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Akira Asada, Yong Jae Ko and Wonseok (Eric) Jang

The purpose of the current study was to examine how two key characteristics of sports fan communities—relative size and homogeneity (behavioral similarity among fans)—influence potential fans’ perceptions and intentions to support the team. Study 1 showed that relative size and homogeneity created a two-way interaction effect on potential fans’ support intentions, such that the low-homogeneity fan community resulted in greater support intentions in the minority condition, whereas the high-homogeneity fan community resulted in greater support intentions in the majority condition. Study 2 revealed a boundary condition of this interaction effect: The interaction effect disappeared when potential fans had extremely low levels of involvement with watching the sport. Study 3 showed that potential fans’ perceptions regarding similarity to fans and social pressure mediated the effect of relative size on their support intentions.

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Jue Hou, Xiaoxu Yang and Elliot Panek

This paper examined the media and public relations coverage of e-sport in China over a 17-yr period, focusing on how the representations of e-sport as a fast-growing industry have changed in China during that time. With the theoretical underpinning of media framing, the study used content analysis and examined 400 e-sport-related reports. Specifically, it investigated the tone of coverage, the topic emphasis of e-sport-related stories, and the use of jargon and statistics in the reports. In general, findings indicated that both mainstream media and public relations gradually covered e-sport issues in a more positive way as time went by. Similar to reporting on traditional sports, the topic emphasis changed from nongame issues to player and team performance in the contemporary climate. The findings highlight the importance of live-streaming platforms in e-sport development and suggest that more traditional-sport-styled media coverage of e-sport might benefit the industry. Finally, the study calls for an evaluation of media e-sport coverage in different cultural contexts and comparisons between e-sport’s and traditional sports’ representation in the contemporary media climate.

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Stanley Thangaraj

Scholarly articles on Tiger Woods have attended to his mixed-race body through blackness and the refusal of his Asian heritage and identity. His Asian-ness was not part of the early marketing of his iconicity. In this paper, I looks at how Tiger Woods responded to the news of his marital affairs through a deployment of Buddhism. In particular, I theorize Asian/Asian American masculinity that engages with religion, Asia, Asian-ness, and Asian America to complicate theories of race, gender, and sexuality. Through the invocation of Buddhism, Tiger Woods offers a different racial heteronormativity that is legible in the nation and larger marketplace. In the process, he aligns with Asian and Asian American respectability as a way to temper blackness; it is an Asian and Asian American identity grounded in the rise of Asian capital and reconfigurations of both Asian and Asian American masculinity. Therefore, through Asian-ness, Woods offers an assemblage of religion, race, gender, and sexuality that silences and erases blackness.

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Fei Gao, Bob Heere, Samuel Y. Todd and Brian Mihalik

Although the concept of social leverage has been a key component of research on mega sport events, authors know little about how the initial partnership between stakeholders of the event allows for social leveraging prior to the event. Thus, the purpose of this study is to understand what intentions stakeholders of a newly formed interorganizational relationship for the 2019 Federation of International Basketball Associations World Cup have toward social leverage initiatives and whether they coordinate such efforts with other stakeholders. Data were collected through two rounds of interviews with high-ranking leaders in the stakeholder organizations. The authors found that social leverage is not part of the early planning for the event because (a) different stakeholders/organizations have little knowledge of social leverage, (b) the media amplifies current values and beliefs of the interorganizational relationship stakeholders, and (c) the Chinese culture has an implicit/explicit influence on the interorganizational relationship. The study contributes to our understanding of challenges surrounding social leveraging.

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Rachel Allison

Integrating the Student-Athlete Climate Study conceptual framework with critical race and intersectionality theories, I examine racial differences in the perceived effects of college on life skill development among college sportswomen. I use nationally representative data from the NCAA’s 2006 Growth, Opportunity, Aspirations, and Learning of Students in College (GOALS) survey to examine whether team and/or campus climate mediate racial differences. I find small, but statistically significant differences whereby sportswomen of color report less positive effects of college on leadership, teamwork, time management, and work ethic compared to white sportswomen, but more positive effects of college on their understanding of people of other races. Campus climate, but not team climate, partially mediates racial differences in the perceived effects of college on leadership, teamwork, time management, and work ethic.

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Scott Tainsky, Brian M. Mills, Zainab Hans and Kyunghee Lee

Investigation of minor league demand is scant relative to major leagues, particularly at the game level. This presents not only a contextual gap in the research, but also a conceptual one related to demand externalities. Minor League Baseball differs from major professional leagues in that gate revenue sharing is not a fixture in league policy, and talent investment decisions are made by the parent club. Nonetheless, it may be the case that a host club benefits from characteristics of its opponent. Econometric examination of over 31,000 minor league games across multiple leagues and seasons finds proximity to an opponent’s major league parent team increases attendance. Although the authors find evidence of increased demand for a top prospect from the home club, the presence of visiting top prospects is not associated with changes in attendance, prompting the question as to whether effective marketing efforts in this regard would increase home club revenues.

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Mary G. McDonald

In this paper I apply insights from Sport Studies, Indigenous Studies, Music Studies, and Feminist Cultural Studies to illuminate and theorize the cultural, material, and political affective salience of national anthems staged prior to sporting events. To do so I analyze two different cases: The Aboriginal musical trio Asani’s 2014 multi-lingual performance of “O Canada” prior to an Oilers hockey game which closed Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) events in Edmonton, Alberta; and the projection of hatred onto former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling protest of racism during the playing of the U.S. national anthem in 2016. Analysis suggests that these emotive, often visceral musical performances and responses are not contained within individual subjects but instead reflect contextually specific repetitive (dis)articulations across time, space, and a variety of bodies. Placed within broader colonial contexts, Asani’s version of the Canadian anthem is exemplary of the embodied sensory, but politically limited settler-oriented communitas of Canadian TRC inclusionary music as previously explicated by Robinson. Kaepernick’s anti-racist kneeling activism provides an additional case to theorize the relationship of national anthems in regards to movements for and against an imagined white nation as well as State-sanctioned colonization and hatreds.