Following the cancellation of the 2020 National Collegiate Athletic Association Men’s Basketball Final Four, the Atlanta Basketball Host Committee faced the unique challenge of executing a “postevent” wind-down amid a global health emergency and citywide stay-at-home mandate. While a significant portion of the host committee’s tasks were completed in the days and weeks after the cancellation, one key component that lingered was event legacy. In this study, the authors examined how a local organizing committee’s legacy planning was disrupted as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Based on interviews with National Collegiate Athletic Association and host committee officials, direct and participant-based observation, and an analysis of local and social media reporting, the authors described the Atlanta Basketball Host Committee’s pre- and postpandemic legacy plans. This study underscores the potential enduring nature of legacy plans, even during unprecedented crises that threaten the headlining event.
Beth A. Cianfrone and Timothy Kellison
Beth A. Cianfrone and James J. Zhang
This study examined the differential effectiveness of television commercials, athlete endorsements, venue signage, and combined promotions as assessed by Generation Y consumers. A 2 × 4 independent-group experimental design was conducted, consisting of two experimental conditions (experimental and control) and four video footage interventions with different promotional procedures (television commercial, athlete endorsement, venue signage, and combined promotion). A total of 253 subjects were randomly assigned into the eight groups. The subjects responded to a questionnaire that measured brand awareness in terms of unaided recall, aided recall, and recognition. A factorial MANCOVA revealed that after controlling for differences in the consumption backgrounds of action sports among the subjects, all four promotional procedures effectively increased brand awareness during a televised action sports event. Television commercials were the most effective, followed by combined promotion, athlete endorsement, and venue signage.
Beth A. Cianfrone and James J. Zhang
Sport video games (SVGs) are a highly consumed media source among 18- to 34-yr-old sport consumers. Many corporations have become advertisers or sponsors of SVGs to reach this consumer segment. This case study examined the systematic relationships among SVG motives, consumption levels, and sponsorship effectiveness. Research participants (N = 213) were SVG gamers who responded to a survey. The proposed hierarchical relationships were tested in a structural model analysis to determine the effectiveness of SVGs. The fit indices showed that the model fit the data well, indicating that, sequentially, SVG motivations influenced game play frequency, awareness of sponsoring brands in SVGs, attitude toward the sponsoring brands, and future purchase intentions of sponsoring products. Researchers and practitioners may consider applying SVG motivational factors to enhance SVG play frequency so as to enhance the awareness of and attitude toward sponsoring brands, which would in turn promote behavioral intentions for consuming the sponsoring brands.
Beth A. Cianfrone, Jessica R. Braunstein-Minkove, and Alyssa L. Tavormina
Sport executives concerned with maximizing ticket sales often explore different communication channels to reach potential consumers. Advertising and selling discounted tickets through daily deals (e.g., Groupon and Living Social) is an increasingly popular method, yet there is little research on the extent to which sport organizations are using daily deals. A mixed-method design was employed to examine sport organizations’ use of daily deals, including how sport daily deals are most commonly used and the rationale for their use. In Phase 1, a content analysis of Groupon and LivingSocial daily deals e-mailed over 31 days in 11 U.S. cities provided a framework for exploring the types, frequency, and characteristics of sport ticketing deals. In Phase 2, the perspectives of 7 sport-organization executives served as guiding metrics in developing a deeper understanding of daily-deal usage. Findings can inform sport marketers’ ticketing and promotional strategies and provide a basis for theoretical daily-deal application.
Beth A. Cianfrone, Glynn M. McGehee, and Robert H. Brison
Glynn M. McGehee, Beth A. Cianfrone, and Timothy Kellison
Sport organizations, the media, and the public frequently interact. Messages conveyed by organizations and the media likely impact both groups’ communication strategies to reach target audiences and control messaging. This triad of communication—team–media–public—is often examined in segments (e.g., media framing or public reaction to media), even though the three interact. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine differences in message themes and responses from all perspectives on a common topic. Following a major announcement from a professional sport organization, the researchers conducted a content analysis of communication from three perspectives: the team, local press, and citizens. The results showed that each of the three sources provided distinct, original content that became increasingly linked to that of the other sources over time. Sport practitioners could use the findings to better understand the influence of outside sources of communication and utilize social media in their public relations efforts.
