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Recalibrating the Scale: A Case of Reseating a Sold-Out Arena

Carrie W. LeCrom, Mark Slavich, Lisa Rufer, Greg Greenhalgh, and Brendan Dwyer

Reseating a stadium or arena is not a new phenomenon. It offers colleges and universities the opportunity to reward donors who have contributed financially to the athletic department as well as to create or maintain an equitable seat allocation system. At the same time, a poorly planned or poorly executed reseating project has the potential to upset current donors to the point of alienation. ABC University is looking to take on a reseating project, and it is looking to Virginia Commonwealth University for guidance because of its successful 2013 reseating project. With the success of its men’s basketball program and highly engaged fan base, the time is right to undertake this project. Factors involved in the decision to reseat, communication with fans, and the method involved with the actual reseating are among the topics discussed. This case study would be beneficial to other schools looking to reseat or future athletic administrators interested in an insider’s perspective at a major revenue generation project.

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Exploring Fan Behavior: Developing a Scale to Measure Sport eFANgelism

Brendan Dwyer, Gregory P. Greenhalgh, and Carrie W. LeCrom

Brand evangelism, an advanced form of marketing where consumers voluntarily advocate on behalf of the brand, can bring numerous benefits to a firm. Pro-brand behaviors such as word-of-mouth promotion, recruitment of consumers, and disparagement of rivals are just a few of the many actions associated with brand evangelism. With highly impassioned and provocative fans, an opportunity exists to explore brand evangelism within the spectator sport context. The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a scale to measure sport team (brand) evangelism. Guided by Fournier’s (1998) brand extension of relationship theory and following Churchill’s (1979) eight-step method for developing marketing measures, two focus groups of fans were interviewed and an additional 450 sport fans were surveyed through two distinct data collections in an attempt to identify sport team evangelistic behaviors, and test a measure of such behaviors. The assessment of the instrument included two forms of reliability analysis and three modes of validity analysis as the scale was parsimoniously reduced from 88 initial behaviors to four factors and 14 items.

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Challenge Accepted: Why Women Play Fantasy Football

Brendan Dwyer, Joshua M. Lupinek, and Rebecca M. Achen

Women represent the fastest growing demographic for the fantasy sports industry, making up approximately 38% of fantasy football participants. To help understand this growth, this study was an attempt to explore why women play fantasy football. Themes and statements derived from qualitative data collected through open-ended survey responses and face-to-face interviews were tested on two samples of female fantasy football participants. In all, 450 unique individuals were studied, and five distinct motive factors were uncovered: Challenge, Enjoy, Enhance, Socialize, and Connect. The first three dimensions mirror the motives of male participants, and the other two are unique to women. While the factors were correlated, the results provide evidence that the factors impact different outcomes associated with the activity.

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A Segmentation Analysis of American Sports Bettors by Involvement

Brendan Dwyer, Stephen L. Shapiro, and Joris Drayer

Sports betting in the United States is exploding in popularity and has the potential to change the way sports fans interact with sports properties and sports content. However, not all sports bettors are the same, and market segmentation research provides a resource for more targeted communication and marketing strategies. Utilizing behavioral and psychographic data, the current study segmented 1,077 sports bettors by involvement. The segments were then contrasted on a number of factors within the framework of Mowen’s 3M model of motivation and personality. A sample of 513 nonbetting sports fans was also included as a segment within the analyses. Statistically significant differences were found at the motivational, elemental, compound, and surface trait levels between the betting segments and between the betting and the nonbetting sports fans. The findings point to a strong emotional draw regardless of involvement yet a clear need for the betting industry to educate on issues related to jurisdictional legality and common language.

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Comparing Elements of Study Abroad Among Sport Management Students

Carrie LeCrom, Brendan Dwyer, Gregory Greenhalgh, Chad Goebert, and Jennifer Gellock

A globalized curriculum has the potential to prepare students in a way that equips them for whatever sport looks like in the future. Study abroad programs are one way to achieve this. The current study looked at two short-term study abroad programs (one to western Europe, one to South Africa), offered during the same semester at the same institution, comparing learning outcomes between students on the two trips. Utilizing a mixed methods design, students completed quantitative pre/post surveys and responded to qualitative, open-ended daily prompts while on the trips. Findings indicate that knowledge acquisition occurs in both programs; however, students traveling on a sport-focused service-based trip to South Africa had a more transformational learning experience than those traveling on a sport-business-focused trip to western Europe.

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Assessing Student Satisfaction Within Sport Management Master’s Degree Programs

Nels Popp, Erianne A. Weight, Brendan Dwyer, Alan L. Morse, and Amy Baker

This study examined satisfaction levels with graduate sport management programs in the United States. A 26-item graduate degree program satisfaction instrument was developed and administered electronically to a sample of current students and alumni from seven sport management master’s degree programs yielding a 54.31% response rate (N = 302). Respondents generally indicated high levels of satisfaction with their decision to pursue a graduate sport management degree, but were significantly less satisfied with the specific school they attended. Respondents indicated the most beneficial courses included current topics, sport and society, sport marketing, and sport ethics, whereas the least beneficial courses included statistics, international sport, and research methods. Students who earned their undergraduate degree in business were consistently less satisfied with how well their graduate program taught them various sport management skills compared with students with undergraduate degrees in sport management, sport-related studies, or other majors.