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Gashaw Abeza, Jessica R. Braunstein-Minkove, Benoit Séguin, Norm O’Reilly, Ari Kim and Yann Abdourazakou

This study explored the practices and strategies of ambush marketing via social media (SM) during the 2014 Sochi, 2016 Rio, and 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games. An observational netnography method was adopted to investigate direct industry competitors’ (of the Olympic sponsors) use of SM for the purpose of ambush marketing during the 2014, 2016, and 2018 Games. Data were gathered from the official Twitter accounts of 15 direct industry competitors over the three most recent Games. Despite a series of SM guidelines released by IOC for the 2014, 2016, and 2018 Games, the findings showed that the practice of ambush marketing via SM was evident during each of the Games. Direct industry competitors were found employing four specific ambush strategies, namely, associative, values, coattail, and property infringement. Theoretical and practical implications, as well as an impetus for future research, are suggested.

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Tim Ströbel, B. David Ridpath, Herbert Woratschek, Norm O’Reilly, Markus Buser and Michael Pfahl

Scholars forecast that globalization will require sport managers to have competencies in international business. Sport, due to its global nature, has become an international business, leading to sport management programs at postsecondary institutions growing in number and the marketing of such programs becoming a key success factor. In an increasingly competitive educational environment, both effective curriculum offerings and innovative marketing, including branding, are important for a successful sport management program. This article shares a case study of innovative marketing—the co-branding through a double degree program between two long-standing sport management programs, one in North America (Ohio University, United States) and one in Europe (University of Bayreuth, Germany). This program is designed to enhance international education, as well as global internship and job-placement opportunities. The details of the double degree program within the background of co-branding are presented as a pedagogical framework for international education. Data from a survey of industry professionals are analyzed to demonstrate the need for such an international double degree program. Results provide a template for replication by other institutions and identify potential future research.

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Carrie LeCrom and Michael Naylor

There is no doubt that sport has become a global industry. Therefore, it is crucial that global perspectives be integrated into sport management education, which is no doubt occurring. However, little has been published to date on the impact and effectiveness of curricular strategies aimed at internationalizing sport management education. This special issue provides sport management faculty with thoughtful dialogue on how they can educate their students for what has become an ever-changing global landscape. The articles in this issue capture global perspectives representing the breadth of activity across a burgeoning dimension of sport management education. The authors have used a variety of research designs that, taken together, provide a wide-angle lens on the nature of global sport management education and how effective it can be.

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W. James (Jim) Weese

Sport participation, consumption, and management are internationally focused, and the popularity of sport on an international scale shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, there is evidence that the internationalization of sport is rapidly increasing. Most North American institutions of higher learning are similarly focused and have internationalization as a high strategic priority. One could argue that sport management academic programs have not kept pace with these developments that have influenced our field and environment. While progress has been made, there is more to be done. The author chronicles the developments in the internationalization of both sport and higher education and offers eight suggestions to help sport management academicians effectively and efficiently internationalize their programs. Implementing some or all of these suggestions may better prepare graduates in their future endeavors and more effectively align sport management programs with the goals of their respective institution. Internationalization of the discipline would hold useful and practical applications for sport management students and programs.

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Dae Hee Kwak and Sean Pradhan

Three experiments explore how sport consumers respond to sponsor advertisements featuring a team that lost a pivotal game. Drawing from social identity and appraisal theories, the authors hypothesize and find that high identifiers experience stronger negative emotions but less identity threat than low identifiers following their favorite team’s loss. When an advertisement features the losing team, low identifiers show less favorable evaluations toward the brand, whereas high identifiers report more favorable assessments. The results demonstrate that the tendency to hide and escape from the source of threat (losing team) among low identifiers is evidenced in processing marketing communications, whereas high identifiers display more positive evaluations toward the brand when the advertisement acknowledged the loss. The study findings provide implications for sponsors to consider different messaging strategies depending on the level of team identification with the losing team.

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Olivia Wohlfart, Sandy Adam, Jorge García-Unanue, Gregor Hovemann, Berit Skirstad and Anna-Maria Strittmatter

This study applies “Europeanness” to the analysis of internationalization in the sport management labor market and which changes this trend necessitates for sport management curricula. The authors employed an analysis of 30 semistructured interviews with key informants from Germany, Norway, and Spain. The results reveal various effects of internationalization on the sport sector and highlight the richness and diversity in the three countries. Sport management graduates need to possess a diverse set of competencies for successfully starting their careers. In addition to subject-specific knowledge, generic competencies such as the ability to work in a team, being able to communicate in diverse languages, and having intercultural skills are important. The article discusses knowledge of international sport organizations, their governance, global trends, and intercultural and language competencies, as well as international sport event management as identified themes and proposes specific curriculum changes to promote educational outcomes of sport management programs.

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Nathanael C.H. Ong

Singaporean footballer Ben Davis applied for deferment from national service (NS) in order to pursue his dream of playing in the English Premier League. However, his deferment request was rejected by the Ministry of Defense, and there was a sizable national debate on whether Davis should be granted the deferment. The study sought to use the Ben Davis saga as a case study to provide an exploration of public opinion toward various issues relating to sport and society. A total of 14,093 comments were extracted from various news sources on Facebook, and a randomized sample of 1,875 comments was used for the final analysis. The constant comparative methodology was used to conduct a thematic analysis of the comments. The analysis produced four higher order themes: (a) sport in Singapore, (b) role and relevance of NS, (c) national interest versus individual choice, and (d) perception of new citizens and foreign talent.

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Daniel L. Springer, Arden J. Anderson, Stuart M. Dixon, Stacy M. Warner and Marlene A. Dixon

Sport management scholars have called for educators and students to increase their global perspectives to better reflect the globalization of the industry. Short-term study abroad trips represent an alternative to long-term study abroad trips and help address financial and temporal barriers associated with longer trips. Based on a holistic model of study abroad, the current study examined the associated outcomes of an intentional pretrip and in-trip design for sport management undergraduate students in a short-term study abroad program. Utilizing a mixed-methods design, the researchers asked students on a short-term trip to complete journals and an online survey regarding their cognitive, interpersonal, and intrapersonal outcomes and corresponding experiences. Results indicate that students demonstrated learning in all three areas and highlight the importance for educators to identify opportunities to assist students in making meaning of their experiences and the corresponding lessons associated with those experiences. These findings provide guidance for educators on how intentionally planning pretrip and in-trip lessons can enhance holistic learning for short-term study abroad students.

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Carrie LeCrom, Brendan Dwyer, Gregory Greenhalgh, Chad Goebert and Jennifer Gellock

A globalized curriculum has the potential to prepare students in a way that equips them for whatever sport looks like in the future. Study abroad programs are one way to achieve this. The current study looked at two short-term study abroad programs (one to western Europe, one to South Africa), offered during the same semester at the same institution, comparing learning outcomes between students on the two trips. Utilizing a mixed methods design, students completed quantitative pre/post surveys and responded to qualitative, open-ended daily prompts while on the trips. Findings indicate that knowledge acquisition occurs in both programs; however, students traveling on a sport-focused service-based trip to South Africa had a more transformational learning experience than those traveling on a sport-business-focused trip to western Europe.