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Matthew Katz, Thomas A. Baker III and Hui Du

In this brand community analysis, the authors utilized both the social identity approach and network theory to examine the multiple identities and patterns of interactions among members of an official soccer supporters club. Based on the Multiple In-Group Identity Framework and the brand community triad, the authors differentiated between team and supporter club identity to explore how each affects consumption behaviors. Furthermore, the authors explored the nature of fan relationships based on network principles of multiplexity and homophily as they relate to consumption and socializing ties among fan club members. They also explored the network structure of the brand community. Using both network theory and network methodologies, the authors examined how the multiple identities and many relationships within the brand community affect the consumption behaviors of fan club members. Theoretical and practical implications were considered as they relate to sport consumer behavior and sport marketing.

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Pamela Wicker and Paul Downward

This study examines the causal effect of different voluntary roles in sport on individuals’ subjective well-being. Theoretically, volunteering can affect well-being through various mechanisms, including enjoyment, new contacts, skill development, exercising altruism, and relational goods. The empirical analysis uses data from 28 European countries (n = 52,957). Subjective well-being is measured with self-reported life satisfaction. The number of administrative roles (e.g., board or committee member, administrative tasks), sport-related roles (e.g., coach, instructor, referee), and operational roles (e.g., organize a sport event, provide transport) capture volunteering. The results of linear regression models support the positive relationship between volunteering and subjective well-being as evident in existing research. However, instrumental variable estimates reveal that only the number of operational roles has a significant positive effect on well-being, whereas the effects of administrative and sport-related roles are jointly significantly negative. The findings of this study have implications for sport organizations and policy makers.

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Brian P. McCullough, Madeleine Orr and Nicholas M. Watanabe

A paradox exists between the ways sport organizations evaluate their economic impact, compared with their environmental impact. Although the initial sustainability and corporate social responsibility efforts of sport organizations should be celebrated, it is appropriate to call for the next advancement concerning the assessment and measurement of environmental sustainability efforts in sport organizations. Specifically, there is a need for improved and increased monitoring and measurement of sustainable practices that include negative environmental externalities. To usher this advancement, the authors first reviewed the extant research and current industry practice involving environmental impact reporting in sport. Second, the authors proposed a conceptual framework that expands the scope of environmental assessment to be more comprehensive. As such, this expanded, yet more accurate, assessment of environmental impact can identify specific aspects of the event and the inputs and outputs of the before and after event phases that can be curtailed or modified to reduce environmental impacts of sport events.

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Karen McCormack

Women’s experiences in largely male sporting worlds often include marginalization and patronizing attitudes that can make participants unwelcome. Yet some women describe positive, liberating experiences in these sports. How do these women negotiate a largely male sport? What strategies do they employ to craft supportive communities? Based on interviews with 60 mountain bikers and email correspondence with an additional 98 bikers, along with results from a global survey of over 2,300 bikers, this paper examines women’s strategies for creating communities in which they can fully participate. The research uncovers the important role of communication technologies. While media practices can promote the celebration of risk-taking and aggression, they also provide a platform for talking back and building an alternative, supportive community.

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Marianne I. Clark and Holly Thorpe

This article presents a diffractive experiment in thinking about mothers’ engagements with self-tracking technologies as materially and discursively produced phenomena. Inspired by St. Pierre’s claim that any empirical adventure with new materialisms must begin by living with theory, we share our feminist, collaborative journey with Fitbits and Karen Barad’s agential realism to consider what might emerge when we begin thinking and living with concepts such as diffraction, entanglement, and intra-action. Unfolding within the uncertain intersections of theory, method, and data, our diffractive methodology prompted understandings of maternal, moving bodies as entangled agencies in continuous states of becoming and fostered generative feminist relationships that allowed us to embrace new ways of thinking, knowing, and being.

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Thomas P. Oates

This article examines the articulation of the Black ghetto to authenticity through the involvement of hip hop star Jay-Z in two highly publicized basketball-related ventures during 2003. During that year, Jay-Z organized a team for the Entertainer’s Basketball Classic (EBC) in Harlem’s Rucker Park and joined a team of investors aiming to move the New Jersey Nets to a new arena in Brooklyn. Informed by cultural studies scholarship, the paper explains the context through which basketball and hip hop were articulated with authenticity, and were deployed towards the goal of managing a career transition for Jay-Z, and was also used to gain public support for a controversial proposal to build an arena in the Atlantic Yards area of Brooklyn.

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Michelle Hayes, Kevin Filo, Caroline Riot and Andrea Geurin

Numerous studies have focused on athletes’ use of social media by examining the content posted on social media sites, revealing an opportunity to gather firsthand experiences from athletes. Using uses-and-gratifications theory as a theoretical framework to inform an open-ended questionnaire, the authors examined athlete attitudes toward their social media use during a major sport event, as well as the gratifications they received and the challenges they experienced from this use. The study assessed a sample of 57 athletes and their social media use across 20 international major sport events. Findings revealed that social media enabled athletes to communicate with family and friends. Having a connection to home through social media can make athletes feel relaxed in a high-pressure environment. The results reveal uses and gratifications not previously found in research on athlete social media, while also underscoring opportunities for sport organizations to enhance social-media-education programs they provide to athletes.

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Bo Li, Olan K.M. Scott, Stirling Sharpe, Qingru Xu and Michael Naraine

Media coverage in China and Australia examined a conflict between 2 Olympic swimmers, Chinese Sun Yang and Australian Mack Horton, during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. While both swimmers performed well, there were several conflicts between the 2 leading to both nations’ media coverage portraying the foreign athlete negatively. An analysis of 398 print-media articles revealed there were sharp differences between the 2 nations in both the amount of coverage and the valence of the information sources. From a theoretical perspective, the framing of this conflict showed an “us vs. them” dichotomy, suggesting that both countries’ coverage was strongly influenced to protect the reputation and honor of the home athlete. Coverage in both nations was markedly different, suggesting a home-nation favoritism. Implications for sport communicators are discussed.