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Ted M. Butryn, Matthew A. Masucci and jay a. johnson

While most professional sports quickly postponed their seasons due to COVID-19, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) took a decidedly contrarian approach as president Dana White continued to promote UFC 249 until pressure forced its cancelation on April 9, 2020. Drawing from work on sport and spectacle and the media as well as sport management scholarship on crisis management, the authors provide a commentary on the mediated spectacle of White’s (eventually successful) efforts to promote UFC 249 during the pandemic. Drawing from numerous media sources, they discuss how White sought to control the public narrative in several key ways. The authors further explore how White decried the seriousness of the pandemic while centralizing the UFC’s place in the U.S. sporting landscape. Finally, the authors discuss how White’s efforts might both help and hinder the UFC as a mainstream sports promotion.

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Cole G. Armstrong, Theodore M. Butryn, Vernon L. Andrews and Matthew A. Masucci

In this critical essay, 4 sport scholars discuss critical teaching points gleaned while moderating 4 concurrent roundtable discussions on the intersections of sport, corporate social responsibility, and athlete activism. The roundtable groups comprised sport industry professionals from a variety of professional teams and leagues, as well as other corporate stakeholders located in the United States and in various international locations. The purpose of this essay is to distill the roundtable discussions for utilization in sport management classrooms through the explication of timely, practical, and operational key teaching points.