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Yongjin Hwang, Khalid Ballouli, Kevin So and Bob Heere

The purpose of this research was to examine the effect of sport video game difficulty and brand congruity on gamers’ brand recall, brand recognition, and attitudes toward the brand using a controlled experimental design. A total of 116 participants were recruited to play an interactive sport video game and randomly assigned to one of two game difficulty conditions (easy vs. hard). They were then asked to respond to questions concerning the brands featured in the in-game advertisements. The procedure entailed a pretest survey, main experiment, and posttest survey. Data analysis was conducted through use of McNemar’s test, repeated measures analysis of covariance, and binary logistic regression. Findings revealed significant effects for game difficulty and brand congruity on brand recognition (but not brand recall) and attitudes toward the brand. This study contributes to the growing body of literature that suggests video game settings and brand placement are key considerations for achieving desired advertising results.

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Matthew Juravich and Brian M. Mills

This study integrates the literature on organizational fields and logics of action with the sport management and economics literature by investigating the impact of an exogenous shock on talent distribution in the field of National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 men’s basketball. We examine data related to human resource entry and exit through the lens of the National Basketball Association’s one-and-done rule and its subsequent impact on competitive balance among National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 men’s basketball programs. Hypotheses are tested in relation to pre- and postshock talent dispersion and competitive balance employing an interdisciplinary econometric approach to evaluate management-driven outcomes. Broadly, we find improvements in balance and a broader distribution of player talent among schools comprising larger conferences, whereas smaller conferences experienced reductions or no changes in balance. Implications are discussed and future directions for integrated institutional theory and sport management research are suggested.

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Kathryn L. Heinze and Di Lu

Institutional research increasingly suggests that organizations are not passive recipients of institutional demands. Organizations can adopt a variety of strategies, including dismissing, decoupling, and co-opting, in response to pressure to change. Over time, organizations likely adopt different approaches, particularly as the institutional field continues to evolve. Through a longitudinal case study of the National Football League’s responses to player concussions, we investigated shifts in how a powerful sport governing body responds to institutional change over time. We found that the National Football League moved through different responses, from more reactive strategies—including dismissing, decoupling, and acquiescing—to proactive attempts to control institutional change. Using data on the National Football League, we offer propositions about the factors that may influence organizational responses. This study advances understanding of powerful sport governing bodies’ responses to institutional change.

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Gashaw Abeza, Norm O’Reilly, Benoit Seguin and Ornella Nzindukiyimana

This study, guided by the relationship marketing theoretical framework, adopted an observational netnography method to investigate professional sport teams’ use of Twitter as a relationship marketing tool. Specifically, the study focused on the three core components of the theoretical framework of relationship marketing: communication, interaction, and value. The observational netnography is based on data gathered from the official Twitter account of 20 professional sport teams in the four major North American leagues over a seven-month period. Results outline seven emergent communication types, six interaction practices, and ten values (co)created by the teams or/and fans. Theoretical and practical implications, as well as impetus for future research, are identified.