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John Vincent, Jason W. Lee, Kevin Hull and John Hill

This case study of the University of Alabama’s Where Legends Are Made illustrates how a 30-s television advertisement with a catchy tagline was transformed into a strategic branding campaign that communicated the essence of the university in a compelling story. Employing a qualitative methodology, the case study drew on personality archetypes to develop an institutional brand communication management conceptual framework that illustrated the guiding principles and creative contexts used to break through the communication clutter. It did so by emphasizing the University of Alabama’s leadership, competitive spirit, and transformative innovation by making its fabled athletic tradition an extension of its everyday excellence in academic disciplines. It also demonstrated how empirically tested archetype personas can be effectively employed in persuasive storylines to emotionally resonate with key stakeholders and prospective consumers alike, with each interpreting it in a way that is compatible with their own values, lifestyles, and culture.

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Adele Pavlidis, Millicent Kennelly and Laura Rodriguez Castro

In this article we analyze images of sportswomen from four media outlets over the course of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia. Through visual discourse analysis we find that despite structural changes to increase gender equality at the Commonwealth Games—which for the first time ensured equal opportunities for men and women to win medals—sportswomen were still depicted in a very narrow way, and intersectional representations were mainly excluded. Though the quantity of images of women had increased, the ‘quality’ of these images was poor in terms of representing sportswomen in their diversity. We still have far to go if we are to embrace women in their multiplicity—and to recognize that women can be strong, capable, butch, femme, and varied in their range of expressions of gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity.

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Leslee A. Fisher

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how case study methodology, an advocacy practice and policy model (APPM), and new directions in feminist theory can be utilized to educate coaches about sexual misconduct. Case studies are useful for both research and teaching purposes because they provide a potential framework for analyses of “real-world” problems. The APPM provides guidance on moving from analysis to action; in particular, advocacy is about education, negotiation, and persuasion. Feminist theorists push us to consider how the embodied experiences of female athletes and feminine subjectivities can unsettle and disrupt normative assumptions about the way that sport should be conducted. The case of Larry Nassar is utilized because of the amount of reporting available to analyze; this includes female athlete survivor voices. Having coaches wrestle with such questions as (a) Do I know the definitions of sexual misconduct? (b) Do I understand the warning signs a female athlete might be displaying if she is being abused by significant other in sport? (c) When do I have to report abuse to authorities? and (d) Do I know how to intervene on the athlete’s behalf? is important if we are to increase the likelihood of creating systemic change.

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Brian P. McCullough, Madeleine Orr and Timothy Kellison

The relationship between sport and the natural environment is bidirectional and critical to the production of sport products, events, and experiences. Researchers have studied sport and the natural environment within the various subdisciplines of sport management. However, given the changing climate and mounting public concern for the environment, there is pressure to reconsider the relevance and significance of the natural environment, which is taken for granted in managerial contexts. Reflecting the importance of the natural environment, the robustness of the current literature, and the potential for the future, we propose a new subdiscipline of sport management called sport ecology. Thus, we proposed, in this paper, a definition for sport ecology, (re)introduced key concepts related to this subdiscipline (e.g., sustainability, green), and highlighted the leading research that serves as the foundation for sport ecology. We concluded with a discussion on the ways sport ecology can inform—and be informed by—other subdisciplines of sport management.

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Ben Larkin, Brendan Dwyer and Chad Goebert

Fantasy sport has seen substantial growth over the last several decades, provoking research on how participation impacts the perceptions of teams and players. Following research in the field of economics, which has found that contexts promoting the assignment of economic value to humans result in dehumanization, the authors explored the dehumanization of professional athletes among fantasy football participants. Specifically, given that fantasy football requires participants to view players in terms of value in drafts, trades, and waiver claims, this should theoretically force participants to view them as commodities more so than humans. Across three implicit association test experiments and a qualitative study, the authors found fantasy football participants to be more apt to associate humanness with athletes on their fantasy roster(s) than non-fantasy-eligible athletes. Furthermore, qualitative insights indicate that participation in fantasy can serve to humanize players in a way that traditional sport consumption does not. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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Laura Misener, Landy Di Lu and Robert Carlisi

The strategic formation of partnerships for leveraging sport events to achieve social impact is becoming a critical component of large-scale sport events. The authors know less about the process dimensions related to the formation and collaborative dynamics of a sport event–leveraging partnership. To address this gap, the authors focus on examining the formation and collaborative dynamics alongside the challenges of the cross-sector partnership, the Ontario Parasport Legacy Group (OPLG), which emerged as an important leveraging strategy for the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games. The authors found that the formation of the OPLG was shaped through broader environmental elements—including resource conditions, window of collaborative opportunity, and cultural influence—and essential drivers of strategic leadership and consequential incentives. Furthermore, the authors’ analysis shows that the development of the OPLG and its effectiveness in partnership delivery were determined through key domains of collaborative dynamics (i.e., engagement, motivation, and joint capacity).

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Bryan C. Clift

Across North American cities, emerging forms of urban governance from the 1970s produced forms of racialized, visualized, and spatialized urban poverty. Attempts to revitalize, recast, and spectacularize the urban environment left cities with vexing questions about what should be done with homeless people and also what homeless people should be doing. Amidst the rolling back of State social welfare policies and provision (Peck & Tickell, 2002), creative, informal, communal, or non-governmental initiatives have emerged in response to urban poverty and homelessness. One such organization is Back on My Feet, a national, not-for-profit organization that partners with homeless and addiction recovery facilities, which strives to utilize running as a means of empowerment. This ethnographic inquiry speaks to the ways in which the social practice of running amongst those housed in a temporary recovery facility is imbricated with their lifestyles and identities, an urban context, and homeless discourses and stigmas. It is illustrative of how the rhetoric of “recovery” yokes together the entrepreneurial ethos of neoliberalism with the management of homeless people.