Social media play a major role in marketing and promotional efforts in intercollegiate athletics, yet student-athletes are rarely included in these campaigns. This case study analyzes a campaign employed by Temple University’s football program that departed from this norm. During their 2018 spring game, Temple coaches allowed football players to put their Twitter handles on the backs of their jerseys. Through interviews with athletic department staff members and football student-athletes and analysis of football players’ tweets and media framing of this campaign, several positive outcomes emerged. These included how the campaign fostered student-athlete buy-in and generated favorable media coverage for the program. However, analysis also revealed that while many football student-athletes actively used Twitter, they were not fully integrated into the campaign. Implications for including student-athletes’ social media content in athletic department marketing, branding, and promotional efforts are discussed.
Jimmy Sanderson, Sarah Stokowski, and Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth A. Taylor and Amanda Paule-Koba
Colleges and universities provide a practical setting where faculty can integrate a curriculum that teaches sport management students, who are the future sport industry leaders, on critical topics they will encounter while working in the field. In light of the recent cases of sexual violence in the sport world (e.g., USA Gymnastics/Michigan State University, Baylor Football, Carolina Panthers), this study sought to examine the types of education and training on sexual violence that sport management faculty are utilizing in the classroom. Through the use of qualitative methods, 21 sport management faculty from 4-year institutions were interviewed to determine if and how the topic of sexual violence was being integrated in the classroom. Results showed a majority of the faculty were integrating current events and topics related to sexual violence in the classroom. However, faculty perceived that some courses were a “better fit” for these topics than others. Faculty also reported challenges to teaching these topics as the lines between a legal, sociological, and ethical standpoint can become confusing for students.
Elizabeth A. Taylor and Robin Hardin
This study examined the experiences and challenges of 10 female Division I athletic directors. Four themes emerged from the interviews: (a) lack of female role models; (b) females are not qualified to manage football programs; (c) scrutiny about (lack of) ability and experience, and (d) benefits of intercollegiate coaching experience. The findings of this study suggest these are the central causes for females’ inability to reach maximum career mobility in the intercollegiate athletics industry. Participants encouraged women trying to enter the intercollegiate athletics industry to find a mentor who can advocate for them as they navigate through their career. In addition, participants encouraged those entering the industry to gain experience in as many facets of the athletic department as possible.
Robin Hardin, Elizabeth A. Taylor, and Emily Sleadd
Internships provide professional preparation for aspiring sport management professionals, because they allow for professional and personal growth, as well as for being exposed to a professional work environment. Unfortunately, part of the exposure to a professional work environment also means being subjected to its negative aspects, which include sexual harassment. The purpose of this study was to examine the sexual harassment experiences of female students in a sport management internship setting. Nearly 66% of the respondents had experienced some type of sexual harassment while completing an internship. Internship satisfaction was lower for those who had experienced sexual harassment, but experiencing sexual harassment had no impact on their intent to enter the sport management profession. Sport management educators, as well as internship supervisors, must work together to create a safe and professional environment for female students.
Matt R. Huml, Elizabeth A. Taylor, and Eric M. Martin
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of required remote work on work–family spillover within U.S. college sport. In particular, we examined the changes in work–family spillover (positive and negative), job commitment, and workaholism as employee’s work environment changed from traditional work expectations to work from home, and if these changes were, at least partially, due to parental responsibilities. Data were collected from full-time, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) athletic department employees (n = 1,139) in November 2019 and again in May 2020 following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and after the transition to remote work. Results showed that sport employees found a number of benefits associated with working remotely, including a significant decrease in negative work–family spillover. However, employees with children at home reported higher levels of negative family–work spillover after going to remote work. Workaholism was also higher after the move to remote work. Both theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Elizabeth A. Taylor, Matt R. Huml, and Marlene A. Dixon
Although workaholism can impact employees negatively, regardless of family situations, work–family conflict likely plays an important role in the relationship between workaholism and negative outcomes, such as burnout. The authors used structural modeling to examine the relationship among workaholism, employee burnout, and the work–family interface within the context of intercollegiate athletics. They tested the model across a large, diverse sample of athletic department employees (N = 4,453). The results indicated a significant, positive relationship between workaholism and burnout, as well as a significant, positive relationship between workaholism and burnout partially mediated by work–family conflict. These findings suggest the importance of considering both the work and nonwork lives of sport employees in both theory and practice; models of workaholism must factor in nonwork commitments, and organizations need to be cognizant of differences in the causes of and consequences between work engagement and workaholism.
Kelsie Saxe, Lauren Beasley, Elizabeth Taylor, and Robin Hardin
Voluntary occupational turnover is rampant within the economy and, thus, a timely line of inquiry within sport management. However, sport management literature has primarily explored turnover intentions rather than the realized experience of voluntary occupational turnover. Thus, the purpose of this study was to understand sport management employees’ experiences of voluntary occupational turnover using the Transtheoretical Model of Change as a guiding theoretical framework. Interpretative qualitative inquiry guided the research design with 12 former Division I swimming coaches. Findings illustrated themes aligning with the Transtheoretical Model of Change. However, an additional theme was identified: the tipping point, occurring between contemplation and preparation when a discernible event occurred which prompted the participant to move from contemplation to preparation. This study further extends the Transtheoretical Model of Change and its applicability within sport while providing implications regarding the retention of sport management employees.
Jaime R. DeLuca, Michael Mudrick, Molly Hayes Sauder, and Elizabeth A. Taylor
Colleges and universities should serve as inclusive environments positioned to provide a strong education to all students. However, bias and discrimination mar the college atmosphere for many. Simultaneously, there is a paucity of research that examines student views of diversity and inclusion in both higher education and sport management. Employing mixed methods, this research examined the perceptions of diversity and inclusion among undergraduate students in sport management programs. Data demonstrate that student perceptions differ across measures of sex, race/ethnicity, upbringing, internship experiences, and transfer status. Findings suggest implications for embedding diversity and inclusion topics within sport management curricula to develop competencies crucial to students’ educational success and future in the sport industry.
Yannick Kluch, Elizabeth A. Taylor, Raquel Wright-Mair, and Dakota Boring
Drawing from Strayhorn’s model of educational sense of belonging and Vaccaro and Newman’s model of belonging for privileged and minoritized students, this study utilized a mixed-method approach to examine to what extent students from minoritized groups feel like they belong in the sport management classroom. Significant differences in sense of belonging were found based on visible identities such as gender or race. In addition, our qualitative data revealed five higher-order themes that positively or negatively impacted students’ sense of belonging across identity groups: (a) representation, (b) community, (c) support, (d) accomplishments, and (e) academic and professional experience. Limitations, implications, and directions for future research are discussed.
Elizabeth A. Taylor, Gareth J. Jones, Kristy McCray, and Robin Hardin
The sport industry is ripe for issues of sexual harassment/assault due to the high value placed on masculine characteristics and the power differential between male leaders/coaches and female subordinates/athletes. This culture permeates sport organizations, as issues of sexual harassment/assault committed by athletes and coaches/administrators are commonplace and have recently been mishandled, raising questions about effective education. This study examined the relationship between education on sexual harassment/assault and the endorsement of rape myths by sport management students. Results indicate that training on sexual harassment/assault in sport management classrooms is low and is potentially ineffective at curbing rape myth acceptance, suggesting current curricula are insufficient. These findings have both theoretical and practical contributions related to how sport management departments can prepare future professionals to change the culture of sport.