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Gashaw Abeza, Norm O’Reilly and John Nadeau

Sport and communication have existed since humans began interacting with one another, with organized sport and planned communication formalized for hundreds of years. However, social science scholars have only taken a high-level of interest in sport communication over the past decade. Over the past 10 years, much has been written and researched in the field, and its formalization continues, justifying a need for a review of its current status and the articulation of its future directions. Thus, this article identifies and critically discusses the developments in the field of sport communication in terms of its academic infrastructures and the resulting body of knowledge. It also assesses how the field’s developments are affecting scholarly advancements and identifies areas of “disciplinary pain.” The work concludes by providing suggestions for future research.

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John Nadeau, Ann Pegoraro, D. Floyd Jones, Norm O’Reilly and Paulo Carvalho

This paper reports on an investigation of racial-ethnic congruency among professional sport teams and their local markets. The study empirically tested the relationship between racial-ethnic team-market congruence and market support. Results of the research provide some support for the relevance of team and market congruency in the marketing of professional sport. Although varying by city, by North American professional sport league, and by racial-ethnic community, the results demonstrate that consumers have noticed and used their own reflections in professional baseball teams to influence their level of team support.

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John Nadeau, Norm O’Reilly, Erdinc Cakmak, Louise Heslop and Sonja Verwey

In this paper, the authors address a literature gap with regard to sponsorship outcomes of mega-events and their host countries. This paper is about research that investigates the interrelatedness of three important images—host country, mega-event, and sponsor images—from the perspective of a cameo appearance building on the sponsorship and brand placement literature. It is based on the premise that the host city makes a cameo appearance during a mega-event for sport tourists while the event itself makes a cameo appearance for residents of the host country. The results indicate that mega-events can have a transitory influence, and that cameo effects exist, but that the patterns of relationships are different for sport tourists and residents.

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Anahit Armenakyan, Norm O’Reilly, Louise Heslop, John Nadeau and Irene R. R. Lu

The hosting of a mega–sport event (MSE) has a number of implications for a host country, some positive and some negative. This research explores the influence of the on-field performance of the host country’s national team (NT), in this case for the Olympic Games, on the decision to bid for and potentially host such an MSE. Previous studies have normally focused on residents and international tourists who attend the event, thereby not considering the views of (i) nonresident communities of the host country and (ii) international and domestic spectators. This research responds by investigating the impact of individual associations with the (Olympic) NT through examining the expectations for and perceived performance of the NT on behavioral attitudes of domestic (Canadian) and foreign (American) residents toward the NT itself, the MSE, and the host country, around the 2010 Winter Vancouver Olympic Games.

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Norm O’Reilly, Mark Lyberger, Larry McCarthy, Benoît Séguin and John Nadeau

Mega-special-event properties (sponsees) have the ability to attain significant resources through sponsorship by offering exclusive promotional opportunities that target sizeable consumer markets and attract sponsors. The Super Bowl, one of the most watched television programs in the world, was selected as the mega-special-event for this study as it provides a rare environment where a portion of the television audience tunes in specifically for the purpose of watching new and entertaining commercials. A longitudinal analysis of consumer opinion related to the 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006 Super Bowls provides empirical evidence that questions the ability of Super Bowl sponsorship to influence the sales of sponsor offerings. Results pertaining to consumers’ intent to purchase sponsors’ products—one of the most sought after metrics in relating sponsorship effectiveness to sales—demonstrate that levels of intent-to-purchase inspired by sponsorship of the Super Bowl is relatively low and, most importantly, that increases are not being achieved over time. These findings have implications for both mega-sponsees and their sponsors as well as media enterprise diffusing mega-special-events.

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Gashaw Abeza, David Finch, Norm O’Reilly, Eric MacIntosh and John Nadeau

Adopting an integrative literature review approach, this study synthesized sport relationship marketing (SRM) articles to gain insight into how relationship marketing in sport-related studies is presently understood, interpreted, and utilized. Informed by two decades of SRM literature, we synthesized our findings into a conceptual model that presents the systematic dimensions of SRM. This model transforms the theoretical contributions of the field’s scholars into actionable insights for both scholars and practitioners’ use. The work concludes by identifying specific future research to test and refine the proposed SRM model.