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Jaime R. DeLuca and Jessica Braunstein-Minkove

Experiential learning has become a driving force of universities around the world, and is a crucial part of many sport management programs. This is particularly true given the competitive nature of the field and the rapid changes the industry continuously faces. This work seeks to reexamine the sport management curricula to ensure a progression and evolution toward a superior level of student preparedness for their internship experiences. Through the use of both quantitative and qualitative methods, our major findings recommend a focus on academic, experiential, and professional development. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed along with limitations and directions for further investigation.

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Gashaw Abeza, Norm O’Reilly, and Jessica R. Braunstein-Minkove

Relational perspectives have influenced marketing theory and practice over the past 40 years, with a volume of relationship marketing (RM) research accumulating over this time. In sport management specifically, a number of RM research articles have been published since the late 1990s. Although an influx has been seen, a review of said literature informs us that RM is a diverse field with no single best explanation, no clear domain and scope, and no universally accepted definition and that, most particularly, the literature is a melting pot of various concepts. This circumstance creates frustration and confusion among new researchers. Additionally, as strategic communication strategies rely on clear and consistent messaging, it is pivotal to holistically address the issue. Therefore, adopting an integrative literature review approach, this commentary revisits the RM scholarship to present, brings attention to the complex nature of the RM literature, and identifies a point of departure for researchers attempting to find a fitting “home” for their research.

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Beth A. Cianfrone, Jessica R. Braunstein-Minkove, and Alyssa L. Tavormina

Sport executives concerned with maximizing ticket sales often explore different communication channels to reach potential consumers. Advertising and selling discounted tickets through daily deals (e.g., Groupon and Living Social) is an increasingly popular method, yet there is little research on the extent to which sport organizations are using daily deals. A mixed-method design was employed to examine sport organizations’ use of daily deals, including how sport daily deals are most commonly used and the rationale for their use. In Phase 1, a content analysis of Groupon and LivingSocial daily deals e-mailed over 31 days in 11 U.S. cities provided a framework for exploring the types, frequency, and characteristics of sport ticketing deals. In Phase 2, the perspectives of 7 sport-organization executives served as guiding metrics in developing a deeper understanding of daily-deal usage. Findings can inform sport marketers’ ticketing and promotional strategies and provide a basis for theoretical daily-deal application.

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Joon Sung Lee, Dae Hee Kwak, and Jessica R. Braunstein-Minkove

Athlete endorsers’ transgressions pose a dilemma for loyal fans who have established emotional attachments toward the individual. However, little is known regarding how fans maintain their support for the wrongdoer. Drawing on moral psychology and social identity theory, the current study proposes and examines a conceptual model incorporating athlete identification, moral emotions, moral reasoning strategies, and consumer evaluations. By using an actual scandal involving an NFL player (i.e., Ray Rice), the results show that fan identification suppresses the experience of negative moral emotions but facilitates fans’ moral disengagement processes, which enables fans to support the wrongdoer. Moreover, negative moral emotions motivate the moral coupling process. Findings contribute to the sport consumer behavior literature that highly identified fans seem to regulate negative emotions but deliberately select moral disengagement reasoning strategies to maintain their positive stance toward the wrongdoer and associated brands.

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Gashaw Abeza, Mads Quist Boesen, Norm O’Reilly, and Jessica R. Braunstein-Minkove

The case presents a challenging decision that the new Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) President faced with the Qatar 2022 World Cup. Specifically, the issues surround the agreement that the President signed a year after his election with Qatar Airways and the allegations made against the 2022 World Cup host country, Qatar, for human rights violations and state-sponsored terrorism. Right after the allegation was made against Qatar, the President formed an advisory group to help prepare him to make a rational decision on the case. You have been appointed as the members of the advisory board that is tasked with investigating and making recommendations on the President’s challenge of keeping his campaign promises of restoring FIFA’s image and raising more money for the federation.

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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.