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Liam J.A. Lenten, Aaron C.T. Smith and Ralph-Christopher Bayer

This article introduces and then examines a novel antidoping policy mechanism, based upon a conditional superannuation fund for professional athletes. It begins by presenting a theoretical case in favor of the scheme relative to the background of current policy. Consideration is given to the utility and benefits of a conditional superannuation mechanism to augment existing antidoping policy structures. The case is developed using results from a pilot experimental economics study testing the policy proposal, which suggests that the conditional superannuation mechanism has the potential to outperform existing measures, such as fines and bans. This article offers a policy variation that could supplement the existing arrangements as a contiguous mechanism. While no single policy intervention seems plausible in fully eliminating sport doping, a combination of incentive and punitive mechanisms may yield a superior policy mix to help attenuate doping’s prevalence in elite sport. The evidence presented here within the antidoping policy context may also recommend the utility of conditional superannuation as a mechanism to address other enduring challenges in sport, such as violence, gambling, and behavioral transgressions.

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T. Christopher Greenwell, Jason M. Simmons, Meg Hancock, Megan Shreffler and Dustin Thorn

This study utilizes an experimental design to investigate how different presentations (sexualized, neutral, and combat) of female athletes competing in a combat sport such as mixed martial arts, a sport defying traditional gender norms, affect consumers’ attitudes toward the advertising, event, and athlete brand. When the female athlete in the advertisement was in a sexualized presentation, male subjects reported higher attitudes toward the advertisement and the event than the female subjects. Female respondents preferred neutral presentations significantly more than the male respondents. On the one hand, both male and female respondents felt the fighter in the sexualized ad was more attractive and charming than the fighter in the neutral or combat ads and more personable than the fighter in the combat ads. On the other hand, respondents felt the fighter in the sexualized ad was less talented, less successful, and less tough than the fighter in the neutral or combat ads and less wholesome than the fighter in the neutral ad.

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Holly Thorpe and Megan Chawansky

This study seeks to better understand broad management issues associated with the employment of female workers in one sport for development (SfD) project. Through interviews with the executive director and five female staff members of Skateistan—the skateboarding SfD project operating in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and South Africa—this study offers insights on female transmigrant workers who relocated to work for the project in Afghanistan, focusing particularly on how formal and informal management strategies are experienced by international female staff and volunteers. Extending the work of Black, Mendenhall, and Oddou with a poststructural feminist approach, we identify six key themes related to the experiences of female transmigrant workers moving into and during SfD assignments: (a) initial motivations, (b) organizational selection mechanisms, (c) management of risk, (d) work–life balance, (e) managing the self, and (f) negotiating postcolonial critiques of development work. In so doing, this paper recognizes women’s lived experiences as a valid and valuable form of knowledge that could be used to inform management approaches adopted by SfD organizations.

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Andrea Schlegel, Rebecca Pfitzner and Joerg Koenigstorfer

This study looks at the hosting of the 2014 Fédération Internationale de Football Association World Cup in Rio de Janeiro and, based on research drawing on environmental psychology and studies of liminality, hypothesizes that the perceived celebrative atmosphere in the city increases subjective well-being of host city residents (cariocas). Data were collected via in-person intercept surveys from 221 and 218 cariocas before and during the event, respectively. There was an increase in subjective well-being from before the event to during the event. The results of two-group path modeling revealed further that there was a positive impact of the perceived celebrative atmosphere in the host city on residents’ subjective well-being during the event; the effect was weaker (though still positive) for the time period when the event was not being hosted. Initiatives may build upon the atmospheric elements in a city to increase subjective well-being of residents, particularly in the context of event hosting.

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Calvin Nite and Marvin Washington

The effective management of innovation is important for sport organizations seeking to maintain dominance within their respective fields. However, innovation can be problematic as it threatens to alter institutional arrangements. This study examined how technological innovation impacted institutional arrangements within U.S. intercollegiate athletics. Adopting the institutional work framework, we studied the emergence of television and the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) struggle to maintain centralized control of television regulations. We drew from historical data that discussed the NCAA’s regulation of television from the 1940s until the mid-1980s. We found that disparate perceptions of the impact of live televising of college football games and the NCAA’s protracted regulations resulted in tensions among its members. This led to large universities forming strategic alliances and openly defying NCAA regulations. The tensions culminated when universities sued the NCAA in a case that was ultimately ruled upon by the U.S. Supreme Court. This resulted in substantial institutional change that saw the NCAA losing regulative authority of college football television contracts. The findings of this study have implications beyond the context of U.S. intercollegiate athletics.

