Higher education administrators have called on faculty to strategize ways in which to fill classroom seats, as well as recruit and retain diverse students. Understanding current student populations should be of increasing importance to sport management faculty as new programs are established at colleges and universities each year. A sample of 330 sport management students from introductory sport management courses at six different schools was surveyed to identify factors influencing their selection of a sport management major. Results indicate students select the sport management major because they have an interest in sport and working in the sport industry. Program quality and program convenience were also important selection factors. Women had lower salary perceptions and minority students had lower perceptions across most selection factors. Understanding these factors can help programs tailor their marketing and recruiting efforts in an effort to develop a more diverse classroom and workforce.
Meg G. Hancock and T. Christopher Greenwell
Meg G. Hancock, Alicia Cintron and Lindsey Darvin
In recent years, the field of sport management has witnessed a flurry of research on the career experiences of women in sport organizations. The perceived gendered nature of work and subsequent segregation of positions in a sport organization implies men and women pursue or align career paths based on gender. There are few studies, however, that explore how men and women select a career in sport management. This paper employed Vocational Anticipatory Socialization theory as a framework for exploring vocational interests, entry into intercollegiate athletic administration, and the role of gender in career selection. Thirty-four men and women serving in NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletic administration roles were interviewed. Findings suggested that social relationships, early career experiences, and career interests and values were critical factors in the socialization process. The position in which a person entered the field of intercollegiate athletics often dictated the career path. There is limited evidence that gender influenced career paths. Implications for practice and future research are also discussed.
Meg G. Hancock, Lindsey Darvin and Nefertiti A. Walker
Sport management undergraduate and graduate programs have gained popularity throughout the United States and around the world. Despite this, women are still underrepresented in sport leadership positions. Although women have made it to the highest levels of sport leadership roles, studies suggest that advancement to such roles is more challenging for women than for men. Extant literature examines perceptions of women employed in the sport industry but fails to consider perceptions of prospective employees, specifically women, with career aspirations in sport business. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate sport management students’ perceptions of barriers to women’s success and upward mobility in the sport industry using the Career Pathways Survey. Results suggest that female sport management students perceive barriers to advancement in the sport industry, whereas male students do not perceive that barriers exist for women. Practical implications for the sport management classroom include developing male advocates, gender diversity and inclusion in guest presentations, and intentional internship placement.
Megan B. Shreffler, Meg G. Hancock and Samuel H. Schmidt
Unlike traditional media, which frames female athletes in sexualized manners and in socially accepted roles such as mothers and girlfriends, user-controlled social-media Web sites allow female athletes to control the image and brand they wish to portray to the public. Using Goffman’s theory of self-presentation, the current study aimed to investigate how female athletes were portraying themselves via their Twitter avatar pictures. A total of 207 verified Twitter avatars of female athletes from 6 sports were examined through a content analysis. The avatars from each player were coded using the following themes: athlete as social being, athlete as promotional figure, “selfie,” athletic competence, ambivalence, “girl next door,” and “sexy babe.” The results revealed that athletic competence was the most common theme, followed by selfie and athlete as social being. Thus, when women have the opportunity to control their image through social media they choose to focus on their athletic identities.
T. Christopher Greenwell, Jason M. Simmons, Meg Hancock, Megan Shreffler and Dustin Thorn
This study utilizes an experimental design to investigate how different presentations (sexualized, neutral, and combat) of female athletes competing in a combat sport such as mixed martial arts, a sport defying traditional gender norms, affect consumers’ attitudes toward the advertising, event, and athlete brand. When the female athlete in the advertisement was in a sexualized presentation, male subjects reported higher attitudes toward the advertisement and the event than the female subjects. Female respondents preferred neutral presentations significantly more than the male respondents. On the one hand, both male and female respondents felt the fighter in the sexualized ad was more attractive and charming than the fighter in the neutral or combat ads and more personable than the fighter in the combat ads. On the other hand, respondents felt the fighter in the sexualized ad was less talented, less successful, and less tough than the fighter in the neutral or combat ads and less wholesome than the fighter in the neutral ad.