, conference membership, market characteristics, etc. Through hierarchical regression analysis, the results indicate that the presence and timing of college football games, as well as team strength and game outcome, are significant determinants for the patterns of online content generation. As such, the study advances the theoretical, methodological, and managerial inquiry of user-generated content on sport social-media platforms through a Big Data analytics approach.

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Nick Takos, Duncan Murray and Ian O’Boyle

To learn more about effective leadership of sport organizations, this study explored board member interactions in nonprofit sport boards and specifically the construct of authentic leadership and its impact on board functioning. This somewhat contrasts with the extant research on governance and boards, which has often focused on elements, such as structure, process, and policy. Scholars have often explored the leadership theme within sport at the individual, coach, team, and sport department level. Limited attention has been afforded to studying leadership within the sport governance domain, although the importance of gaining a greater understanding of this area has been noted by both industry and researchers alike. A case study investigation of the Australian Football League exploring authentic leadership in Australian Football League club boards is presented in this paper. Ten Australian Football League clubs took part in the study, and 51 in-depth interviews were conducted with participants (board members) from clubs located across Australia. Interviews were analyzed using an interpretive process, and a thematic structure relating to leadership, board dynamics, and authenticity was developed. Ultimately, three key components of authenticity emerged as highly influential on board effectiveness: relational orientation, self-awareness, and balanced processing. These findings suggest that the nature of relationships between board members, particularly the chair and chief executive officer, is more positively influential on board functionality if characterized by authenticity and likely to lead to higher levels of trust, reduced disharmony, and limiting the formation of harmful subgroups.

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Khirey B. Walker, Chad Seifried, Brian Soebbing and Kwame Agyemang

The present study used framing theory to analyze reports and articles from 1998 through 2016 offered by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and various newspapers to analyze the relationship between social-control agents and how they speak to specific audiences (e.g., public and NCAA members) about instances of misconduct by Division I members. The concept of conflict framing (i.e., frame alignment, counterframing, and reframing) is featured. The research demonstrated that episodic framing is more widespread than thematic framing, but it is used differently for specific audiences. The study also found that thematic framing is highly correlated with the normative approach and confirms that media outlets used assorted conflict-framing strategies (e.g., frame alignment, counterframing, and debunking) to emphasize that information on cases was false, incomplete, correct, or filtered. Different uses regarding precedent are also acknowledged, along with coverage concerning the type of institution and location of newspaper (i.e., local or national).

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Annemarie Farrell

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Ted Hayduk III and Matt Walker

Human-resource management is a unique challenge for professional sport franchises (PSFs). A lack of research on full-time employees in sport means we know little about the perceptions of those most connected to PSFs despite the unique nature of the sport industry. This paper investigates whether communicating socially responsible behavior (SRB) in sport job postings generates more prospective person–organization fit (POFit) and greater application intention. Uncovering these relationships will help sport practitioners optimize their hiring process by targeting recruitment messages. The analysis does not support the idea that communicating SRB in a sport job posting enhances prospective POFit or application intentions, even for socially conscious applicants. These findings contradict similar exercises carried out in other industries, highlighting the distinctiveness of professional sport.