The purpose of this study was to examine endorsement-related tweets from athletes and determine which characteristics of those tweets could increase the degree of electronic word-of-mouth marketing (eWOM) generated by the message. Previous literature has suggested that the retweet function in Twitter is a form of eWOM. Through the lens of eWOM, the concepts of vividness, interactivity, and congruence are used to understand what tweet characteristics generate the most retweets. A sample of professional-athlete endorsement and sponsored tweets (n = 669) was used and coded based on frameworks adapted from previous studies. Results indicated that the interaction between levels of high vividness and high interactivity generated the highest frequency of retweets. Reported findings could inform athletes and/or brand managers in ways to increase the eWOM of sponsored messages on Twitter.
B. Colin Cork and Terry Eddy
Nels Popp, Terry Eddy and Chad McEvoy
In this case study, readers are placed in the role of a National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Division I Athletics Director and challenged to consider the issue of selling the corporate naming rights to the department’s premier on-campus sports venue. Readers are exposed to a myriad of issues impacting such a decision and must weigh out such factors as: (a) the appropriateness of corporate commercialization in college athletics, (b) the pressure to balance a tight athletic department budget, (c) the impact of changing a facility name which holds significant nostalgic value to the fan base, (d) what type of sponsors might be an appropriate fit for a corporate naming rights sponsorship, and (e) what are the current trends among sport facility naming rights within college athletics. The case study is supported by many scholarly research citations but also includes important appendices, including a database of 44 current college athletic facility naming rights deals, populated with key variables. This database will assist readers in the difficult process of attempting to value naming rights for a fictional facility depicted in the case study.
Terry Eddy, Lamar Reams and Stephen Dittmore
As online business models have evolved, learning what drives users’ consumptive behaviors has gained increasing interest to sport researchers and sport properties. An increasing number of sport properties are expanding, and deriving revenues from, their presence on digital-media platforms (e.g., MLB, NBA, NFL, UFC, WWE, etc.). Of the sport properties mentioned, none are more reliant on digital-media activity than the Ultimate Fighting Championship. As such, the purpose of this study was to examine the motivations and related consumption habits of users of non-subscription-based (i.e., free-to-use) online message boards. Findings suggest that message-board users find value in the opportunities for interactivity and that heavy online mixed-martial-arts users watch more events and purchase more merchandise than those who spend less time online.