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Michael Mondello, Brian M. Mills and Scott Tainsky

This work evaluates the cross-quality elasticity of related products in the context of Nielsen Local People Meter ratings of all regular season broadcasts from 2010 through 2013 from six National Football League teams in three shared markets. Using a fixed effects panel regression, we do not uncover evidence that viewers are swayed by the success of a rival market team in their aggregate viewership patterns, contrary to what has been found in Major League Baseball. In addition, when within-market rivals play one another, we find that viewership levels increase but in a way that indicates considerable overlap of viewership and possible substitution choices made by consumers. We expand upon the implications of this work for demand estimation in sports economics research as well as the importance of our findings to sport management-related policy.

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Jeffrey N. Howard

The game of baseball and its internal cryptic communication system has always been vulnerable to sign stealing. By systematically studying the signals of an opponent so as to decrypt and intercept opponent communications, one can garner valuable insight into future events and strategies. Such “theft of signals” can lead teams to frequently change their sign indicator, should they suspect it has been compromised. The current paper presents a theoretical process of “hot” sign indicator obfuscation whereby the pitcher and catcher use unique hot indicator values that are generated after each pitch via an algorithm derived from randomly changing situational and/or scoreboard data.

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Veera Ehrlén

This case study examines contemporary recreational sports practitioners’ communication practices and social tie formation from the perspective of two lifestyle sports disciplines: climbing and trail running. Online survey results from 301 climbers and trail runners from Finland indicate that computer-mediated communication (CMC) has established its place in recreational lifestyle sports cultures; however, it has not done it at the expense of face-to-face (FtF) communication. Online interaction produces weak social ties with instrumental and informative value, but physical location is essential in establishing ties with emotional and appraisal value. This paper argues that it is the sports subculture and individual practitioners’ needs that define how interaction is realized, and what importance different online and off-line communication practices have. Besides studying communication practices, this case study explores the social meanings practitioners attribute to their social contacts.

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Georgios Nalbantis, Marcel Fahrner and Tim Pawlowski

Clubs and third-party operators offer licensed sports products via offline and online stores. Although a few papers have previously focused on sports merchandise, no study has ever analyzed the factors associated with the purchase channel (PC) choice. Based on representative survey data of sports club members, we empirically test the statistical association between consumers’ characteristics and their PC choice. Econometric results suggest that the PC choice is affected by membership characteristics and sociodemographic attributes such as gender, education, income, and place of residence. Comparisons with results from studies conducted in more general settings suggest that the transferability of findings from general to sports-specific settings (and vice versa) is limited. Moreover, the finding, that the impact of these characteristics depends on the type of operator (club vs. retailer) rather than the type of product, highlights the relevance to distinguish between vertically integrated and third-party-operated PCs in both managerial decisions and future research.

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Lynn L. Ridinger, Kyungun R. Kim, Stacy Warner and Jacob K. Tingle

Building on the current sport officiating research, this study puts forth the Referee Retention Scale. Through a three-phase process, the researchers developed a valid and reliable scale to predict sport officials’ job satisfaction and intention to continue. The first phase consisted of instrument development, whereas the second phase included field testing of referees (n = 253). After exploratory factor analysis and Rasch analysis, the resultant refined scale from Phases 1 and 2 was then administered to 979 referees in Phase 3. Phase 3 results using confirmatory factor analysis indicated that the seven-factor, 28-item Referee Retention Scale was a valid and reliable tool for measuring and predicting referee retention. The results highlight the importance of considering a variety of factors associated with the referee experience, which include administrator consideration, intrinsic motives, mentoring, remuneration, sense of community, lack of stress, and continuing education. A discussion on how the Referee Retention Scale can help administrators manage and retain sport officials is included.