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Stephen D. Ross

Despite the general understanding that spectator sport is a service-oriented product, sport brand equity research has overwhelmingly relied on models pertaining to physical goods and has been slow to acknowledge service marketing principles and the unique characteristics of team sport in understanding this topic. This article proposes a framework for the development of spectator-based brand equity by which the characteristics of spectator sports are recognized through organization, market, and experience-induced antecedents that contribute to spectator-based brand equity. It is suggested that the key components of brand equity for spectator sports consist of brand awareness and brand associations, and the result of these components is revealed in a set of consequences contributing to the value of a sport brand.

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Megan B. Shreffler and Stephen D. Ross

Word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing has the potential to effectively contribute to revenue generation as sport organizations continue to create and implement marketing strategies to build and maintain relationships with consumers. While there has been a plethora of research on WOM marketing in the general business literature, the magnitude of the phenomenon must be examined separately in a sport setting because of the uniqueness of sport fans as consumers. This study examined the effect of the transference of personal experiences through WOM activity on brand associations, team identification, and the behavioral intentions of college basketball fans. Through a 4-stage data-collection approach in which both positive and negative messages were used, it was found that WOM activity has a significant impact on some of the measured constructs. The results of the study suggest that negative WOM has a greater impact on consumers than positive WOM, providing significant theoretical and managerial implications.

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Sheldon Hanton, Ross Wadey and Stephen D. Mellalieu

This study examined the use of four advanced psychological strategies (i.e., simulation training, cognitive restructuring, preperformance routines, and overlearning of skills) and subsequent competitive anxiety responses. Semistructured interviews were employed with eight highly elite athletes from a number of team and individual sports. Participants reported using each strategy to enable them to interpret their anxiety-response as facilitative to performance. Only cognitive restructuring and overlearning of skills were perceived by the participants to exert an influence over the intensity of cognitive symptoms experienced. The perceived causal mechanisms responsible for these effects included heightened attentional focus, increased effort and motivation, and perceived control over anxiety-related symptoms. These findings have implications for the practice of sport psychology with athletes debilitated by competitive anxiety in stressful situations.

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Stephen D. Ross, Jeffrey D. James and Patrick Vargas

The Team Brand Association Scale (TBAS), which is intended to measure professional sport team brand associations, was developed through the use of a free-thought listing technique in combination with a confirmatory factor analysis procedure. Information was provided by individuals regarding their favorite sports team, and 11 dimensions underlying professional sport team brand associations were identified: nonplayer personnel, team success, team history, stadium community, team play characteristics, brand mark, commitment, organizational attributes, concessions, social interaction, and rivalry. Review of the TBAS psychometric properties indicated that eight dimensions had acceptable reliabilities (Cronbach’s alpha scores ranging from .76-.90), as well as content validity (verified by a 3-member expert panel review), discriminant validity (based on correlations among latent constructs and their standard errors), concurrent validity (significant correlations with an external measure), and construct validity.

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Stephen D. Ross, Keith C. Russell and Hyejin Bang

Few studies in the branding literature have approached brand equity from the sport perspective, and even fewer studies focus on the construct from the consumer viewpoint. The purpose of the current research was to empirically test the spectator-based brand equity (SBBE) model. Using a sample from professional basketball consumers, the results of the study show that the 49-item, 13-construct model has a reasonable fit to the data. The study extends the understanding of sport brand equity from the consumer perspective by presenting empirical support for the model. Several managerial implications are offered as a result of the findings.

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Brendan Cropley, Lee Baldock, Stephen D. Mellalieu, Rich Neil, Christopher Robert David Wagstaff and Ross Wadey

This study aimed to gain an insight into the general coping strategies used by sport psychology consultants (SPCs) based in the UK, and an in-depth understanding of their development and impact. To achieve these aims a mixed-method approach was adopted by means of two linked studies. In study one, BASES accredited and/or BPS chartered SPCs (n = 29) completed the modified COPE inventory (Crocker & Graham, 1995) to gain a better understanding of the general coping strategies used by practitioners. In study two, follow-up interviews (n = 6) with participants sampled from study one were conducted to explore how the reported strategies were developed, the perceived impact of coping/not coping with stressors, and how future SPCs may be better prepared for the stressful nature of consultancy. Findings suggested that the participants had a statistically significant preference to using problem-focused coping strategies. Further, the interviews suggested that coping strategies were primarily developed through reflection on experiences in different contexts. The impacts of coping/not coping and the practical development implications raised are discussed.

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Rui Biscaia, Abel Correia, Antonio Fernando Rosado, Stephen D. Ross and João Maroco

Sponsorship studies have generally been focused on attitudinal measures of fan loyalty to understand the reactions to abstract sponsors. This study examines the relationships between both attitudinal and behavioral loyalty with sponsorship awareness, attitude toward two actual sponsors, and purchase intentions. Data were collected among fans of a professional soccer team, and the results of a structural equation model provide evidence that attitudinal loyalty impacts the attitude toward both sponsors and purchase intentions. Behavioral loyalty influences sponsorship awareness, and impacts differently the attitude and purchase intentions toward each sponsor. Sponsorship awareness influences significantly the attitude toward both sponsors, while the attitude toward the sponsor was the strongest predictor of purchase intentions. These findings highlight the importance of examining actual sponsors and suggest managerial implications, such as the need for sponsors to help attract fans to the stadium and to design additional activation strategies to improve sponsorship value.

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Brian Cook, Trisha M. Karr, Christie Zunker, James E. Mitchell, Ron Thompson, Roberta Sherman, Ross D. Crosby, Li Cao, Ann Erickson and Stephen A. Wonderlich

The purpose of our study was to examine exercise dependence (EXD) in a large community-based sample of runners. The secondary purpose of this study was to examine differences in EXD symptoms between primary and secondary EXD. Our sample included 2660 runners recruited from a local road race (M age = 38.78 years, SD = 10.80; 66.39% women; 91.62% Caucasian) who completed all study measures online within 3 weeks of the race. In this study, EXD prevalence was lower than most previously reported rates (gamma = .248, p < .001) and individuals in the at-risk for EXD category participated in longer distance races, F(8,1) = 14.13, p = .01, partial eta squared = .05. Group differences were found for gender, F(1,1921) 8.08, p = .01, partial eta squared = .004, and primary or secondary group status, F(1,1921) 159.53, p = .01, partial eta squared = .077. Implications of primary and secondary EXD differences and future research are discussed.