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Michael L. Naraine

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Michael L. Naraine

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Michael L. Naraine

The sport industry has experienced significant technological change in its environment with the recent rise of Bitcoin and its underlying foundation, blockchain. Accordingly, the purpose of this paper is to introduce and conceptually ground blockchain in sport and discuss the implications and value proposition of blockchain to the sport industry. After a brief overview of blockchain and the technology stack, the mechanism is conceptually rooted in the network paradigm, a framework already known to the academic sport community. This treatment argues that the decentralized, closed, and dense mesh network produced by blockchain technology is beneficial to the sport industry. Notably, the article identifies blockchain’s capacity to facilitate new sources of revenue and improve data management and suggests that sport management and communication consider the value of blockchain and the technology stack as the digital footprint in the industry intensifies and becomes increasingly complex.

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Lynley Ingerson and Michael L. Naraine

This case study explores the elements of fit between individuals, job opportunities, an NBA franchise, and its environment. Developing the right job descriptions for attracting a talented team of sport managers to Buffalo, who are capable of managing the highly competitive Buffalo Braves basketball franchise, is fundamental to getting the fit right. The focus of this case includes exploring motives and rewards for the various management roles devised, understanding the concept of ‘fit’ in hiring talented and innovative sport managers, developing clear responsibilities, and effectively aligning the expectations within a psychological contract between each new management role and organization at the Buffalo Braves.

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Lynley Ingerson and Michael L. Naraine

In early 2018, Cricket Australia, the national governing body for cricket in Australia, experienced a critical incident when men’s national test athletes were caught in a ball tampering scandal known as “Sandpaper-gate.” As the “custodians of the game,” integrity and culture are extremely important, and the incident was the catalyst for the organization to hire a new Integrity Manager. This case study concentrates on the story of Patrick Murphy, the new, fictitious hire at Cricket Australia tasked with helping to rebuild the organization’s ethical culture. After learning of Patrick’s past sport experiences, the narrative reveals additional non-fictitious elements that have emanated over the course of the past few years, which are affecting the organization’s present culture. After learning about the doping, human resource management, sex and diversity, and athlete management issues, Patrick is tasked with performing a culture audit and reporting back to his superiors. This case study offers a contemporary context in which to discuss ethics and culture in sport, notably from a large, non-North American sport organization.

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Emily Stadder and Michael L. Naraine

Worldwide, sports gambling is a multibillion-dollar industry. Despite the industry’s size and success, little research has been conducted on sport-gambling operators (SGOs), and no research has examined their presence on social media. As such, this exploratory study aimed to examine the social media habits of SGOs through a relationship-marketing lens. To do so, 16,466 tweets were collected from the Twitter accounts of six Australian SGOs, with descriptive statistics from tweets presented and Leximancer performing automated thematic analyses. Results indicated that SGOs are discussing professionalized sport, influencers, and subbrands, as well as extensively making use of hashtags and mentions. Given these results, the strategies that SGOs are using to communicate and interact with their consumers focuses particularly on a North American professional-sport and horseracing context. This research contributes to the growing understanding of social media stakeholders in sport and provides an initial starting point for future research on SGOs given the recent legalization of sports gambling in the United States.

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Michael L. Naraine, Benoît Séguin and Eric MacIntosh

In this case study, students are exposed to the issue of stakeholder management through the lens of the National Football League (NFL), using a contemporary example of ambush marketing and player endorsement deals as the primary context. The case depicts nonfictitious events that involve players and their disdain for league policies regarding donning brands and products that violate exclusivity agreements the league has with other companies. After identifying the origins of the circumstances, the case profiles the three principal stakeholder groups involved (i.e., the players, the ambushed sponsor, and the focal organization) through their respective leaders (i.e., DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL players association, Bob Maresca, president of Bose Corporation, and Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the NFL). Using fictitious commentary, the case culminates with the three actors utilizing the services of a sports consultancy firm as they work together to determine the best course of action. Learning objectives include understanding collegiality in a professional setting, and mitigating conflicting sponsorship strategies.

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Melissa Davies, Michael L. Naraine and Brandon Mastromartino

This case asks participants to take on the role of a brand consultant, working for the fictional brand management firm, BrandNew, to advise on the branding of a new National Hockey League (NHL) franchise. The consultant will need to identify the strengths and weaknesses in the brand equity for three previous NHL expansion or relocation teams (i.e., Vegas Golden Knights, Winnipeg Jets, Carolina Hurricanes) in order to understand what goes into selecting an effective team name, color scheme, logo, mascot, and how to socially integrate into the host city market. Consultants will then make recommendations for the NHL’s next expansion team in Seattle, Washington, so as to build sustained brand equity in the Seattle market.

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Michael L. Naraine and Milena M. Parent

The purpose of this study was to examine national sport organizations’ (NSOs’) social networks on Twitter to explore followership between users, thereby illuminating powerful and central actors in a digital environment. Using a stratified, convenience sample, followership between the ego (i.e., NSO) and its alters (i.e., stakeholders) were noted in square, one-mode sociomatrices for the Fencing Canada (381 × 381) and Luge Canada (1026 × 1026) networks on Twitter. Using social network analysis to analyze the data for network density, average ties, Bonacich beta centrality, and core–periphery structure, the results indicate fans, elite athletes, photographers, competing sport organizations, and local clubs are some of the key stakeholders with large amounts of power. Though salient users, such as sponsors and international sport federations, are also present in the network core, NSOs seem better able to increase visibility of their content by targeting smaller scale users. The findings imply managers may wish to reflect upon how these advantaged users can be incorporated into their social communication strategies and how scholarship should continue examining followership as well as content in online settings.