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Thilo Kunkel, Rui Biscaia, Akiko Arai and Kwame Agyemang

This research explored the role of athlete on- and off-field brand image on consumer commitment toward the athlete and associated team, preference by the athlete’s sponsor, and the mediating effect of consumers’ self-brand connection on these relationships. Data were collected from fans of soccer players through a cross-sectional survey promoted on social media platforms. A partial least squares structural equation model examined the direct effects of both athlete brand dimensions on athlete commitment, team commitment, and athlete sponsor preference, and the indirect effects mediated via self-brand connection. The results indicate that an athlete’s on-field image is significantly related to athlete sponsor preference, while the off-field image influences athlete commitment and team commitment. Self-brand connection is influenced by athlete off-field image and mediates the relationship between off-field image and athlete commitment. This study contributes to a better understanding of how to manage athlete brands and linkages between fans, athletes, and associated entities.

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Evie Oregon, Lauren McCoy, Lacee’ Carmon-Johnson and Angel Brown-Reveles

Each year, the college football season ends with hiring and firing moves. These transitions raise questions about the million-dollar salaries prevalent in college sports. Current events like this tend to dominate classroom conversations. Navigating these issues and their relation to class content can be challenging. Although the amount of money spent on coaches is not surprising, any discussion to provide new strategies may not be legally viable. For example, when students propose ideas about limiting coaching salaries, they may not realize the legal implication of that action. This case study uses the legal case-study model to address questions related to intercollegiate athletic coaching salaries and the possibility of a salary cap. Providing legal application in other courses will address these questions for both students and for faculty members who might not have the legal background to answer these questions.

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Elizabeth A. Taylor, Gareth J. Jones, Kristy McCray and Robin Hardin

The sport industry is ripe for issues of sexual harassment/assault due to the high value placed on masculine characteristics and the power differential between male leaders/coaches and female subordinates/athletes. This culture permeates sport organizations, as issues of sexual harassment/assault committed by athletes and coaches/administrators are commonplace and have recently been mishandled, raising questions about effective education. This study examined the relationship between education on sexual harassment/assault and the endorsement of rape myths by sport management students. Results indicate that training on sexual harassment/assault in sport management classrooms is low and is potentially ineffective at curbing rape myth acceptance, suggesting current curricula are insufficient. These findings have both theoretical and practical contributions related to how sport management departments can prepare future professionals to change the culture of sport.

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Megan B. Shreffler, Adam R. Cocco and Jacob R. Shreffler

The number of students enrolled in online courses continues to increase as the landscape of higher education evolves to meet the needs of the student population. With the growing number of online education students, and the necessity of programs to demonstrate learning effectiveness, it is essential for higher education institutions to compare the success of online students with their traditional classroom counterparts in terms of course outcomes (final project and course grades). This study used a quasi-experimental design to examine the relationship between the instructional delivery method (online vs. traditional classroom) and the course outcomes and satisfaction of students in selected sport management courses. Differences between instructional delivery method were found in motivational factors, satisfaction, and content knowledge. However, no significant differences were found with respect to final project and course grades. The findings from this study can assist sport management programs beginning to offer online education courses or looking to expand their online course offerings. The results demonstrate that instructional delivery method does not affect a student’s course outcomes in sport management courses, leaving them the ability to choose the educational delivery method best suited for their lifestyle and motivations.

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Robyn Lubisco, Genevieve F.E. Birren and Ryan Vooris

The purpose of this study was to examine sport management faculty job postings to determine the type of positions available, skills and experience sought, and the classification of the institution advertising the employment opportunity. This study found that (a) there was an emphasis on teaching experience at less research-intensive schools where teaching would generally be more of a focus than at a traditional research institution, (b) the field is growing and the variety of schools looking for positions is expanding, and (c) the tenure-track job market is shifting away from R1 institutions and toward M1 institutions.

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Leeann M. Lower-Hoppe, Liz A. Wanless, Sarah M. Aldridge and Daniel W. Jones

Experiential learning is a critical component of sport management education and industry preparation; however, the inclusion of time-intensive experiential projects can displace content learning. Blended learning integrates face-to-face and online instruction to enable the space to maximize multiple learning types. This article proposes an innovative experiential project that integrates blended learning—implemented in a sport event management course—with reflection and scholarship supporting the pedagogical strategies. The article concludes with implications to optimize blended learning (e.g., multimedia, pedagogical workshops, course evaluation), enhance communication (e.g., office hours, discussion forum, orientation video), and expand student learning outcomes (e.g., reading outlines, video lectures, student assessment).

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Michael A. Odio, Patty Raube Keller and Dana Drew Shaw

As internships are typically off-campus experiences with minimal supervision from educators, the legal role and responsibilities of educators in protecting and responding to such issues are not always clear, especially pertaining to the application of Title IX. Given the growing prevalence of internships in sport management, a historically male-dominated industry, the issue of sexual harassment is particularly important for this discipline. Through this article, the authors seek to provide the knowledge and perspective of 3 subject-matter experts speaking to legal and practical considerations regarding the design and implementation of sport management internships. Their collective perspective offers insights on following the law and preparing students for potentially hostile environments.

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Megan B. Shreffler, Adam R. Cocco, Regina G. Presley and Chelsea C. Police

Increasing student persistence rates is imperative in higher education, as less than 60% of those who initially enroll in college full-time finish with a certificate or degree. Educators must ensure students are engaged with many facets of their educational experiences. Two strategies through which educators can engage students in the classroom, approaches to learning and learning styles, were examined. Researchers then assessed the relationships between these strategies and student success in the course (quiz scores and overall course grade). Findings suggest that the self-reported learning styles of students enrolled in sport management courses have little impact on student success. Thus, support was not found for the learning styles hypothesis. However, approaches to learning warrant attention, as students who employ strategic study skills are likely to achieve significantly higher course outcomes compared with those who utilize deep or surface study skills in the sport management discipline.

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Erin Morris, Ryan Vooris and Tara Q. Mahoney

Female students are underrepresented within university sport management programs. Because of the concept of the “chilly climate,” the underrepresentation may impact their experiences as students and their opportunities inside and outside of the classroom. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of female students’ experiences within this male-dominated major. Three qualitative focus groups with female sport management students were conducted. The results found the female students had strategies to overcome barriers, a firm understanding of the reality of the gender dynamic within sport management, and an awareness of the importance of networking to succeed in the major. These findings may help sport management programs better support their female students through initiatives like women-in-sport-management clubs.

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Matthew Katz, Bob Heere and E. Nicole Melton

The purpose of this study is to utilize egocentric network analysis to predict repurchase behaviors for college football season-ticket holders. Using a research approach grounded in network theory, we included the relational and behavioral characteristics of sport fans in a binomial regression model to predict renewal decisions among college football season-ticket holders. More specifically, we developed a model that incorporates the egocentric network variables, past behavior, and behavioral intentions to empirically test which consumer characteristics predict future behavior. Building on previous research emphasizing the role of socializing agents and social connections in sport fan consumption, through the use of egocentric network analysis, we examined the effects of social structure and social context on repurchasing decisions. Moreover, the present study is positioned within the larger discourse on season-ticket holders, as we aimed to add a network theory perspective to the existing research on season-ticket holder churn and renewal.