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
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.
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.
George B. Cunningham, Janet S. Fink and Michael Sagas
The purpose of this study was to further examine the utility of Mitchell, Holtom, Lee, Sablynski, and Erez’s (2001) job embeddedness construct. The authors tested a revised version of their original multi-item scale, as well as a new global-item measure. Data were gathered from two independent samples (intercollegiate softball coaches, n = 214, and athletic department employees, n = 189). Results from both studies provide the strongest support for the global-item measure. The convergent, discriminant, and predictive validity of the measure was established. Results demonstrate the efficacy of the job embeddedness construct in explaining why people choose to stay in their organizations.
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, Heidi M. Parker, Martin Brett and Julie Higgins
In the current article, we extend the literature on fan identification and social identity theory by examining the effects of unscrupulous off-field behaviors of athletes. In doing so, we drew from both social identity theory and Heider’s balance theory to hypothesize a significant interaction between fan identification level and leadership response on fans’ subsequent levels of identification. An experimental study was performed and a 2 (high, low identification) × 2 (weak, strong leadership response) ANOVA was conducted with the pre to post difference score in team identification as the dependent variable. There was a significant interaction effect (F (2, 80) = 23.71, p < .001) which explained 23% of the variance in the difference between prepost test scores. The results provide evidence that unscrupulous acts by athletes off the field of play can impact levels of team identification, particularly for highly identified fans exposed to a weak leadership response. The results are discussed relative to appropriate theory. Practical implications and suggestions for future research are also forwarded.
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.