In this critical essay, 4 sport scholars discuss critical teaching points gleaned while moderating 4 concurrent roundtable discussions on the intersections of sport, corporate social responsibility, and athlete activism. The roundtable groups comprised sport industry professionals from a variety of professional teams and leagues, as well as other corporate stakeholders located in the United States and in various international locations. The purpose of this essay is to distill the roundtable discussions for utilization in sport management classrooms through the explication of timely, practical, and operational key teaching points.
Cole G. Armstrong, Theodore M. Butryn, Vernon L. Andrews and Matthew A. Masucci
Meg G. Hancock, Lindsey Darvin and Nefertiti A. Walker
Sport management undergraduate and graduate programs have gained popularity throughout the United States and around the world. Despite this, women are still underrepresented in sport leadership positions. Although women have made it to the highest levels of sport leadership roles, studies suggest that advancement to such roles is more challenging for women than for men. Extant literature examines perceptions of women employed in the sport industry but fails to consider perceptions of prospective employees, specifically women, with career aspirations in sport business. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate sport management students’ perceptions of barriers to women’s success and upward mobility in the sport industry using the Career Pathways Survey. Results suggest that female sport management students perceive barriers to advancement in the sport industry, whereas male students do not perceive that barriers exist for women. Practical implications for the sport management classroom include developing male advocates, gender diversity and inclusion in guest presentations, and intentional internship placement.
Michael J. Diacin
The purpose of this work is to describe an experiential learning opportunity that sport management educators could integrate into one of their courses to enhance their students’ understanding of facility and risk management concepts. This project best fits into a course that focuses on facility and/or risk management. It consists of three components. First, students visit a sport-activity-focused facility and interview the facility manager. The interview focuses on policies and procedures related to facility, personnel, and risk management. Second, students complete an inspection of the facility to detect hazards that could compromise the safety of employees, user groups, and/or spectators. Third, they compose a critical assessment/reflection of what they learned. The benefit of providing this learning opportunity is that it allows students to witness the application (or lack thereof) of concepts and “best practices” learned in the course. Furthermore, it gives them an opportunity to start developing a “critical eye” that would be needed when assuming the role of managing a multipurpose facility.
Molly Hayes Sauder, Michael Mudrick and Jaime R. DeLuca
Male undergraduate sport management majors substantially outnumber females, suggesting that the path to a career in the sport industry is male dominated and gender stereotypes may exist. Simultaneously, there is a dearth of research on females’ experiences while enrolled in higher education and within sport management career development. Through qualitative focus groups conducted at two institutions with female sport management majors, this research sought to understand the barriers and sources of support that female students perceive while engaged in this academic discipline. The authors identified four themes—otherness, roles and credibility, prior experiences, and people of influence—all of which help illuminate the lived experience of gender bias among women in the sport management major and generate suggestions for the creation of more inclusive environments that foster persistence.
Carrie W. LeCrom, Brendan Dwyer and Gregory Greenhalgh
As society looks to identify globally minded citizens and leaders to move us forward, sport and education have a leading role to play. The sport industry is unique in how globally focused it is, and therefore, it is critical that sport management students be well prepared for this world. Study-abroad experiences for sport management students have the ability to aid in their development as world-minded individuals. The current study sampled students from four sport management programs participating in study-abroad programs over a 3-year time frame. The pre- and posttest results on a scale of global mindedness revealed no significant differences before and after studying abroad; however, there were significant differences between the five factors of global mindedness. Reasons for these potential findings, related to the theory of reasoned action, are discussed, as well as how this study can be built on in future iterations.
