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Richard M. Southall and Mark S. Nagel

Over the past few years the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I women’s basketball tournament has drawn larger crowds, generated increased television ratings, and attracted higher levels of advertising spending. Division I women’s basketball is now viewed as the women’s “revenue” sport. In light of the limited analysis of the organizational conditions that frame college-sport broadcast production, this case study examines the impact of influential actors on the representation process of big-time college-basketball telecasts. Using a mixed-method approach, this article investigates production conditions and processes involved in producing women’s basketball tournament broadcasts, examines the extent to which these broadcasts are consistent with the NCAA’s educational mission, and considers the dominant institutional logic that underpins their reproduction. In so doing, this case study provides a critical examination of women’s basketball tournament broadcasts and how such broadcasts constitute, and are constituted by, choices in television production structures and practices.

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Mark S. Nagel and Lynn W. McGee

In 2002, the state of South Carolina authorized the University of South Carolina Beaufort (USCB) to alter its role and mission from a two-year college to a four-year, baccalaureate-granting institution. As part of its desire to become a “full-service” university, USCB planned to begin intercollegiate athletic competition by 2007. In addition to launching the athletic department, USCB needed to select a mascot and logo that would be appropriate not only for the new athletic department, but also for the two-campus institution that was located in the beautiful South Carolina Sea Islands. Rather than simply have the chancellor or the new athletic director select the mascot and color scheme, USCB formed a mascot selection committee comprised of various on and off-campus stakeholders who utilized survey research to solicit a wide variety of potential mascot choices before undertaking its evaluations and making its final recommendation. This case provides details regarding USCB’s mascot selection process and poses a variety of questions for students to contemplate when making athletic branding decisions.

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Richard M. Southall, Mark S. Nagel, John M. Amis, and Crystal Southall

As the United States’ largest intercollegiate athletic event, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I men’s basketball tournament consistently generates high television ratings and attracts higher levels of advertising spending than the Super Bowl or the World Series. Given the limited analysis of the organizational conditions that frame these broadcasts’ production, this study examines the impact of influential actors on the representation process. Using a mixed-method approach, this paper investigates production conditions and processes involved in producing a sample (n = 31) of NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament broadcasts, examines the extent to which these broadcasts are consistent with the NCAA’s educational mission, and considers the dominant institutional logic that underpins their reproduction. In so doing, this analysis provides a critical examination of the 2006 NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament broadcasts, and how such broadcasts constitute, and are constituted by, choices in television production structures and practices.

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Daniel A. Rascher, Mark S. Nagel, Matthew T. Brown, and Chad D. McEvoy

A fundamental belief in professional sport leagues is that competitive balance is needed to maximize demand and revenues; therefore, leagues have created policies attempting to attain proper competitive balance. Further, research posits that objectives of professional sport teams’ owners include some combination of winning and profit maximization. Although the pursuit of wins is a zero sum game, revenue generation and potential profit making is not. This article focuses upon the National Football League’s potential unintended consequences of creating the incentive for some teams to free ride on the rest of the league’s talent and brand. It examines whether an owner’s objectives to generate increased revenues and profits are potentially enhanced by operating as a continual low-cost provider while making money from the shared revenues and brand value of the league. The present evidence indicates that, overall, being a low-cost provider is more profitable than increasing player salaries in an attempt to win additional games.

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Daniel A. Rascher, Chad D. McEvoy, Mark S. Nagel, and Matthew T. Brown

Sport teams historically have been reluctant to change ticket prices during the season. Recently, however, numerous sport organizations have implemented variable ticket pricing in an effort to maximize revenues. In Major League Baseball variable pricing results in ticket price increases or decreases depending on factors such as quality of the opponent, day of the week, month of the year, and for special events such as opening day, Memorial Day, and Independence Day. Using censored regression and elasticity analysis, this article demonstrates that variable pricing would have yielded approximately $590,000 per year in additional ticket revenue for each major league team in 1996, ceteris paribus. Accounting for capacity constraints, this amounts to only about a 2.8% increase above what occurs when prices are not varied. For the 1996 season, the largest revenue gain would have been the Cleveland Indians, who would have generated an extra $1.4 million in revenue. The largest percentage revenue gain would have been the San Francisco Giants. The Giants would have seen an estimated 6.7% increase in revenue had they used optimal variable pricing.

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Richard M. Southall, E. Woodrow Eckard, Mark S. Nagel, and Morgan H. Randall

Within the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and Division I men’s basketball many profit-athletes travel to Predominately White Institution (PWI) work sites for “pre-professional” sport opportunities. At most PWIs the Black male student population is less than ten percent, while football and men’s basketball rosters are overwhelmingly comprised of Black athletes. This study—using multiple regression models—examines the relationship between athletic success and profit-athletes’ graduation rates. The main dependent variable is the Adjusted Graduation Gap (AGG) as a measure of academic success. Results indicated Black profit-athletes who play for the most successful FBS football and NCAA D-I men’s basketball programs graduate at significantly lower rates than full-time male students. However, at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Black football and men’s basketball players graduate at higher rates than full-time male students.

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Hua Gong, Nicholas M. Watanabe, Brian P. Soebbing, Matthew T. Brown, and Mark S. Nagel

The use of big data in sport and sport management research is increasing in popularity. Prior research generally includes one of the many characteristics of big data, such as volume or velocity. The present study presents big data in a multidimensional lens by considering the use of sentiment analysis. Specifically focusing on the phenomenon of tanking, the purposeful underperformance in sport competitions, the present study considers the impact that consumers’ sentiment regarding tanking has on game attendance in the National Basketball Association. Collecting social media posts for each National Basketball Association team, the authors create an algorithm to measure the volume and sentiment of consumer discussions related to tanking. These measures are included in a predictive model for National Basketball Association home game attendance between the 2013–2014 and 2017–2018 seasons. Our results find that the volume of discussions for the home team and sentiment toward tanking by the away team impact game attendance.