In this article, from the 2015 Earle F. Zeigler Lecture Award presented in Ottawa, Canada, I hope to create greater awareness of how sexism remains uncontested in sport. I highlight the persistence of sexism in sport and note the form of sexism is different from that found in other industries. I also argue that sexism is treated quite differently than other types of discrimination in sport and provide examples of its impact. I suggest that adapting Shaw and Frisby’s (2006) alternative frame of gender equity is necessary for real change to occur and call on all NASSM members as researchers, teachers, or participants to take action to eradicate sexism in sport.
Ben Larkin and Janet S. Fink
Team identification is among the most widely studied concepts in sport fan behavior; however, with few exceptions, scholars have focused on the healthy and stable attachments fans form with their favorite team(s). In this study, we argue that this is not always the case. Drawing on literature from social psychology on a construct referred to as collective narcissism, we illustrate how sport fans’ identification with their favorite team(s) may take a collectively narcissistic form that results in markedly different outcomes compared with the generally positive team identification that has been so vigorously studied in the literature. Specifically, we explore the moderating role of collective narcissism on the relationship between team identification and both dysfunctional fandom and aggression. In doing so, we illustrate the importance of measuring collective narcissism alongside team identification in future studies to provide a more complete understanding of fan dysfunction.
Annemarie Farrell, Janet S. Fink, and Sarah Fields
While women are increasingly becoming vested fans of men’s football, baseball, hockey, and basketball, the perceived barriers—sociological, psychological and practical—to watching women’s sports still appear formidable for many female fans. The purpose of this study was to investigate the lack of female consumption of women’s sport through the voices and perspectives of female spectators of men’s sport. Based on interviews with female season ticket holders of men’s collegiate basketball who had not attended women’s basketball games for at least 5 years, the most robust theme to emerge was the profound male influence in the spectator lives of women. This influence was a lifelong phenomenon spanning generations, beginning with grandfathers and brothers and continuing through husbands and sons. Other factors combined with this strong influence to block participants’ consumption of women’s sport. These include a lack of awareness and access to women’s sport and the existence of socializing agents who empasized and prioritized male leisure interests.
Ben A. Larkin and Janet S. Fink
Fantasy sport has become a prominent topic of study for sport management scholars over the last decade, and along with the rise of this research have come questions regarding how fantasy sport involvement impacts fans’ loyalty to their favorite team(s). Although this question has been posed several times, results have been mixed. We posit that this is largely attributable to the fact that to this point researchers have not considered the situational environment under which fantasy sport has proliferated or the psychological processes of consumers facing multiple consumption options. Therefore, we examined a model featuring fear of missing out as an antecedent to fantasy sport involvement, social media involvement, and team identity salience during games. Furthermore, we examine the role social media involvement plays in allowing fans to accommodate both their fantasy sport and team identities during games. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
George B. Cunningham and Janet S. Fink
Ben Larkin, Janet S. Fink, and Elizabeth Delia
Researchers have found highly identified sport fans exhibit almost unwavering loyalty. Such loyalty has been exhibited by fans basking in reflected glory (BIRGing) following team wins, but not cutting off reflected failure (CORFing) following team losses. In short, they stick with the team through thick and thin, and thus would not be construed as fair-weather fans (those who associate with the team when they are winning, but disassociate when they are losing). Despite their presence, little is known about fair-weather fans, including the roots of their fandom. In the current study, we explore the role of collective narcissism—a type of in-group identification characterized by an insecure self-esteem—in predicting BIRGing and CORFing patterns. We find collective narcissism to be a predictor of BIRGing and CORFing patterns characteristic of fair-weather fandom. This extends research on collective narcissism, BIRGing, and CORFing, while also providing actionable insight for practitioners seeking to combat fair-weather fandom.
Janet S. Fink, George B. Cunningham, and Linda Jean Kensicki
This study drew from the match-up hypothesis and associated learning theory to examine the effects of athlete attractiveness and athlete expertise on (a) endorser-event fit, (b) attitudes toward an event, and (c) intentions to purchase tickets to an event. Students (N = 173) from three universities participated in an experiment to test the study’s hypotheses. Results indicate that athlete attractiveness and athlete expertise were both positively related to endorser-event fit and the effects of expertise on fit were significantly stronger than those of attractiveness. Further, attitudes toward the event partially mediated the relationship between endorser-event fit and intentions to purchase tickets to the event, whereas identification moderated the relationship. Results are discussed relative to associative learning theory and the match-up hypothesis, as well as ramifications they present for marketers and promoters of women’s sport.
Janet S. Fink, Donna L. Pastore, and Harold A. Riemer
This study applies a framework of diversity initiatives as a basis of exploration into top management beliefs and diversity management strategies of Division IA intercollegiate athletic organizations. This framework utilizes issues of power, demographic and relational differences, and past literature regarding specific diversity strategies to empirically assess these organizations' outlooks regarding employee diversity. Results of the study suggest that Division IA intercollegiate athletic organizations operate in cultures that value similarity. Demographic variables predicted a significant amount of variance in employees' perceptions of diversity management strategies. In addition, demographic differences (being different from one's leader) accounted for an even greater amount of variance in these perceptions. Top management's beliefs in the benefits of diversity were related to perceptions of different diversity practices. That is, high beliefs resulted in higher levels of diversity management practice. Discussion of the findings relative to current theory in sport and implications for sport managers are noted.
Janet S. Fink, John F. Borland, and Sarah K. Fields
Critical analysis of media coverage is vital as scholars have long suggested that what the media choose to cover and how they choose to cover it have incredible influence on audience perceptions. Therefore, how the media cover negative incidents and sexist comments relative to women in sport can illuminate the manner in which they reinforce or challenge the hegemonic nature of sport. This study critically examined the media’s reaction to 5 specific sexist incidents in sport from 2004 to 2007 and the reactions of the perpetrators themselves and their defenders as represented in the media. Articles (N = 278) covering the incidents from 5 large newspapers representing different areas of the United States were analyzed. Results indicated that there were 4 strategies of apologia (i.e., denial, bolstering, transcendence, and differentiation), and 2 other themes, silence and marginalized sexism, emerged. Theoretical and practical implications of the results are discussed.
George B. Cunningham, Janet S. Fink, and James J. Zhang
Four decades have passed since the publication of Perspectives on the Academic Discipline of Physical Education: A Tribute to G. Lawrence Rarick—an edited text that offered a comprehensive overview of the field at the time. Missing, however, was any discussion of sport management. Therefore, the purpose of this paper was to overview sport management and the development of the field since the publication of Brooks’s edited text. The authors summarize events in the field, including those related to educational advances and professional societies. Next, they highlight theoretical advances and then review the research in the field over time. In doing so, they categorize the scholarship into three groups: Young Field, Enduring Questions, and Emerging Trends. The authors conclude by identifying advances in the field and how sport management has emerged as a distinctive, robust discipline.