Thomas A. Baker, Kevin K. Byon, Beth A. Cianfrone, and John Grady
The purpose of the study was twofold: a) to conceptualize and measure student-athlete “likeness” in the NCAA Football sport video games (SVGs) and b) to examine the impact of use of likeness on SVG consumption (i.e., purchase intention and word-of-mouth). Data (N = 621) were collected from NCAA Football SVGs users with experience in purchasing and playing the game. Descriptive statistics, t test, factor analysis, and hierarchical regression analyses showed that student-athlete likeness featured in NCAA Football SVGs were well perceived by gamers. The results indicated that dimensions of the student-athlete likeness were empirically supported in that the factors (i.e., identity value and identity use) were found to be positively related to purchase intention and word-of-mouth. Results were discussed with regards to theoretical and practical implications for sport managers in the legal and consumer behavior perspective.
Anastasios Kaburakis, David A. Pierce, Beth A. Cianfrone, and Amanda L. Paule
The NCAA maintains a balance between amateurism and the increasing need for generating revenue. In this balancing act, there are various policy considerations and legal constraints. These legal and policy entanglements bore such class action suits as Keller v. Electronic Arts, National Collegiate Athletic Association, and Collegiate Licensing Company (2009) and O’Bannon v. National Collegiate Athletic Association and Collegiate Licensing Company (2009), which question current revenue generating practices of the NCAA. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of NCAA Division I men’s football and basketball student-athletes toward amateurism and the particular use of student-athletes’ likenesses in college sports video games. Findings point to a lack of clarity and understanding of the agreements and consent forms student-athletes sign annually. Respondents demonstrated confusion in regard to financial aid opportunities, parameters of their scholarships, and whether they endorse commercial products. A majority of respondents expressed the desire to receive additional compensation. Recommendations include clarification and focused rules’ education from compliance and financial aid officers, as well as introducing new amateurism policy, concurrently avoiding costly litigation.
Glynn M. McGehee, Armin A. Marquez, Beth A. Cianfrone, and Timothy Kellison
Stadium-construction projects are costly and affect the community—positively and negatively. At urban universities, these impacts extend beyond campuses into the broader community. Thus, athletic-department communication about the value of stadium projects to a diverse group of stakeholders becomes important. Following stakeholder theory, the purpose of the study was to investigate social-media messages disseminated by an urban university engaged in a stadium-redevelopment project (Georgia State University [GSU]) and the public response. A content analysis of Facebook and Twitter posts by GSU (N = 39) and the public response (N = 359) yielded 8 themes: a focus on athletics, a focus on university, informing about urban community development impact, explaining capital project funding source, maintaining the stadium legacy, promoting public–private partnerships, and understanding effects on transit. Findings support previous literature that organizational communication reflects organizational priorities.
Beth A. Cianfrone, Galen T. Trail, James J. Zhang, and Richard J. Lutz
Sport video games (SVGs) are a popular form of sport media and sponsorship, and advertising in SVGs is increasingly common. This study assessed the effectiveness of SVG in-game advertisements in 3 consumption domains: cognitive, affective, and conative. An experimental study was designed with 89 gamers randomly assigned to 1 of 2 conditions: (a) experimental, playing an SVG with advertisements, or (b) control, playing an SVG without advertisements. Consumption background and identification level were incorporated as covariates to ensure group equivalence. Participants responded to a questionnaire measuring brand awareness, brand attitude, and purchase intentions. MANCOVA revealed that after controlling for the effect of covariate variables, the experimental group had a significantly (p < .05) greater mean brand-awareness score than the control group. Mean brand-attitude and purchase-intention scores were not significantly (p > .05) different between groups. The findings indicated that SVG in-game advertising was effective in creating awareness.