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David Welch Suggs Jr. and Jason Lee Guthrie

Part of the goal of the International Paralympic Committee is to “touch the heart of all people for a more equitable society” by exposing people to adaptive sports, with the goal of improving public views toward people with disabilities. The authors hypothesized that exposure to parasocial contact with images of athletes with disabilities could lead to a change in attitude during the formation of social identity, disrupting the tendency to view the population of individuals with physical disabilities as “other. ” This case study found that viewing a documentary of a Paralympic sprinter produced in the same style as an Olympic feature appeared to affect the emotional components of attitude formation, especially when compared with respondents who viewed a comparable documentary about an able-bodied athlete. These findings are of interest to proponents of adaptive sports, producers of adaptive-sports media, and marketers who use athletes with disabilities in advertising campaigns.

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Lindsey Darvin and Michael Sagas

Gendered processes in the sport industry often perpetuate male dominance and female inferiority. While these gendered occurrences have been well documented, the outcomes of such processes are underexplored. Under the guidance of objectification theory and the production–reception relationship, the authors investigated the influence of objectification in sports-media outlets’ coverage of a female sporting event for a national sample of U.S. consumers (N = 225). In addition, given the lack of coverage directed toward female sporting events, the current study investigated the influence of previous viewership on consumer behaviors for a future women’s sporting event. Findings suggest that processes of objectification influence both men’s and women’s consumer behaviors and that previous viewership influences future consumer-behavior motives. Furthermore, objectified images and language did not adversely affect future consumer behaviors for those who had previously viewed a similar women’s sporting event. Sport-media and communications professionals alike can leverage these relationships.

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Bryan E. Denham

Designer steroids contain chemical structures “derived from, or substantially similar to” anabolic steroids, which became Schedule III controlled substances in the United States in 1990. Chemists create designer steroids by reverse engineering existing drugs, altering their chemical structures, and creating new compounds. Seeking to help curtail problems with steroid-spiked dietary supplements, the Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2014 classified 25 designer steroids, many contained in supplements, as controlled substances. Previous versions of the 2014 legislation, introduced in 2010 and 2012, had failed to become law despite consistent news accounts of supplements contaminated with conventional and designer steroids, as well as steroid precursors. Guided conceptually by a streams-of-influence model, the present article examines regulatory processes involving designer steroids and discusses limitations on the capacity of news outlets to build policy agendas.

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Michael L. Naraine and Milena M. Parent

This study’s purpose was to uncover national sport organizations’ (NSOs) perceptions of social media to understand how social media are situated and implemented. Specifically, the study sought to understand the perceived utility of social media, the rationale for the content produced and disseminated, and the factors affecting social-media implementation. Through semistructured interviews with Canadian NSOs, results were grouped into 3 themes: the value of social media (i.e., benefits, potential, and credibility), social-media use (i.e., content, types of social-media platforms, and rationale/motivations), and the challenges associated with social media (i.e., capacity, language issues, stakeholders engagement or lack thereof, and resistance). NSOs implement social media solely for business-to-consumer purposes. Social media act as a “double-edged sword”: NSOs believe that a good social-media presence requires sufficient resources but remain unconvinced of the “true” strategic value of social media.

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Sukjoon Yoon, James F. Petrick and Sheila J. Backman

Sport fans who have formed strong connections to their favorite team may be termed loyal fans. One popular communication tool for such fans is Twitter, which has been found to be an important medium for sharing news and events, yet few studies have examined the moderating of Twitter use in a sport context. Adopting the relational approach examining the determinants of sport-fan loyalty, this study examined how Twitter use moderates the building of fan loyalty. Findings revealed that team attraction, team trust, and team involvement are positively related to team attachment. While team attachment was found to positively influence fan loyalty, sport fans’ Twitter use was found to significantly reinforce their loyalty. Specific implications for both theory and practice are discussed.

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James E. Johnson, Chrysostomos Giannoulakis and Beau F. Scott

While competitive balance literature is robust when addressing professional sport from an economic perspective, little empirical work has focused on understanding what shapes interscholastic competitive balance policies. Using the theory of distributive justice as a framework, the purpose of this multiple case study was to examine the perceptions of top administrators regarding sociocultural influences on interscholastic competitive balance. Qualitative interview data collected from six state commissioners/executive directors revealed four predominant findings: (a) policy is driven by a philosophical approach that is aligned with the theory of distributive justice; (b) an overemphasis on winning strongly influences policy; (c) political influence through legal threats and state educational policy shapes committee decisions; and (d) the prevailing challenges of policy creation include school size, geography, public/nonpublic status, tradition, sport-specific characteristics, and lack of knowledge. Implications of these findings are discussed.

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Adrien Bouchet, Thomas W. Doellman, Mike Troilo and Brian R. Walkup

Gaining exclusive sponsorship rights to international football club apparel has become increasingly competitive, resulting in larger deal values. The first objective of this study was to analyze the effect of kit sponsorship announcements on the underlying value of sponsoring firms. Utilizing event study analysis, we found that firms announcing kit sponsorships experience negative abnormal returns. This finding may not be surprising given the fierce competition for obtaining valuable, scarce marketing space and the well-known winner’s curse. The second objective was to shed further light on the value of kit sponsorship deals by conducting a novel test in which we analyzed a subset of sample observations where the kit sponsorship changed to a new sponsor. We found that firms may be willing to overpay for sponsorships to pre-empt their direct competitors from obtaining valuable, scarce marketing space. Firms losing a pre-existing sponsorship to a direct competitor experience large negative abnormal returns.

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Laura J. Burton, Jon Welty Peachey and Janelle E. Wells

Evaluation of leadership as a necessary component to reform sport could be critical to fostering a more ethical climate and reducing the frequency and severity of ethical improprieties within this context. However, limited research has examined the relationship between leadership and ethical climate. Servant leadership, due to its ethical component and people-centered focus, is a leadership approach that may best support development of an ethical climate. The purpose of this study was to explore the influence of servant leadership on perceptions of an ethical climate in intercollegiate athletic departments, with an examination of how trust and perceptions of organizational justice indirectly influence the relationship between servant leadership and perceptions of an ethical climate. Findings indicated that servant leadership was directly related to trust in leadership and perceptions of an ethical climate. Further, both trust in the leader and procedural justice indirectly influenced the relationship between servant leadership and ethical climate.