Maurice Vergeer and Leon Mulder
This study tested football players’ performance on the pitch against their performance on Twitter as explanations for Twitter popularity. Guided by network theory, social-identity theory, and basking in reflective glory and using data of all players of all teams in the Dutch premier league (“Eredivisie”), the multilevel models show that players with a Twitter account were more popular when they scored more goals, were non-Dutch, were on loan at another club, and were networkers actively following others on Twitter. The findings also show that context matters. Players under contract with a successful club receive an automatic bonus: Irrespective of their performance on the pitch or on Twitter, they automatically acquire more followers on Twitter. Players in general do not need to put a lot of effort into communicating on Twitter because sending tweets is unrelated to having more followers. Advertisers’ best options to reach larger and homogeneous audiences through football players are to choose attackers, scoring players, those out on loan, and foreign players, as well as players from successful teams in general. The study also identified which player characteristics do not add to a larger audience reach, such as tweeting behavior and experience on Twitter.
Susan Lagaert, Mieke Van Houtte and Henk Roose
We study (fe)male adolescents’ interest in watching sports as a spectator using logistic multilevel analyses based on a representative sample of 5837 Flemish (Belgian) pupils in the first year of secondary education. To uncover the mechanisms behind the ‘gendering’ of passive sports consumption, this study evaluates how the gender gap (characterized by higher male involvement) relates to the gender identity, experienced pressures for gender-conforming behavior and gender role attitudes of the students. Results indicate that the gender gap in interest is to a large extent related to the studied mechanisms. The findings have implications for research on the feminization of sports fandom and call for further analysis of the processes behind the gender gap in consumption of different sports with masculine or feminine connotations and of on-site and TV spectatorship.
Charles Macaulay, Joseph Cooper and Shaun Dougherty
There are two cultural narratives often purported within the American sports cultures of basketball and football. First, those participating within these sports are African American athletes from poor communities lacking educational and economic opportunities. Second, the meritocratic myth perpetuating American society feeds the notion no matter where an individual is from their talent will elevate them to the next level. There have already been a few studies who have challenged these myths. This study seeks to continue the conversation by collecting community data on 7,670 high school football recruits for the years 2000 to 2016. This study seeks to provide a broad overview of the interscholastic football landscape as well as determine production levels of schools. This study finds that while players are recruited from a diverse range of communities and school types, as a school becomes more productive they tend to be located within wealthier urban communities, have a diverse student body, and have a higher likelihood of being a private school.
Stephen Hills, Matthew Walker and Marlene Dixon
For sport for development practitioners, a theory of change document is a critical first step to map how program inputs yield the desired program outcomes. Yet, in our experience, this document is rarely created in practice. Accordingly, this study makes use of the case of an award-winning sport for development charity that expanded their operations from India to London to illustrate the pejorative implications resulting from failing to create a theory of change. A mixed-methods, quasi-experimental approach was utilized to understand program mechanisms, program processes, and how these influenced the aggregate participant experience. The quantitative analyses yielded no significant effects. Triangulating the qualitative data revealed that personal, social, health, and economic education was a competing product to the program. The limited effects are attributed to a failure to identify and attempt to assuage a local social problem. In addition, alignments with stakeholder expectations, program context, and legal requirements were also derailing. A discussion of the results, implications, and recommendations for establishing and implementing a theory of change are provided.
Sada Reed and Guy Harrison
Past research has examined the use of anonymous sources in news content and its impact on perceived credibility. Studies applying these theories in the context of sport media consumption, however, are scant and outdated. This matters because sport media is consumed for different reasons from news and has a historically symbiotic relationship with the people and events it covers. The current case study explores sources in National Basketball Association (NBA) trade stories in both national news and sport-specific publications. The study found that about 82% of trade speculation was not credited to a source. Unnamed and named sources’ trade predictions were cross-referenced with the NBA transaction log to determine if the trades actually manifested before the trade deadline. Neither sources predicted trades well: Of the 95 unsourced, speculated trades, 14 actually took place. Of the 20 sourced speculations, four took place. There was no statistically significant difference between how well named and unnamed sources predicted trades.
Zachary W. Arth, Darrin J. Griffin and Andrew C. Billings
This study examined Major League Baseball (MLB) broadcasters’ descriptions of players through the lens of self-categorization theory. Two core variables were assessed: nationality (American or non-American) and broadcast type (local or national). Broadcaster language in 30 games from the 2016 MLB season was analyzed. Two forms of examination revealed that American players were more frequently described as successful due to their intelligence, whereas non-American players were more likely to be depicted as failing due to an ascribed lack of strength and were discussed more in terms of emotionality. Local broadcasters were more likely to highlight differences between American and non-American players.
Zack Pedersen and Antonio S. Williams
Hebe Schaillée, Ramón Spaaij, Ruth Jeanes and Marc Theeboom
Funding bodies seek to promote scientific research that has a social or economic impact beyond academia, including in sport management. Knowledge translation in sport management remains largely implicit and is yet to be fully understood. This study examines how knowledge translation in sport management can be conceptualized and fostered. The authors draw on a comparative analysis of coproduced research projects in Belgium and Australia to identify the strategic, cognitive, and logistic translation practices that researchers adopt, as well as enablers and constraints that affect knowledge translation. The findings show ways in which knowledge translation may be facilitated and supported, such as codesign, boundary spanning, adaptation of research products, and linkage and exchange activities. The findings reveal individual, organizational, and external constraints that need to be recognized and, where possible, managed.