Sport for development (SFD) has gained traction over the past several decades, establishing itself as a subdiscipline within sport management research. As such, it has moved from simple program evaluation to a diverse array of theory development and testing, capacity building, impact measurement, and beyond. Scholars have suggested that the success of SFD programs relies on them being well directed, locally grounded, and clearly focused. This points to the necessity of focusing on the development and management of SFD programs over program evaluation, as the process-based focus is under-researched and highly critical. In this paper, Intergroup Contact Theory is applied to an SFD program focusing on cultural adaptability. The five components of Intergroup Contact Theory are built into the program’s design, then assessed via qualitative analysis to test the theory’s applicability in SFD research.
Carrie W. LeCrom and Tiesha Martin
Carrie W. LeCrom, Brendan Dwyer, and Gregory Greenhalgh
The scholars of sport for development (SFD) suggest the need for advancements in theory development and stronger connections between practice and theory. This article outlines some of the challenges and barriers to theory development in SFD and suggests ways to move forward. The authors state that theories and frameworks in SFD are underdeveloped as a result of methodological and contextual challenges due to the variance in SFD programming. The SFD programs are being implemented across the globe in a myriad of countries and contexts, addressing varying social issues that make theory development challenging. Suggestions are put forward to help scholars and practitioners overcome these challenges, including creativity in methodology, collaborations in program assessment, and the need for patience required of fields focusing on social and behavioral change.
Brendan Dwyer, Greg Greenhalgh, and Carrie LeCrom
The sport marketplace is overcrowded, and contemporary sport fans have more choices than ever. This makes it difficult for new teams, leagues, and sports to enter the marketplace. In addition, a cultural oligarchy of mainstream sport leagues currently dominates media coverage. As a result, marketers and managers of emerging sports need to understand the attributes for which sport fans connect with entities. Little is known, however, about the differences between fans of niche (emerging or nonmainstream) sports and their mainstream-sport counterparts. Guided by social-identity theory, this study explored the dispositional and behavioral differences between niche- and mainstream-sport fans as a means of psychometric and behavioral segmentation. In particular, an individual’s need for uniqueness and communication behaviors were compared. The results suggest that dispositional differences between the segments were minimal. However, potentially important behavioral differences were uncovered related to how sport fans assimilate with others and advertise their sport affiliations.
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.