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Milena M. Parent and Benoit Séguin

The purpose of this study was to develop a model of brand creation for one-off large-scale sporting events. A case study of the 2005 Montreal FINA (Fédération Internationale de Natation) World Championships highlighted the importance of the leadership group (which must include individuals with political/networking, business/management, and sport/event skills), the context, and the nature of the event for creating the event’s brand. The importance of each aspect is suggested to vary depending on the situation. For example, the lack of an initial event brand will result in the leadership group having the greatest impact on the event’s brand creation process. Findings also highlighted differing communication paths for internal and external stakeholders. Thus, this study contributes to the literature by focusing on brand creation and its related factors instead of the management and outcomes of a brand.

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Michael L. Naraine, Benoît Séguin, and Eric MacIntosh

In this case study, students are exposed to the issue of stakeholder management through the lens of the National Football League (NFL), using a contemporary example of ambush marketing and player endorsement deals as the primary context. The case depicts nonfictitious events that involve players and their disdain for league policies regarding donning brands and products that violate exclusivity agreements the league has with other companies. After identifying the origins of the circumstances, the case profiles the three principal stakeholder groups involved (i.e., the players, the ambushed sponsor, and the focal organization) through their respective leaders (i.e., DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL players association, Bob Maresca, president of Bose Corporation, and Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the NFL). Using fictitious commentary, the case culminates with the three actors utilizing the services of a sports consultancy firm as they work together to determine the best course of action. Learning objectives include understanding collegiality in a professional setting, and mitigating conflicting sponsorship strategies.

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Gashaw Abeza, Norm O’Reilly, and Benoit Seguin

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Gashaw Abeza, Norm O’Reilly, Benoit Seguin, and Ornella Nzindukiyimana

This study, guided by the relationship marketing theoretical framework, adopted an observational netnography method to investigate professional sport teams’ use of Twitter as a relationship marketing tool. Specifically, the study focused on the three core components of the theoretical framework of relationship marketing: communication, interaction, and value. The observational netnography is based on data gathered from the official Twitter account of 20 professional sport teams in the four major North American leagues over a seven-month period. Results outline seven emergent communication types, six interaction practices, and ten values (co)created by the teams or/and fans. Theoretical and practical implications, as well as impetus for future research, are identified.

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Gashaw Abeza, Norm O’Reilly, Benoit Séguin, and Ornella Nzindukiyimana

This work critically assesses the history and current state of social media scholarship in sport management research. Methodologically, the study is based on a comprehensive census review of the current body of literature in the area of social media. The review identifies 123 social media articles in sport management research that were mined from a cross-disciplinary examination of 29 scholarly journals from January 2008 (earliest found) to June 2014. The work identifies the topic areas, the platforms, the theories, and the research methods that have received the (most/least) attention of the social media research community, and provides suggestions for future research.

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Dana L. Ellis, Milena M. Parent, and Benoit Seguin

This article examines how Olympic ambush marketing stakeholder power and transfer of sponsorship, as well as ambush marketing knowledge, have influenced institutional processes leading to the institutionalization of antiambush legislation over the years. Using a qualitative case study design and network analysis, findings show the International Olympic Committee and Organizing Committees for the Olympic Games demonstrate the greatest stakeholder influence within the Olympic ambush marketing network. The power and influence resulting from the structure of Olympic ambush marketing networks was argued to impact the institutional processes of objectification and sedimentation. Various knowledge transfer tools, as well as challenges and issues faced in this area, seem to act as moderators for the relationship between network structures and the process of institutionalization.

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Norm O’Reilly, Mark Lyberger, Larry McCarthy, Benoît Séguin, and John Nadeau

Mega-special-event properties (sponsees) have the ability to attain significant resources through sponsorship by offering exclusive promotional opportunities that target sizeable consumer markets and attract sponsors. The Super Bowl, one of the most watched television programs in the world, was selected as the mega-special-event for this study as it provides a rare environment where a portion of the television audience tunes in specifically for the purpose of watching new and entertaining commercials. A longitudinal analysis of consumer opinion related to the 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006 Super Bowls provides empirical evidence that questions the ability of Super Bowl sponsorship to influence the sales of sponsor offerings. Results pertaining to consumers’ intent to purchase sponsors’ products—one of the most sought after metrics in relating sponsorship effectiveness to sales—demonstrate that levels of intent-to-purchase inspired by sponsorship of the Super Bowl is relatively low and, most importantly, that increases are not being achieved over time. These findings have implications for both mega-sponsees and their sponsors as well as media enterprise diffusing mega-special-events.

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Gashaw Abeza, Jessica R. Braunstein-Minkove, Benoit Séguin, Norm O’Reilly, Ari Kim, and Yann Abdourazakou

This study explored the practices and strategies of ambush marketing via social media (SM) during the 2014 Sochi, 2016 Rio, and 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games. An observational netnography method was adopted to investigate direct industry competitors’ (of the Olympic sponsors) use of SM for the purpose of ambush marketing during the 2014, 2016, and 2018 Games. Data were gathered from the official Twitter accounts of 15 direct industry competitors over the three most recent Games. Despite a series of SM guidelines released by IOC for the 2014, 2016, and 2018 Games, the findings showed that the practice of ambush marketing via SM was evident during each of the Games. Direct industry competitors were found employing four specific ambush strategies, namely, associative, values, coattail, and property infringement. Theoretical and practical implications, as well as an impetus for future research, are suggested.