The authors examined the longitudinal development of team identification among stakeholders of a newly formed intercollegiate football team to empirically measure the impact of a new football team on university identification. Using a multidimensional approach to identification, data were collected over a 3-year period and analyzed using growth curve analysis to determine the changes and trajectories of the individual dimensions of identification related to both the new football team and the larger university. Conditional growth models were used to determine the percentage of change in university identification explained by changes in team identification—to test whether new team identification drives identification with the larger university. The presented findings allow for an improved understanding of the psychological impact of a new football team for the university community by using growth curve analysis, which provides a more detailed and accurate empirical examination of identification, rather than traditional two-wave cross-lagged designs. Implications of the longitudinal nature of identification and the psychological value of a new football team for the university are discussed.
Matthew Katz and Bob Heere
The authors explore the formation of a new brand community to increase our understanding of the development of particular social networks within this overall new community. An ethnographic study was conducted among four tailgating groups of a new college team during its inaugural season. The method was chosen to gain insight into how individual consumers interacted with each other and how these early interactions contributed to the development of a brand community. To examine these interactions, social network theory was used to examine the relationships between the individuals within a larger group setting. Adopting this theoretical approach allowed the authors to observe that newly created groups follow the principles of scale-free networks, where some consumers act as leaders and others as followers. The implications for both highly committed leaders and noncommittal followers within each social network are discussed.
Matthew Katz and Chad Seifried
Chad S. Seifried and Matthew Katz
Matthew Katz, Bob Heere, and E. Nicole Melton
The purpose of this study is to utilize egocentric network analysis to predict repurchase behaviors for college football season-ticket holders. Using a research approach grounded in network theory, we included the relational and behavioral characteristics of sport fans in a binomial regression model to predict renewal decisions among college football season-ticket holders. More specifically, we developed a model that incorporates the egocentric network variables, past behavior, and behavioral intentions to empirically test which consumer characteristics predict future behavior. Building on previous research emphasizing the role of socializing agents and social connections in sport fan consumption, through the use of egocentric network analysis, we examined the effects of social structure and social context on repurchasing decisions. Moreover, the present study is positioned within the larger discourse on season-ticket holders, as we aimed to add a network theory perspective to the existing research on season-ticket holder churn and renewal.
Matthew Katz, Nefertiti A. Walker, and Lauren C. Hindman
The purpose of this study is to examine and compare the informal networks of both senior woman administrators (SWAs) and athletic directors (ADs) within National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I institutions. Drawing on extant literature citing the underrepresentation of women in sport leadership positions, we incorporate a network approach to build and analyze affiliation networks of SWAs and ADs. Guided by the framework of Leadership in Networks, we argue that the social structures within which ADs and SWAs operate impact opportunities for leader emergence and leadership outcomes. By comparing the AD and SWA affiliation networks, we illustrate the differences in informal networks among men and women leaders in sport, highlighting how informal networks may contribute to the lack of women in sport leadership positions. Previous scholars have long cited an “old boys’ club” as a barrier to women achieving leadership positions, but we argue these studies have largely relied on dispositional evidence rather than methodological and analytical strategies designed specifically to examine relationships and the corresponding network structures. Our results indicate that the SWA network is far less cohesive than the AD networks, and the few women in the AD networks are largely located outside the center of the affiliation networks. Implications regarding the impact of informal networks on the underrepresented nature of women in leadership positions are discussed.
Aaron C. Mansfield, Matthew Katz, and Elizabeth B. Delia
Simultaneous to the sport industry’s economic surge, physical health has become an issue of growing societal concern. Fandom and health consciousness have concurrently emerged, yet scholars have not explored the social–psychological relationship between the two. To this end, we conducted semistructured, in-depth interviews with 17 self-identified health-conscious sport fans. We leverage identity theory to highlight these individuals’ “identity work.” Participants’ experiences were reflective of both identity conflict and identity integration. The outcome that manifested—conflict or integration—appeared to hinge on psychological and sociological variables. In sharing their stories, we contribute to a growing literature on role identity negotiation in sport fandom, in addition to providing insights on health-minded sport fans.
Matthew Katz, Thomas A. Baker III, and Hui Du
In this brand community analysis, the authors utilized both the social identity approach and network theory to examine the multiple identities and patterns of interactions among members of an official soccer supporters club. Based on the Multiple In-Group Identity Framework and the brand community triad, the authors differentiated between team and supporter club identity to explore how each affects consumption behaviors. Furthermore, the authors explored the nature of fan relationships based on network principles of multiplexity and homophily as they relate to consumption and socializing ties among fan club members. They also explored the network structure of the brand community. Using both network theory and network methodologies, the authors examined how the multiple identities and many relationships within the brand community affect the consumption behaviors of fan club members. Theoretical and practical implications were considered as they relate to sport consumer behavior and sport marketing.
Matthew Katz, Aaron C. Mansfield, and B. David Tyler
Sport management researchers have increasingly noted a relationship between sport spectatorship and well-being, with the line of inquiry predicated on transformative sport service research. In this study, the authors contribute to transformative sport service research by utilizing multilevel egocentric network analysis to examine the consumption networks of National Football League fans over the course of one season. The authors utilized a network theory approach to explore how emotional support is created and embedded within sport fans’ networks of interpersonal ties and social relationships. Through multilevel modeling, the authors highlighted how attributes of both the ego (i.e., focal actor) and alter (i.e., individual with whom ego shares a tie) affect emotional support. Previous studies of transformative sport service research and the link between well-being outcomes and sport spectatorship have implicitly examined only ego-level attributes (i.e., team identification), yet the present work suggests that emotional support depends on the interpersonal ties and network structures within which sport fans are embedded.
Theresa C. Hauge, Garrett E. Katz, Gregory P. Davis, Kyle J. Jaquess, Matthew J. Reinhard, Michelle E. Costanzo, James A. Reggia, and Rodolphe J. Gentili
Few studies have examined high-level motor plans underlying cognitive-motor performance during practice of complex action sequences. These investigations have assessed performance through fairly simple metrics without examining how practice affects the structures of action sequences. By adapting the Levenshtein distance (LD) method to the motor domain, we propose a computational approach to accurately capture performance dynamics during practice of action sequences. Practice performance dynamics were assessed by computing the LD based on the number of insertions, deletions, and substitutions of actions needed to transform any sequence into a reference sequence (having a minimal number of actions to complete the task). Also, combining LD-based performance with mental workload metrics allowed assessment of cognitive-motor efficiency dynamics. This approach was tested on the Tower of Hanoi task. The findings revealed that throughout practice this method could capture: i) action sequence performance improvements as indexed by a reduced LD (decrease of insertions and substitutions), ii) structural modifications of the high-level plans, iii) an attenuation of mental workload, and iv) enhanced cognitive-motor efficiency. This effort complements prior work examining the practice of complex action sequences in healthy adults and has potential for probing cognitive-motor impairment in clinical populations as well as the development/assessment of cognitive robotic controllers.