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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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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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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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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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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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Eric Tsz-Chun Poon, John O’Reilly, Sinead Sheridan, Michelle Mingjing Cai and Stephen Heung-Sang Wong

Weight-making practices, regularly engaged in by horse racing jockeys, have been suggested to impair both physiological and mental health. This study aimed to assess bone health markers, nutritional intake, bone-specific physical activity (PA) habits, and quality of life of professional jockeys in Hong Kong (n = 14), with gender-, age-, and body mass index-matched controls (n = 14). Anthropometric measurements, serum hormonal biomarkers, bone mineral density, bone-specific PA habits, nutritional intake, and quality of life were assessed in all participants. The jockey group displayed significantly lower bone mineral density at both calcanei than the control group (left: 0.50 ± 0.06 vs. 0.63 ± 0.07 g/cm2; right: 0.51 ± 0.07 vs. 0.64 ± 0.10 g/cm2, both ps < .01). Thirteen of the 14 jockeys (93%) showed either osteopenia or osteoporosis in at least one of their calcanei. No significant difference in bone mineral density was detected for either forearm between the groups. The current bone-specific PA questionnaire score was lower in the jockey group than the control group (5.61 ± 1.82 vs. 8.27 ± 2.91, p < .05). Daily energy intake was lower in the jockeys than the controls (1,360 ± 515 vs. 1,985 ± 1,046 kcal/day, p < .01). No significant group difference was found for micronutrient intake assessed by the bone-specific food frequency questionnaire, blood hormonal markers, and quality of life scores. Our results revealed suboptimal bone conditions at calcanei and insufficient energy intake and bone-loading PAs among professional jockeys in Hong Kong compared with healthy age-, gender-, and body mass index-matched controls. Further research is warranted to examine the effect of improved bone-loading PAs and nutritional habits on the musculoskeletal health of professional jockeys.

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Mark S. Tremblay, Silvia A. Gonzalez, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Vincent O. Onywera and John. J. Reilly

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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.

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Mark S. Tremblay, Silvia A. Gonzalez, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Vincent O. Onywera, John J. Reilly and Grant Tomkinson

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Mark S. Tremblay, Joel D. Barnes, Silvia A. González, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Vincent O. Onywera, John J. Reilly, Grant R. Tomkinson and the Global Matrix 2.0 Research Team

The Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance organized the concurrent preparation of Report Cards on the physical activity of children and youth in 38 countries from 6 continents (representing 60% of the world’s population). Nine common indicators were used (Overall Physical Activity, Organized Sport Participation, Active Play, Active Transportation, Sedentary Behavior, Family and Peers, School, Community and the Built Environment, and Government Strategies and Investments), and all Report Cards were generated through a harmonized development process and a standardized grading framework (from A = excellent, to F = failing). The 38 Report Cards were presented at the International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health in Bangkok, Thailand on November 16, 2016. The consolidated findings are summarized in the form of a Global Matrix demonstrating substantial variation in grades both within and across countries. Countries that lead in certain indicators often lag in others. Average grades for both Overall Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior around the world are D (low/poor). In contrast, the average grade for indicators related to supports for physical activity was C. Lower-income countries generally had better grades on Overall Physical Activity, Active Transportation, and Sedentary Behaviors compared with higher-income countries, yet worse grades for supports from Family and Peers, Community and the Built Environment, and Government Strategies and Investments. Average grades for all indicators combined were highest (best) in Denmark, Slovenia, and the Netherlands. Many surveillance and research gaps were apparent, especially for the Active Play and Family and Peers indicators. International cooperation and cross-fertilization is encouraged to address existing challenges, understand underlying determinants, conceive innovative solutions, and mitigate the global childhood inactivity crisis. The paradox of higher physical activity and lower sedentary behavior in countries reporting poorer infrastructure, and lower physical activity and higher sedentary behavior in countries reporting better infrastructure, suggests that autonomy to play, travel, or chore requirements and/or fewer attractive sedentary pursuits, rather than infrastructure and structured activities, may facilitate higher levels of physical activity.