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Qi Ge and Brad R. Humphreys

behavior or drug possession versus other-harming crimes like assault, domestic violence, and drunk driving; and misconduct by star players versus less prominent players. We also investigated the role played by media coverage of off-field misconduct, a potentially important mechanism through which off

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Jason Daniels, Thilo Kunkel, and Adam Karg

its consumption. Recent findings indicated that the brand associations of new sport teams that were ranked highest by fans are related to the personnel of the team, such as the star players, management, and head coach ( Kunkel et al., 2016 ). Consequently, it appears that consumers develop attribute

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Kyle R. King

Grand Slams provide the stages on which star players shine the brightest. Because of the individuality of tennis, and because of how tennis style seems to embody an individual’s personality, tennis fandom is not determined by geography in the same way it might be for fans choosing to support the local

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Joel Maxcy and Michael Mondello

Free agency was reintroduced to professional team sport leagues in the 1970s. Sport enthusiasts expressed concern that competitive balance would diminish as star players congregated to large market cities. However, the economic invariance principle rejects this notion, indicating that balance should remain unchanged. This article empirically examines the effects of changes in free agent rules on competitive balance over time in the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), and National Hockey League (NHL). Regression analysis using within-season and between-season measures of competitive balance as dependent variables provides mixed results. The NFL and NHL provide evidence that an aspect of competitive balance has improved, but results from the NBA indicate that balance has worsened since the introduction of free agency. We conclude that the ambiguous results suggest that the effects are not independent, but instead depend on the interaction of free agent rights with other labor market and league rules.

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Daniel C. Funk and Jeffrey D. James

Prior research has demonstrated a direct relationship between loyalty and reasons for liking a particular sport team. The current study replicates and extends this line of inquiry by examining the mediating role of attachment, a process by which an individual moves from merely liking a team (attraction) to becoming loyal to a team (allegiance). Data (Collegiate N = 194; Collegiate and Professional N = 402, Favorite Sport Team N = 808) were collected to examine 13 benefits and attributes associated with liking a sport team, 3 attitude formation properties, and allegiance. A three-stage test of mediation using MLR revealed that attachment mediated the relationship between allegiance and Vicarious Achievement, Nostalgia, Star Player, Escape, Success, and Peer Group Acceptance. Results demonstrate that allegiance is the outcome of a process by which individuals develop stronger emotional reactions to, more functional knowledge about, and greater symbolic value for benefits and attributes associated with a sport team.

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Shih-Hao Wu, Ching-Yi Daphne Tsai, and Chung-Chieh Hung

This study extends literature on the effects of fan identification on fan loyalty, and antecedents that trigger such effects. This study incorporates trust, a key relationship marketing construct, in the sport industry. The relationship between trust and two other critical antecedents of sport fan loyalty, identification and vicarious achievement motive, is examined from the perspectives of both fan-player and fan-team. The results show that antecedents from distinct perspectives influence loyalty differently. Team identification (fan-team level) is the major determinant of fans’ repatronage intention, with trust in the team as the key driver. However, player identification (fan-player level) has an indirect effect, which must go through team identification to repatronage intention. Therefore, sport organizations are recommended to invest a substantial part of their resources on activities that generate long-term effects, such as trust in the team and team identification, rather than on short-term strategies such as attracting star players.

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James M. Gladden and Daniel C. Funk

This study broadens the understanding of brand management in sport by creating the Team Association Model, a scale that identifies dimensions of brand associations, a major contributor to the creation of brand equity. Utilizing Keller’s (1993) theoretical framework of consumer-based brand equity, a thorough review of the sport literature was conducted which identified 16 potential dimensions. These 16 dimensions are derived with reference to Keller’s categorization of brand associations into ATTRIBUTE (success, head coach, star player, management, stadium, logo design, product delivery, and tradition), BENEFIT (identification, nostalgia, pride in place, escape, and peer group acceptance), and ATTITUDE (importance, knowledge, and affect). In order to evaluate the applicability of each potential dimension, a scale is developed, pre-tested, and tested on a national sample of sport consumers. Results of the confirmatory factor analysis of provided support for this paper’s theoretical notion that 16 distinct constructs underlie brand associations in sports.

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Emily Sparvero, Randall Griffiths, and Jacob Tingle

fight with the team’s star player, Jean-Philippe Martin, in the parking lot outside the team locker room. Although no photos or video of the incident have surfaced, two fan blogs associated with the team lit up with people claiming to have seen the fight. Holly suspects that the Zamboni driver must be

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Steve Swanson and Samuel Y. Todd

colleagues in the community relations office have indicated that Lauren might be somewhat difficult to work with, given the issues she had last year with the marketing fiasco. I’ll be sure not to mention that. I can’t believe she allowed the Orcas brand to suffer like that when the star player was accused of

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Frederik Ehlen, Jess C. Dixon, and Todd M. Loughead

was my biggest move. In those days, the Leafs were in the playoffs every year, the Raptors had star player Vince Carter, and so both teams were pretty much selling out games at the Air Canada Centre. My chairman, Larry Tanenbaum, challenged me to grow the enterprise value. We already did a very robust