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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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Mark Dottori, Guy Faulkner, Ryan Rhodes, Norm O’Reilly, Leigh Vanderloo and Gashaw Abeza

This study explored the frame-setting and frame-sending process of media who reported on the 2015 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth. Through the use of a case-study method employing a sequential explanatory mixed-methods approach (content analysis followed by semistructured interviews), the findings revealed a high level of frame-sending characteristics by the media, and the framing of stories was found to be influencing the message being sent, making it different from the original messaging sent by public relations practitioners charged with dispersing information. Theoretical and practical contributions are discussed along with suggestions for future studies.

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Michael A. Odio, Patty Raube Keller and Dana Drew Shaw

As internships are typically off-campus experiences with minimal supervision from educators, the legal role and responsibilities of educators in protecting and responding to such issues are not always clear, especially pertaining to the application of Title IX. Given the growing prevalence of internships in sport management, a historically male-dominated industry, the issue of sexual harassment is particularly important for this discipline. Through this article, the authors seek to provide the knowledge and perspective of 3 subject-matter experts speaking to legal and practical considerations regarding the design and implementation of sport management internships. Their collective perspective offers insights on following the law and preparing students for potentially hostile environments.

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Megan B. Shreffler, Adam R. Cocco, Regina G. Presley and Chelsea C. Police

Increasing student persistence rates is imperative in higher education, as less than 60% of those who initially enroll in college full-time finish with a certificate or degree. Educators must ensure students are engaged with many facets of their educational experiences. Two strategies through which educators can engage students in the classroom, approaches to learning and learning styles, were examined. Researchers then assessed the relationships between these strategies and student success in the course (quiz scores and overall course grade). Findings suggest that the self-reported learning styles of students enrolled in sport management courses have little impact on student success. Thus, support was not found for the learning styles hypothesis. However, approaches to learning warrant attention, as students who employ strategic study skills are likely to achieve significantly higher course outcomes compared with those who utilize deep or surface study skills in the sport management discipline.

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Leeann M. Lower-Hoppe, Liz A. Wanless, Sarah M. Aldridge and Daniel W. Jones

Experiential learning is a critical component of sport management education and industry preparation; however, the inclusion of time-intensive experiential projects can displace content learning. Blended learning integrates face-to-face and online instruction to enable the space to maximize multiple learning types. This article proposes an innovative experiential project that integrates blended learning—implemented in a sport event management course—with reflection and scholarship supporting the pedagogical strategies. The article concludes with implications to optimize blended learning (e.g., multimedia, pedagogical workshops, course evaluation), enhance communication (e.g., office hours, discussion forum, orientation video), and expand student learning outcomes (e.g., reading outlines, video lectures, student assessment).

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Thilo Kunkel, Rui Biscaia, Akiko Arai and Kwame Agyemang

This research explored the role of athlete on- and off-field brand image on consumer commitment toward the athlete and associated team, preference by the athlete’s sponsor, and the mediating effect of consumers’ self-brand connection on these relationships. Data were collected from fans of soccer players through a cross-sectional survey promoted on social media platforms. A partial least squares structural equation model examined the direct effects of both athlete brand dimensions on athlete commitment, team commitment, and athlete sponsor preference, and the indirect effects mediated via self-brand connection. The results indicate that an athlete’s on-field image is significantly related to athlete sponsor preference, while the off-field image influences athlete commitment and team commitment. Self-brand connection is influenced by athlete off-field image and mediates the relationship between off-field image and athlete commitment. This study contributes to a better understanding of how to manage athlete brands and linkages between fans, athletes, and associated entities.

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Elizabeth A. Taylor, Gareth J. Jones, Kristy McCray and Robin Hardin

The sport industry is ripe for issues of sexual harassment/assault due to the high value placed on masculine characteristics and the power differential between male leaders/coaches and female subordinates/athletes. This culture permeates sport organizations, as issues of sexual harassment/assault committed by athletes and coaches/administrators are commonplace and have recently been mishandled, raising questions about effective education. This study examined the relationship between education on sexual harassment/assault and the endorsement of rape myths by sport management students. Results indicate that training on sexual harassment/assault in sport management classrooms is low and is potentially ineffective at curbing rape myth acceptance, suggesting current curricula are insufficient. These findings have both theoretical and practical contributions related to how sport management departments can prepare future professionals to change the culture of sport.

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Matthew Katz, Bob Heere and E. Nicole Melton

The purpose of this study is to utilize egocentric network analysis to predict repurchase behaviors for college football season-ticket holders. Using a research approach grounded in network theory, we included the relational and behavioral characteristics of sport fans in a binomial regression model to predict renewal decisions among college football season-ticket holders. More specifically, we developed a model that incorporates the egocentric network variables, past behavior, and behavioral intentions to empirically test which consumer characteristics predict future behavior. Building on previous research emphasizing the role of socializing agents and social connections in sport fan consumption, through the use of egocentric network analysis, we examined the effects of social structure and social context on repurchasing decisions. Moreover, the present study is positioned within the larger discourse on season-ticket holders, as we aimed to add a network theory perspective to the existing research on season-ticket holder churn and renewal.

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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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Lisa A. Kihl and Vicki Schull

The meaning and nature of athlete representation in sport governance is broad and goes beyond formalistic delegate models and voting rights accounts. This article explores the meaning and nature of representation in the context of intercollegiate sport governance. Interviews were conducted with intercollegiate athlete representatives and athlete representative administrative advisors to gain an understanding of how and why athlete representatives carried out their roles. Findings revealed that the meaning and motivations of athlete representation were based on the institutionalized deliberative democratic governance system. Representation meant standing and acting for the power of the athlete voice and having the capacity to generate the athlete voice into legislation and decision making. The performative role of representatives involved self-accountability, where they accepted responsibility to engage in a deliberative process of collective decision making. Implications for practice and future research on athlete representation in a deliberative democratic sport governance system are presented.