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Steven Salaga, Scott Tainsky and Michael Mondello

The authors demonstrate that betting market outcomes are a statistically significant and economically relevant driver of local market television viewership in the National Basketball Association. Ratings are higher when the local market team covers the point spread and when point spread outcome uncertainty is increased. They further illustrate that point spread market outcomes have a larger relative impact on viewership in less-popular games and when the local market team is expected to perform poorly. This suggests wagering market access serves as insurance to the league and its franchises against reduced viewership in games that are less appealing to consumers. The results assess the degree to which wagering interest has driven past revenues as well as how the legalization of sports wagering may influence future revenues.

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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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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.

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Claudio M. Rocha

The purpose of this research was to describe temporal variations in Rio residents’ support for the 2016 Olympic Games and in the relationship between perceptions of legacies and support for the event. Drawing on social exchange theory, perceptions (expectations and evaluations) of tangible, intangible, and environmental legacies should affect support intentions. A longitudinal trend study was designed. Four multistage stratified random samples of Rio residents were surveyed in 2012 (n = 900), 2014 (n = 900), 2016 (n = 723), and 2018 (n = 550). Results showed that perceptions of legacies and support for Rio 2016 Olympic Games decreased progressively from 2012 to 2018. In the early stages of preparation (2012 and 2014), expectations of intangible and environmental legacies were predictors of support. In the year of the event and 2 years after the event, perceptions of tangible legacies were predictors of support. Longitudinal findings show that, to gain support, organizers promise unattainable legacies, which then lead to dwindling support, as they fail to deliver them. Findings suggest that organizers’ plans and actions of sport mega-events must change.

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Kristi A. Allain

Curling was perhaps once the sport the least associated with discipline and athleticism, instead having a reputation for drinking and smoking, an ethos prizing conviviality over competition, and a structure enabling amateurs to compete at the highest levels. However, during the gold-medal-winning performance of Team Brad Jacobs, a group of muscular young Canadian men, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, the public and media began celebrating changes in the sport that were already well under way. As curling enters a new era of rationalized training, fitness, and professionalization, this paper draws on interviews with older male curlers in two mid-size Canadian cities, and Ratele’s work on tradition, to ask what has been lost. Participants often embraced curling’s new emphasis on physical fitness. However, they also worried about the diminishing traditions of sociability, sportsmanship, and accessibility within the sport.