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Patrick Walsh and Antonio Williams

While athletes have been building and leveraging their brands for many years by introducing brand extensions, research on sport brand extensions has primarily focused on factors that influence the success of team-related extensions. However, as there is potential risk involved when introducing brand extensions, it is important for athletes to understand how consumers respond to extensions they may introduce. Through the use of self-administered web-based surveys this study provides the initial examination of this topic by exposing participants (n = 292) to hypothetical brand extensions and investigating factors that may influence perceived fit and attitudes toward athlete brand extensions. Partial least squares path modeling suggests that athlete prestige had the most significant effect on fit and attitudes for a brand extension that is considered to be a fit with an athlete’s image, while athlete attachment had the most influence on fit and attitudes for a brand extension with low perceived fit.

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Evan L. Frederick, Choong Hoon Lim, Galen Clavio and Patrick Walsh

An Internet-based survey was posted on the Twitter feeds and Facebook pages of 1 predominantly social and 1 predominantly parasocial athlete to ascertain the similarities and differences between their follower sets in terms of parasocial interaction development and follower motivations. Analysis of the data revealed a sense of heightened interpersonal closeness based on the interaction style of the athlete. While followers of the social athlete were driven by interpersonal constructs, followers of the parasocial athlete relied more on media conventions in their interaction patterns. To understand follower motivations, exploratory factor analyses were conducted for both follower sets. For followers of the social athlete, most of the interactivity, information-gathering, personality, and entertainment items loaded together. Unlike followers of the social athlete, fanship and community items loaded alongside information-gathering items for followers of the parasocial athlete. The implications of these and other findings are discussed further.

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Matthew Blaszka, Lauren M. Burch, Evan L. Frederick, Galen Clavio and Patrick Walsh

Sport organizations, teams, and athletes are growing constituencies that use socialmedia platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to engage in dialogue with their respective audiences. The purpose of this study was to examine Twitter hashtag use during a major sporting event. Specifically, this study analyzed #WorldSeries during the 2011 World Series. The study employed a content-analysis methodology to determine who was using the hashtag and how it was being used. Using systematic sampling, 1,450 tweets were analyzed. The results demonstrated that #WorldSeries was being used predominantly by laypersons to express fanship, as well as interactivity. When individuals were being interactive with this hashtag, they were doing so mainly with MLB/league officials and other laypersons. Most of these interactive tweets were also expressions of fanship. The implications of these findings are discussed further.

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Jonathan A. Jensen, Brian A. Turner, Jeffrey James, Chad McEvoy, Chad Seifried, Elizabeth Delia, T. Christopher Greenwell, Stephen Ross and Patrick Walsh

Published 4 decades ago, “Basking in Reflected Glory: Three (Football) Field Studies” (Cialdini et al., 1976) is the most influential study of sport consumer behavior. This article features re-creations of Studies 1 and 2, exactly 40 years after the original publication. The results of Study 1 were reproduced, with participants more than twice as likely to wear school-affiliated apparel after wins and 55% less likely after losses. The study also extends the BIRGing literature in its investigation of the influence of gender and the effect’s salience over time. Study 2’s results were not reproduced. However, study participants were significantly more likely to use first-person plural pronouns, providing further empirical evidence of BIRGing behaviors. This article makes a novel contribution to the sport consumer behavior literature by advancing the study of one of the field’s most foundational theories and serving as an impetus for future investigations of BIRGing motivations.