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Yann Abdourazakou, Xuefei (Nancy) Deng and Gashaw Abeza

This study sought to examine season ticket holders’ usage of social networking sites during live sport consumption. Informed by uses and gratifications theory, the study examined three types of social media use by fans—Twitter/Facebook posting, Instagram/Snapchat posting, and mobile app use—during a live game. Survey data of 400 season ticket holders of a professional National Basketball Association team were analyzed. Regression results showed that age was a significant predictor of the fans’ in-game social media use in terms of Instagram/Snapchat posting and mobile app use, whereas gender was a significant predictor of their Twitter/Facebook posting behavior. Moreover, the study showed a mixed result for the predicted moderating effect of the season ticket holders’ tenure on the predicted relationships between the two personal characteristics (age and gender) and the three types of social media use. Theoretical and practical implications of the study for sports marketing management are discussed.

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Marlene A. Dixon, B. Christine Green, Arden Anderson and Peter Evans

Adolescent sport participants, particularly girls, continue to drop out of sport at alarmingly high rates, which presents an opportunity for new sport programs to enter the marketplace to better cater to those participants. Starting new sport programs, however, presents significant challenges, including acquiring and mobilizing resources in innovative ways. Using theory in sport development and the resource-based view, the authors examined six emergent sport programs for girls within the United States and United Kingdom to identify the resources obtained and mobilized to create new and distinctive sport opportunities in a crowded marketplace. Following a case study approach, data from site visits and interviews with 137 individuals were analyzed using within- and across-case analysis. The findings reveal the resources needed to grow the programs, the ways in which those resources are attained, and strategies to mobilize resource bundles to maximize sport opportunities by differentiating programs from traditional, mainstream sport opportunities. The findings also highlight the distinctive opportunities and challenges for sport organizers in both top-down and bottom-up sport development systems. This study informs theory in sport development and provides insight for creatively designing and delivering sport opportunities that expand overall sport participation for adolescent girls.

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Dan Cason, Minkyo Lee, Jaedeock Lee, In-Sung Yeo and Edward J. Arner

This study examined how the legalization of sports wagering, in association with several factors (i.e., gender, motivations, and fandom), has impacted gambling behavior, interests in sport, and sport-related consumption (e.g., media, ticket sales) using a sample of active gamblers above the age of 21 (N = 58). The findings showed that economic motivation significantly predicted gambling behavior, interests in sports, and sport-related consumption, while fandom did not. People who are motivated by money are more likely to wager on sport and consume sport. However, being a sport fan or not does not impact those variables. Based on the results of the current study, it could be suggested that, since sports wagering was recently legalized, sport organizations should move quickly to attract new and potential market segments (e.g., gamblers).

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Yonghwan Chang, Vicki Schull and Lisa A. Kihl

Attempts were made to explore the value of the multiple social identities approach in reducing the detrimental effects of stereotype threats in the context of spectator sports. A total of 150 females were recruited for a laboratory experiment. The following manipulations were implemented: (a) stereotype threat, (b) threat along with the implicit team identification activation, and (c) control. The results revealed that females in the threat condition showed a reduced level of psychological well-being; paradoxically, negative stereotypes positively influenced their self-esteem. The activation of implicit team identification alleviated the detrimental consequences of threat by inhibiting the spreading activation of harmful stereotypes regarding women in sports. The main theoretical frameworks of this study consisted of the process account of stereotype threat suggested in cognitive psychology. The authors attempted to offer a stronger understanding of the underlying mental processes of stereotype threat on women as well as an effective means to deal with its detrimental consequences.

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Gashaw Abeza, Norm O’Reilly and Jessica R. Braunstein-Minkove

Relational perspectives have influenced marketing theory and practice over the past 40 years, with a volume of relationship marketing (RM) research accumulating over this time. In sport management specifically, a number of RM research articles have been published since the late 1990s. Although an influx has been seen, a review of said literature informs us that RM is a diverse field with no single best explanation, no clear domain and scope, and no universally accepted definition and that, most particularly, the literature is a melting pot of various concepts. This circumstance creates frustration and confusion among new researchers. Additionally, as strategic communication strategies rely on clear and consistent messaging, it is pivotal to holistically address the issue. Therefore, adopting an integrative literature review approach, this commentary revisits the RM scholarship to present, brings attention to the complex nature of the RM literature, and identifies a point of departure for researchers attempting to find a fitting “home” for their research.

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Elaine Chiao Ling Yang, Michelle Hayes, Jinyan Chen, Caroline Riot and Catheryn Khoo-Lattimore

Contemporary sport culture is characterized as highly masculinized, where female athletes are continually marginalized in traditional media. Despite evidence suggesting that media representation of athletes has a meaningful impact on social outcomes and participation rates of women and girls, little is known about gendered representations of athletes on social media and in the context of mega-sporting events. This paper examines the gendered representations of athletes on Twitter during the 2018 Commonwealth Games using framing theory. A total of 133,338 tweets were analyzed using sentiment and word-frequency analyses. Results indicate gender differences concerning athlete representation on Twitter, albeit marginal. In particular, the findings reveal that seemingly neutral words (e.g., “dedicated,” “talented,” and “hard working”) could carry gendered connotations. Recommendations are provided to guide stakeholders to advance a more inclusive sport culture through the strategic use of social media during mega-sporting events.