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Gashaw Abeza, Norm O’Reilly and Jessica R. Braunstein-Minkove

Relational perspectives have influenced marketing theory and practice over the past 40 years, with a volume of relationship marketing (RM) research accumulating over this time. In sport management specifically, a number of RM research articles have been published since the late 1990s. Although an influx has been seen, a review of said literature informs us that RM is a diverse field with no single best explanation, no clear domain and scope, and no universally accepted definition and that, most particularly, the literature is a melting pot of various concepts. This circumstance creates frustration and confusion among new researchers. Additionally, as strategic communication strategies rely on clear and consistent messaging, it is pivotal to holistically address the issue. Therefore, adopting an integrative literature review approach, this commentary revisits the RM scholarship to present, brings attention to the complex nature of the RM literature, and identifies a point of departure for researchers attempting to find a fitting “home” for their research.

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Noora J. Ronkainen, Tatiana V. Ryba and Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson

Sport provides many youth participants with a central life project, and yet very few eventually fulfill their athletic dreams, which may lead them to disengage from sport entirely. Many studies have explored the processes of athletic retirement, but little is known about how youth athletes actually reconstruct their relationship with sport and embodiment postretirement. The authors explored these issues in the story of “Pilvi,” a Finnish alpine skier who disengaged from sport in her late adolescence. Employing an existential-phenomenological approach, they conducted six low-structured interviews with Pilvi, combined with visual methods, and identified key themes relating to the body, space, culture, and time. Their findings highlight the difficulty of building a new relationship with sport and the often restrictive cultural horizons of sport and exercise culture that limit the “possible selves.” The authors discuss the significant implications for applied practitioners helping youth athletes and effectively supporting them in leaving their sport.

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Elaine Chiao Ling Yang, Michelle Hayes, Jinyan Chen, Caroline Riot and Catheryn Khoo-Lattimore

Contemporary sport culture is characterized as highly masculinized, where female athletes are continually marginalized in traditional media. Despite evidence suggesting that media representation of athletes has a meaningful impact on social outcomes and participation rates of women and girls, little is known about gendered representations of athletes on social media and in the context of mega-sporting events. This paper examines the gendered representations of athletes on Twitter during the 2018 Commonwealth Games using framing theory. A total of 133,338 tweets were analyzed using sentiment and word-frequency analyses. Results indicate gender differences concerning athlete representation on Twitter, albeit marginal. In particular, the findings reveal that seemingly neutral words (e.g., “dedicated,” “talented,” and “hard working”) could carry gendered connotations. Recommendations are provided to guide stakeholders to advance a more inclusive sport culture through the strategic use of social media during mega-sporting events.

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Kapria-Jad Josaphat, Élise Labonté-Lemoyne, Sylvain Sénécal, Pierre-Majorique Léger and Marie-Eve Mathieu

Background: Sedentariness has been shown to increase energy intake and is associated with increased obesity prevalence. Active workstations are used to implement physical activity interventions in workplaces, but it is unclear if they can lead to reductions in body weight. This study aims to observe the acute impact of a standing desk on energy intake and appetite sensations. Methods: Participants came to the laboratory, where they were randomly assigned to a seated or a standing desk. They completed a work session (∼75 min) during which they performed cognitive tasks and reported their levels of stress. Following this, they had a 15-minute break during which buffet-type snacks were served. Subjects were asked to rate their appetite sensations on visual analog scales. Results: Thirty-six normal-weight men and women aged 24.3 (4.3) years participated in this study. Energy intake from snacks was similar (P = .472) between participants who sat (427.8 [286.9] kcal) and the ones who stood (461.2 [272.8] kcal) during the work session. There was no difference in satiety quotients around the snack and no significant interaction time × condition for appetite sensations. Conclusion: The use of a standing desk for 75 minutes did not increase food consumption following a meal.

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Laura Martin and Martin Camiré

Coaches have been shown to play key roles in the life-skills development and transfer process. The purpose of the study was to examine coaches’ approaches to teaching life skills and their transfer in youth sport. A multiple case study design was employed. Each case was composed of one coach and at least two of their athletes involved in youth baseball, rugby, soccer, and sailing. The data collection involved pre- and postseason interviews and in-season journaling with coaches, as well as postseason interviews with athletes. The results indicated that the coaches predominantly used implicit approaches, with just over half identified as using some explicit approaches to teach life skills. The coaches discussed several factors that influenced their decisions to use or not use explicit life-skills teaching approaches. The results have implications for future research and applied efforts aimed at maximizing the developmental gains athletes can derive from their participation in sport.

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Steve M. Smith, Stewart T. Cotterill and Hazel Brown

The psychological environment where sporting activity is undertaken has been suggested to influence performance. The coach orchestrates practice activities and their perception of the psychological environment has been regularly evaluated in competition research but not in practice. The aim of this study was to explore coach perceptions of the psychological influencing factors present in the practice environment. Participants were six U.K. academy basketball coaches (mean age = 35 years). Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Five superordinate themes were constructed from data analysis, which were player characteristics, team-first orientation, current performance perceptions, coach characteristics, and coaching structure. Results suggest that the coach has a unique insight into the psychological influencing factors of the practice environment. Combined with the practice environment framework offered by Smith, Cotterill, and Brown, a model is offered to aid practitioners in understanding the interrelatedness of psychological influencing factors in the practice environment.

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Jessica L. Unick, Michael P. Walkup, Michael E. Miller, John W. Apolzan, Peter H. Brubaker, Mace Coday, James O. Hill, John M. Jakicic, Roeland J.W. Middelbeek, Delia West, Rena R. Wing and the Look AHEAD Research Group

Background: To examine the relationship between early physical activity (PA) adoption (2, 3, and 4 mo) and longer-term PA adherence (1 y) among individuals who were inactive at baseline and received a lifestyle intervention. Methods: Participants (n = 637) received weekly behavioral weight loss sessions, calorie reduction, and PA goals (50–175 min/wk progression). PA was assessed via self-reported measures at baseline, months 2 to 4, and 1 year. Results: PA at months 2 to 4 was significantly correlated with PA at 1 year (rs = .29–.35, P < .01). At all early time points, those failing to meet the prescribed PA goal (early nonadopters) engaged in significantly less PA at 1 year than those meeting the early PA goal (initial adopters). For example, using 2-month criteria, initial adopters engaged in 108.3 minutes per week more at 1 year compared with early nonadopters (P < .01) and had 2.8 times the odds (95% confidence interval, 1.9–4.2) of meeting the 1-year PA goal (≥175 min/wk, P < .01). Conclusions: Failure to achieve PA goals at 2, 3, or 4 months results in less overall PA at 1 year. Thus, PA observed as early as month 2 may be a useful indicator for identifying at-risk individuals who may benefit from more intensive PA intervention strategies.

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