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Matthew Katz, Aaron C. Mansfield and B. David Tyler

Sport management researchers have increasingly noted a relationship between sport spectatorship and well-being, with the line of inquiry predicated on transformative sport service research. In this study, the authors contribute to transformative sport service research by utilizing multilevel egocentric network analysis to examine the consumption networks of National Football League fans over the course of one season. The authors utilized a network theory approach to explore how emotional support is created and embedded within sport fans’ networks of interpersonal ties and social relationships. Through multilevel modeling, the authors highlighted how attributes of both the ego (i.e., focal actor) and alter (i.e., individual with whom ego shares a tie) affect emotional support. Previous studies of transformative sport service research and the link between well-being outcomes and sport spectatorship have implicitly examined only ego-level attributes (i.e., team identification), yet the present work suggests that emotional support depends on the interpersonal ties and network structures within which sport fans are embedded.

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Glynn M. McGehee, Beth A. Cianfrone and Timothy Kellison

Sport organizations, the media, and the public frequently interact. Messages conveyed by organizations and the media likely impact both groups’ communication strategies to reach target audiences and control messaging. This triad of communication—team–media–public—is often examined in segments (e.g., media framing or public reaction to media), even though the three interact. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine differences in message themes and responses from all perspectives on a common topic. Following a major announcement from a professional sport organization, the researchers conducted a content analysis of communication from three perspectives: the team, local press, and citizens. The results showed that each of the three sources provided distinct, original content that became increasingly linked to that of the other sources over time. Sport practitioners could use the findings to better understand the influence of outside sources of communication and utilize social media in their public relations efforts.

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Eric W. MacIntosh and Popi Sotiriadou

Through the lens of the theory of reasoned action and the framework of attraction, retention, transition, and nurturing of athletes, this study examined how athletes’ experiences at the Commonwealth Youth Games contributed to satisfaction with the event, while encouraging transition into higher levels of competition. A total of 244 athletes from 23 different countries who completed a survey helped identify the environment-related aspects that created positive and negative experiences. The participants noted that learning from various social and cultural experiences influenced their event satisfaction and their future intention to remain in high-performance sport. Aspects of the event service environment, including poor accommodation and nutrition, were found to negatively impact performance. This paper contributes to the role of pre-elite events as athletic development agents that aid in talent transition. The results have implications for event organizers and high-performance managers regarding the influence of athletes’ experiences on performances and intention to transition.

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Akira Asada and Yong Jae Ko

Sport socialization research has revealed that a community is one of the most influential socializing agents. However, little is known about which aspects of a community promote sport socialization and how it occurs. In the current research, we identified and conceptualized two key factors characterizing sports teams’ fan communities, relative size and entitativity, and discussed how these factors influence sport socialization and its outcomes. First, we developed the model of community influence on sport socialization to depict the effects of relative size and entitativity on people’s perceptions and behaviors at the initial stage of their sport socialization. Second, we proposed the model of community influence on the outcomes of sport socialization, which explains how relative size and entitativity contribute to the outcomes of sport socialization.

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Sophie Knights, Emma Sherry, Mandy Ruddock-Hudson and Paul O’Halloran

The purpose of this research was to explore the experience of transition and life after sport in a group of retired professional athletes. A total of 45 retired athletes from three national football leagues took part in semistructured interviews. Two overarching themes emerged from the data analysis: (a) preparing for transition and planning for retirement and (b) supportive environment. For athletes in this study, four main factors were identified as critical to promoting a positive transition. The nature of the transition also directly affected athletes’ experience of retirement from sport and, thus, their experience of flourishing in life after sport. The majority of participants in this study indicated that they lacked support from their sporting club and governing bodies both during their transition and in retirement. Planning for retirement and preparing for the future positively affected their ability to flourish in retirement. Recommendations for sport managers and athlete support services are provided.

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Per G. Svensson, Seungmin Kang and Jae-Pil Ha

The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of shared leadership and organizational capacity on organizational performance and innovative work behavior (IWB) in sport for development and peace. An electronic survey was distributed to 1,120 sport for development and peace practitioners. A total of 215 completed surveys were recorded for a response rate of 19.2%. Structural equation modeling revealed significant relationships between shared leadership and both organizational performance and IWB. In addition, shared leadership fully mediated the relationship between capacity and IWB, and partially mediated the relationship between capacity and organizational performance. Altogether, the results indicate that shared leadership and capacity combined to explain a significant proportion of variance in performance and IWB. The results provide empirical support for the significant role of shared leadership in sport for development and peace. In addition, the significant direct and indirect effects in the tested model highlight the value of examining both capacity and shared leadership.

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Bob Heere, Henry Wear, Adam Jones, Tim Breitbarth, Xiaoyan Xing, Juan Luis Paramio Salcines, Masayuki Yoshida and Inge Derom

The purpose of this study is to examine how effective the international promotion of a sport event is on changing the destination image prior to the event if the sport event lacks global popularity. The authors conducted a quasi-experimental posttest research design, in which they used promotional information of a Tour de France stage to manipulate the destination image nonvisitors (N = 3,505) from nine different nations have of the hosting city, 5 months prior to the actual event. Results show that treating the international market as a homogeneous entity might be deceptive, as the effect of the event was different from nation to nation, pending on the popularity of the event or sport in the specific nation, and whether the nation itself offered similar events.

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Jens De Rycke, Veerle De Bosscher, Hiroaki Funahashi and Popi Sotiriadou

Many Nations are increasingly investing public money in elite sport on the belief that this will trigger a range of benefits for the population. However, there is lack of insight into how the population perceives elite sport’s impact on society. This study developed and tested a measurement scale assessing the publics’ beliefs of the positive and negative societal impacts that could potentially flow from elite sport. A sample of the Belgian population (N = 1,102) was surveyed. A 32-item scale was built using principal component and confirmatory factor analysis procedures for which the goodness-of-fit indices were excellent. Multivariate analysis revealed that the Belgian population perceived elite sport to have mostly positive societal impacts. The study findings can serve researchers wanting to measure the perceived potential positive and negative societal impacts of elite sport.

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Landy Di Lu and Kathryn L. Heinze

Multilevel examinations of sport policy institutionalization are scarce in sport management scholarship. As sport policies diffuse across geographic boundaries, there is often variation in the timing of adoption. In this study, the authors used event history analysis to examine the effect of institutional factors, within and between states, on the speed of youth sport concussion legislation adoption. Our quantitative analyses show that a series of intrastate factors—state norms, disruptive events, and local advocacy—had a significant influence on the timing of state policy adoption, but interstate social networks did not. Supporting qualitative data provide additional insight about the relationship between disruptive events and local advocacy in the adoption of concussion legislation. This study contributes to a better understanding of institutional factors in the diffusion of sport policy across geographic boundaries and offers an approach for future research examining variation in sport policy or practice adoption.