Kyle Bunds and Jonathan Casper
Danielle K. Smith and Jonathan Casper
COVID-19 has brought about an unprecedented time where a majority of major American sporting organizations have ceased competition. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) actions, historically an avenue for sport organizations to positively impact society, provide a compelling avenue of study during this time. While researchers have observed the role of CSR and crisis communication when the crisis arises from within the organization, there is a need to understand CSR shifts and responses when the crisis is on a societal level. This commentary examines efforts of major U.S. sport league CSR programs (National Basketball Association/Women's National Basketball Association, National Football League, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, and National Hockey League), starting in mid-March when the majority of organizations ceased competition. Data were gathered using a mixed-methods approach of qualitative interviews, secondary research, and social media sentiment analysis. Key findings included the emergence of two different approaches to CSR communication strategies among U.S. sport leagues as well as three clear themes of COVID-19-related communication: educate, assist, and inspire. In addition, this commentary provides an initial glance at consumer response to CSR programs, showing both positive and negative sentiment trends.
Jonathan Casper, Michael Pfahl, and Mark McSherry
The relationship of sport to sustainability management is relatively unknown. Despite the increasing recognition of the growing role of athletics in regard to environmental sustainability, it remains unclear what role athletics departments have with regard to environmental action and what is currently being done now. The purpose of this study is to examine American intercollegiate athletics department personnel in relation to their organization’s sustainability practices, organizational strategies, and personal perspectives at National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) universities. Athletics department members (N = 97) who were most responsible for sustainability initiatives responded to a survey designed to assess awareness levels and concern for environmental issues and the strategies and practices at work in their respective athletics departments. Findings based on prioritization, planning, decision-making, and use of initiatives using frequencies and means are reported. Differences, using t tests were also compared based on BCS or non-BCS standing. Results show that although environmental concern is high, there is disconnect between concern and action perhaps due to a lack of communication between the athletics department and the general university, cost concerns, and a lack of knowledge about sustainability initiatives. Implications related to the need for better communication between the athletics department/university and improved planning and prioritization is discussed.
Jonathan M. Casper and Jung-Hwan Jeon
The purpose of this study was to examine psychological connection to the sport of pickleball by investigating active older adults (55 years and older) in relation to behavioral involvement and motives for participation. Data were collected via an online survey of a representative sample of active pickleball players in North Carolina (N = 690). The psychological continuum model (PCM) categorized players into four distinct connection levels of Awareness, Attraction, Attachment, and Allegiance. Participants on each PCM level were analyzed based on playing length, play frequency, and motivations for participation (Competition, Diversion, Fitness, Skill Mastery, and Socialization). Results showed respondents at the highest PCM levels have played pickleball for at least 1 year and play at least 10 times per month. Although Fitness and Socialization were reported as the most important motives for the entire sample, Competition and Skill Mastery were viewed significantly higher for respondents at higher PCM levels.
Jonathan M. Casper and Michael E. Pfahl
This study examined the values, beliefs, and norms of undergraduate sport management and recreation administration student’s related to environmental awareness and personal actions utilizing Stern’s (2000) value-belief-norm (VBN) framework. Students (N = 341) in sport-related programs at two universities completed the survey. Structural equation modeling found the VBN framework explained both personal and organizational environmental behavior. Values were a significant predictor of environmental beliefs. Beliefs significantly explained personal norms, but not behavior. Personal norms were the strongest indicator for proenvironmental action and predicted personal and organizational conservation behavior equally. This study extends research related to environmental behavior and provides a departure point to improve understandings of the current foundational environmental perspectives held by future sport and recreation managers.
Jason Bocarro, Michael A. Kanters, Jonathan Casper, and Scott Forrester
The purpose of this article is to examine the role of school-based extracurricular initiatives in facilitating immediate and long-term positive impact on physical activity, healthy behavior, and obesity in children. A critique of the role of various sports-related initiatives that have been developed to address the obesity epidemic currently facing children within the United States is provided, with a specific emphasis on intramural sports as a preferred mechanism to encourage long-term involvement in sport and physically active pursuits. The article presents support for the notion that a physical education curriculum that includes intramurals before, during, and after school can help children learn the skills to enjoy participation in a variety of sports designed to facilitate lifelong active living.
Katharine Kelley, Michelle G. Harrolle, and Jonathan M. Casper
Game day spending is critical for National Hockey League (NHL) teams’ profitability as nearly half the NHL franchises generate more than two-thirds of their annual income from ticket sales. The purpose of our study was to analyze financial data for 123 regular season home games to understand the influence of day of week, special promotions, opponent, month in season, time of game, and season on ticket sales, merchandise per cap sales, and food and beverage per cap sales for a NHL team. Ordinary Least Squares regression results revealed that the game day variables included in the models explained 52% of the variance in ticket sales, 70% of the variance in merchandise per cap sales, and 48% of the variance in food and beverage per cap sales (p < .05). Findings provide practical implications for teams who hope to maximize game day revenue.
Jonathan M. Casper, Jason N. Bocarro, Michael A. Kanters, and Myron F. Floyd
Organized sport is viewed as a viable medium for promoting more physical activity among youth. However, participation in youth sport declines significantly among both boys and girls during their middle school years. This study examined middle school students’ perceived constraints to sport participation.
Middle school students from 4 schools (6th−8th grade, N = 2465) completed a web based survey (97.3% response rate). Descriptive analysis, t tests, and ANOVA were used to assess extent of perceived constraints and differences among demographic and sport participation level subgroups.
The most salient constraint perceived by respondents was time, while knowledge was perceived as the lowest among the overall sample. Significant (P < .01) differences in perceived constraints were found among all comparisons groups. Girls, Latinos, lower SES students, and students who did not play sports reported more constraints than respective comparisons groups.
The sociodemographic characteristics of middle school students appear to be a significant factor in their perception of constraints to sport participation. Identifying constraints associated with sport participation can enable policy-makers and administrators to be more deliberate in channeling resources.