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George R. Milne, Mark A. McDonald, William A. Button and Rajiv Kashyap

This research examines the competitive niche positions of 36 sports and fitness activities reported in an American Sports Activities 1993 tracking study. The article discusses the advantages of viewing competition from an ecological niche perspective and presents a measure of competitive resource overlap (CRO) used in marketing for measuring niche breadth and niche overlap. The empirical study presents an intuitive mapping of the sports market and calculates the niche breadth and niche overlap for each sport. Managerial implications for sporting goods manufacturers, advertising agencies, corporate sponsors, fitness consultants, and other professionals interested in participant sports markets are given.

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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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Terry R. Haggerty and Denise Denomme

Multivariate analyses of responses from 327 undergraduate student members of 17 university recreational sport clubs indicated that eight variables jointly explained 35.3% of the variance in members’ organizational commitment. They were (a) the importance of management related items, (b) the emphasis the club placed on delivering its service, (c) the lack of emphasis the club placed on status related items, (d) the emphasis the club placed on social aspects, (e) members’ current involvement in physical activity, (f) reduced travel time to club gatherings, (g) increased preparation time for club activities, and (h) gender, with males expressing more commitment than females. The study concluded that management related factors were among the most important aspects in affecting member commitment in sport clubs. Implications for practicing managers and researchers were addressed.

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Joon-Ho Kang, Richard P. Bagozzi and Jawang Oh

Although emotion has occasionally been examined as a dependent variable or outcome of physical activity involvement, it rarely has been studied as an antecedent. This study examines the role of emotion in decision-making processes for participant sport consumption. A structural model is proposed to integrate emotions with self-image congruency and attitudes as antecedents of the decision to initiate physical activity in the consumption context. Context effects were investigated by two scenarios: (1) joining a private health club and (2) skiing in an indoor ski resort. A total of 199 persons responded, and structural equation models were examined. The results indicate that emotion mediates the influence of attitudes and self-image congruency on the decision to join the club and resort. The pattern of the relationships among utilitarian, self-based, and emotive evaluations depends on the sport consumption context. Discussion of theoretical and practical issues is presented and directions for future research are suggested.

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Deborah R. Shapiro and Brenda G. Pitts

As the field of sport business management develops, it is critical to assess its literature. A content analysis of 34 sport business management journals between 2002 to 2012 was conducted relative to sports, physical activity, recreation, and leisure for individuals with disabilities. Journals were selected based on their alignment with sport management curriculum standards. Results show that of the 5,443 articles reviewed in this study, merely 89, or .016%, pertained to disability sport, leisure, recreation, or physical activity. Information insufficiency was found across all sport management curriculum domains. Similarities and differences are discussed relative to other content analyses conducted in sport management and disability sport. Results provide direction for future scholarship and advancement of studies in disability sport in sport business management.

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Mikihiro Sato, Jeremy S. Jordan and Daniel C. Funk

The current study examines whether a distance running event has the capacity to promote participants’ life satisfaction. The construct of psychological involvement was used to investigate the impact of attitude change through event preparation and subsequent activity. Data were collected four times through online surveys from running event participants (N = 211) over a five-month period. Latent growth modeling analyses revealed that participants’ life satisfaction peaked immediately after the event before receding, indicating that event participation exerted a positive impact on participants’ evaluations toward their lives. A positive significant association was also found between change in pleasure in running and change in life satisfaction. Findings from this study provide empirical support that a distance running event can serve as an environmental determinant that enhances participants’ life satisfaction by providing positive experiences through event participation and forming psychological involvement in physical activity.

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W. James Weese

This descriptive research study was conducted to investigate the concepts of transformational leadership and organizational culture within the administrative levels of campus recreation programs of Big Ten and Mid-American Conference universities. While transformational leadership was quantitatively measured by the Leadership Behavior Questionnaire (LBQ), the Culture Strength Assessment (CSA) and Culture Building Activities (CBA) instruments provided two quantitative measures of organizational culture. Qualitative data were also collected and analyzed to enrich and cross validate the findings. The researcher concluded that high transformational leaders direct programs that (a) possess stronger organizational cultures and (b) carry out culture-building activities, specifically the “customer orientation” function, to a greater extent than other leaders do. An interaction effect between leadership and conference was uncovered for this variable. No significant difference was uncovered between the high and low leadership groups relative to the penetration of culture throughout the top four hierarchical levels of the organization.

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Brendan Dwyer

The business of fantasy football is a multibillion dollar-per-year industry. However, academic inquiry into the distinct attitudes and intentions of fantasy football participants is underdeveloped. Therefore, following Fazio, Powell, and Herr’s proposed attitude–behavior framework, this study examined the relationship between sport fans’ attitudes, fantasy football involvement level, and intentions to watch the televised broadcast of National Football League (NFL) games. The results suggest that fantasy football is a noteworthy connection point for NFL fans. Specifically, fantasy participation appears to duplicate the positive and negative attitudes of traditional team fandom, and this replication ultimately increases television viewership throughout the league. Thus, instead of competing with traditional team-focused professional-football viewership, fantasy football appears to be a complementary or value-adding activity. Discussed are theoretical outcomes, as well as the practical implications for sport marketers and media providers looking to capitalize on this highly popular and lucrative online activity.

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Nico Schulenkorf

For several years, sport-for-development (SFD) programs have been implemented around the world to make a positive difference for disadvantaged or underprivileged communities. Within this context, special events have been used to complement regular development activities to celebrate social, cultural, and sporting achievements. To date, little managerial work has been conducted on the specific contributions that special events can play in the context of ongoing SFD endeavors. In addressing this issue, this paper presents findings from an empirical investigation of a participatory SFD event in the Pacific Islands. Findings suggest that special events can create new interest and excitement for SFD activities, reengage stakeholders to the wider SFD program, leverage partnerships, and provide opportunities to build and shape local management capacity. In discussing these findings, the paper highlights potential positive and negative impacts of special SFD events and provides practical and theoretical implications for SFD program design, management, and leverage.

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Stephanie Cunningham, T. Bettina Cornwell and Leonard V. Coote

Despite the popularity of sponsorship-linked marketing programs, we know little about how firms form sponsorship policies. This article describes a corporate identity-sponsorship policy link and offers empirical support for it via a mixed method research design. Content analysis of 146 Fortune 500 companies’ online sponsorship policies and mission statements is followed by cluster, factor and multinomial regression techniques. Results show that corporate identity, as reflected in mission statements, matters to sponsorship policy. Specifically, companies emphasizing financial success in their mission statements prefer to sponsor individual athletes, education, the environment and health-related activities. Alternatively, companies stressing the importance of employees demonstrate a propensity to sponsor team sports, entertainment, religious, community, charity and business related activities. Reasons for these strategic differences are discussed.