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Kyriaki Kaplanidou, Jeremy S. Jordan, Daniel Funk and Lynn L. Ridinger

Hosting recurring sport events can be a solution for sustainable tourism development resulting in destination loyalty and higher place attachment levels. This study proposes active event sport tourists may include in their destination perceptions a number of destination and event attributes, given the direct association of the event with the place. The feasibility of the convergence of event and destination image attributes in one scale was explored and that scale’s influence on place attachment and on specific active sport tourists’ behaviors was examined. Data were collected from sport event tourist participants (n = 2,015) at a recurring marathon event via an online survey. Exploratory factor analysis confirmed the factor structure of destination image to include event characteristics. Regression analysis was used to test the impact of destination image factors on behavioral intentions and place attachment and supported the predictive validity of destination image factors. Implications for event and destination marketers are discussed.

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Stephen L. Shapiro, Lynn L. Ridinger and Galen T. Trail

The growth of college sport over the last several years, combined with increased competition for the sport consumer dollar, has created a need to understand spectator consumption behavior. In addition, the impact of a new football program can generate interest that influences future spectator spending decisions. Using identity theory as a framework, the current study examined the differential effects of past sport consumer behaviors on various future sport consumer intentions within the context of a new college football program. Consumption intentions included attendance, sponsor support, and merchandise purchases. Furthermore, this investigation helped to determine how much variance past behaviors would explain in behavioral intentions after controlling for nine points of attachment. Data were collected from spectators of a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) football program located in the Mid-Atlantic region. The findings suggest past behavior predicted future intentions; however, the amount of variance explained varied dramatically depending on specific past behaviors and points of attachment. These results can help sport marketers develop strategies to capitalize on the interest generated through new athletic programs.

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Lisa A. Kihl, Tim DeSchriver and Lynn Ridinger

Edited by Lucie Thibault

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Tim DeSchriver, Mark Lyberger, Lynn Ridinger and Lucie Thibault

Edited by Lucie Thibault

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Michelle L. Redmond, Lynn L. Ridinger and Frederick L. Battenfield

Opportunities for girls and women to participate in sports have been increasing since the enactment of Title IX; however, the media attention given to female athletes and women’s sports has lagged behind. Media coverage of female athletes has been investigated extensively in newspapers and magazines; however, few studies have examined the attention given to women’s sports on the Internet.

This study focused on one sports news website to examine and compared the coverage of female and male athletes and coaches in one specific sport, college basketball. A content analysis was conducted on ESPN.com during the 2007 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments. Results showed that women and men do not receive the same attention on the main page; however, equity was evident when the webpage for women’s college basketball was compared to the webpage for men’s college basketball.

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Ketra Armstrong, Tim DeSchriver, Lynn L. Ridinger and Lucie Thibault

Edited by Lucie Thibault

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Lynn L. Ridinger, Kyungun R. Kim, Stacy Warner and Jacob K. Tingle

Building on the current sport officiating research, this study puts forth the Referee Retention Scale. Through a three-phase process, the researchers developed a valid and reliable scale to predict sport officials’ job satisfaction and intention to continue. The first phase consisted of instrument development, whereas the second phase included field testing of referees (n = 253). After exploratory factor analysis and Rasch analysis, the resultant refined scale from Phases 1 and 2 was then administered to 979 referees in Phase 3. Phase 3 results using confirmatory factor analysis indicated that the seven-factor, 28-item Referee Retention Scale was a valid and reliable tool for measuring and predicting referee retention. The results highlight the importance of considering a variety of factors associated with the referee experience, which include administrator consideration, intrinsic motives, mentoring, remuneration, sense of community, lack of stress, and continuing education. A discussion on how the Referee Retention Scale can help administrators manage and retain sport officials is included.

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Brendan O’Hallarn, Stephen L. Shapiro, Marion E. Hambrick, D.E. Wittkower, Lynn Ridinger and Craig A. Morehead

Popular social media platforms have faced recent criticism because of the tendency for users to exhibit strongly negative behaviors, threatening the open, prodemocratic discourse that proponents believe was made possible when social media sites first gained widespread adoption a decade ago. A conceptual model suggests that the microblogging site Twitter, and especially sport-themed debate through hashtags, can still realize these ideals. Analyzing a dataset of tweets about the firing of former Major League Baseball pitcher Curt Schilling by ESPN on April 20, 2016, as well as a qualitative questionnaire given to the users of the hashtag, this study attempted to ascertain how closely the discourse comes to realizing the ideal of the Habermasian public sphere. The findings demonstrate that although users draw value from participation in the discussion, they are less inclined to desire interaction with other hashtag users, particularly those who disagree with them. This suggests that Twitter hashtags provide an open forum that approaches the participatory requirement of the public sphere, but the lack of back-and-forth engagement suggests the medium is not ideal for the generation of deliberative public opinion.