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.
George B. Cunningham and Janet S. Fink
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, 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.
Edward M. Kian, Janet S. Fink, and Marie Hardin
This study examined content differences in the framing of men’s and women’s tennis coverage based on the sex of sports writers. Articles on the 2007 U.S. Open in six popular Internet sites and newspapers were examined. Results showed both female and male writers wrote a higher percentage of articles exclusively on men’s tennis than on women’s tennis. Female journalists accounted for more overall newspapers articles than male reporters, whereas online articles were mostly written by male authors. Framing results showed female journalists largely reinforced hegemonic masculinity through the use of sexist and stereotypical descriptors that de-valued the athleticism and accomplishment of female athletes. In contrast, male journalists were more likely to challenge the traditional gendering of sport media content by praising the athleticism of female athletes. The contrasts suggest the potential presence of subtle shifts in traditional, masculine framing of sports by male reporters, who dominate the ranks of sportswriters.
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.
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, Mary Jo Kane, and Nicole M. LaVoi
“I want to be respected for what I do instead of what I look like”
—Janie, a swimmer
“They can see the moves I make, the action I make [on the court]. But I also want them to see this is who I am off the court. I’m not just this basketball player. I can be somebody else”
—Melanie, a basketball player
Despite unprecedented gains in women’s sports 40 years after Title IX, female athletes are rarely used in endorsement campaigns and, when used, are presented in sexually provocative poses versus highlighting their athletic competence. This pattern of representation continues, though empirical evidence demonstrates consumers prefer portrayals focusing on sportswomen’s skill versus their sex appeal. Research also indicates females are keenly aware of gendered expectations which create tensions between being athletic and “appropriately feminine.” The current study addresses what we don’t know: how elite female athletes wish to be portrayed if promised the same amount of financial reward and commercial exposure. Thirty-six team and individual scholarship athletes were asked to choose between portrayals of femininity and athletic competence. Findings revealed that competence was the dominant overall choice though close to 30% picked both types of portrayals. Metheny’s gendered sport typology was used to analyze how sportswomen’s preferences challenge, or conform to, traditional ideologies and practices surrounding women’s sports. Implications for sport management scholars and practitioners are discussed.