Sarah Stokowski, Bo Li, Benjamin D. Goss, Shelby Hutchens and Megan Turk
Informed by self-determination theory, this study builds on previous research to examine the work motivation and job satisfaction levels of sport management faculty members, as well as any relationship between their job satisfaction levels and work motivations. A total of 193 sport management faculty responded to a survey consisting of the Job Satisfaction Survey and the Motivation at Work Scale. Results revealed that regarding job satisfaction, faculty members were more satisfied with work itself, supervision, and coworkers and were less satisfied with pay, operating procedures, and reward. While participating sport management faculty had the highest mean in intrinsic motivation, job satisfaction also was significantly positively correlated with identified regulation. Male faculty showed significantly greater overall job satisfaction than female faculty, but gender did not affect work motivation factors. Finally, results revealed no significant differences among tenured, tenure-track, and non-tenure-track faculty in motivation levels, but after controlling for motivation, job satisfaction levels of non-tenure-track faculty were significantly less than those of tenured and tenure-track faculty. Results of this study can assist higher education administrators (i.e., department chairs, deans, provosts) to better understand that this population is highly intrinsically motivated and identifies deeply with their work. Administrators should work diligently to preserve autonomy, a factor that appears to lead to greater levels of motivation and job satisfaction.
Daniel Maderer, Petros Parganas and Christos Anagnostopoulos
Social-media platforms have become an important tool for sport marketers to communicate their brand image and engage with fans. This study analyzed 1,115 Facebook posts and 16,308 tweets from 10 of the most valuable European professional football clubs to identify the range of brand associations communicated and the level of online fan engagement. Statistical analysis captured correlations between and among selected brand attributes, time periods of posts (in and off-season), and levels of fan engagement. On both Facebook and Twitter, football clubs posted more frequently during the season, while content associated with product-related attributes was the focus of such communication. Product-related content was found to generate higher levels of online fan engagement. The study extends the literature on sport teams’ brand management through social media and offers practical recommendations on how to enhance fan identification and engagement and ultimately make financial and reputational gains.
Rebecca M. Achen, John Kaczorowski, Trisha Horsmann and Alanda Ketzler
Research on social-media use in sport should be expanded to include analyses of content popularity and comparisons across leagues. This study used content analysis and a multivariate multilevel model to compare content type and interaction across U.S. professional sport leagues. Results indicated that teams in the National Football League had the most comments, teams in the Major League Baseball had the most shares, and teams in the National Basketball Association had the most likes. Content coded as player and personnel promotion, which included behind-the-scenes content and human-interest stories, received the most interaction. Sport marketers can use this information to drive content strategy. However, content designed to encourage interaction is still posted less often than most other types of content. These results suggest that marketers in sport may be using Facebook to build relationships by connecting fans personally with players, but not by encouraging interaction or 2-way conversation.
Through this study, the author aimed to elucidate the asymmetrical patterns of dual attitude changes in the context of athlete endorsement. The main experiment included a test of the interactions of: Fit (low vs. high fit) × Evaluative conditioning (endorsement–positive vs. endorsement–negative feelings) × Introspection focus (logics vs. feelings). Based on the results, fit changed explicit attitudes, leaving implicit attitudes unchanged, whereas evaluative conditioning changed implicit attitudes to a greater extent. Introspection focus on logics (feelings) led participants to operate syllogistic inferences (associative evaluations); consequently, the logicality of fit (the conditioned feelings) determined both explicit and implicit attitudes and behavioral intentions. The study helps broaden current understandings of endorsement effectiveness by identifying situations in which dual attitude shifts intentions. Managers should be aware of the manipulability of consumers’ evaluation systems, and it is recommended to strategically employ either logic-reflected or feelings-elicited endorsement campaigns to leverage a brand’s equity.
T. Bettina Cornwell, Steffen Jahn, Hu Xie and Wang Suk Suh
Sports, the arts, and events are products in their own right, and when sponsored, they become marketing and communication platforms. The current research examines the role of event emotions on sponsor recall and intent to attend the event in the future. An important theoretical argument is that feeling to be part of an in-group, measured as in-group entitativity, moderates the relationship between emotions and outcomes of memory and intentions. To test our theoretical model, we surveyed attendees at a multiday international track and field event. A total of 282 individuals were surveyed, and 232 of these attendees qualified as audience members and were included in the analysis. Moderated regression analyses revealed that excitement, joy, boredom, and overall tone of the group atmosphere impact event outcomes for the sport and the sponsor, and furthermore, that in-group entitativity can function as an important moderator. Contributions to theory and practice are discussed.