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Tim Berrett and Trevor Slack

Sport sponsorship is frequently described as a strategic activity, and thus, it is influenced by both competitive and institutional forces. Using a sample of 28 Canadian companies, this study explores the influence of competitive and institutional pressures on those individuals who make decisions about their company's sport sponsorship initiatives. The results show that the sponsorship activities of rival companies were influential in a company's sponsorship choices. This was particularly the case in highly concentrated industries. We also show some evidence of a first-mover advantage in sponsorship decision-making but found preemptive strategies to yield little competitive advantage. In addition to these pressures from the competitive environment, institutional pressures from companies in the same geographic area, in the form of mimetic activity, in the form of involvement in social networks, and through the occupational training of the decision makers—all played a role in the choices made about what activities to sponsor.

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Amanda L. Snyder, Cay Anderson-Hanley and Paul J. Arciero

Grounded in social facilitation theory, this study compared the impact on exercise intensity of a virtual versus a live competitor, when riding a virtual reality-enhanced stationary bike (“cybercycle”). It was hypothesized that competitiveness would moderate effects. Twenty-three female college students were exposed to three conditions on a cybercycle: solo training, virtual competitor, and live competitor. After training without a competitor (solo condition for familiarization with equipment), participants competed against a virtual avatar or live rider (random order of presentation). A repeated-measures analysis revealed a significant condition (virtual/live) by competitiveness (high/low) interaction for exercise intensity (watts). More competitive participants exhibited significantly greater exercise intensity when competing against a live versus virtual competitor. The implication is that live competitors can have an added social facilitation effect and influence exercise intensity, although competitiveness moderates this effect.

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John G.H. Dunn

Many competitive sport anxiety researchers have examined the degree to which athletes worry before or during competition. Little attention has been paid, however, to establishing a conceptual framework for structuring the content of competitive worry. The main purpose of this study was to examine the latent dimensionality of competitive worry in intercollegiate ice hockey (N= 178) using a conceptual framework based on two multidimensional anxiety theories developed by Endler (1983) and Hackfort (1986). Multidimensional scaling and factor-analytic results revealed that competitive worry in ice hockey can be structured around a combination of four potential content domains relating to athletes’ fear of failure, negative social evaluation, injury or physical danger, and the unknown. These constructs were congruent with the situational anxiety dimensions proposed by Endler and Hackfort. Discussion focuses on the characteristic features of the four worry domains and the extent to which athletes were predisposed to experiencing each type of worry.

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Joel Maxcy and Michael Mondello

Free agency was reintroduced to professional team sport leagues in the 1970s. Sport enthusiasts expressed concern that competitive balance would diminish as star players congregated to large market cities. However, the economic invariance principle rejects this notion, indicating that balance should remain unchanged. This article empirically examines the effects of changes in free agent rules on competitive balance over time in the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), and National Hockey League (NHL). Regression analysis using within-season and between-season measures of competitive balance as dependent variables provides mixed results. The NFL and NHL provide evidence that an aspect of competitive balance has improved, but results from the NBA indicate that balance has worsened since the introduction of free agency. We conclude that the ambiguous results suggest that the effects are not independent, but instead depend on the interaction of free agent rights with other labor market and league rules.

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Stefan Kesenne

This article uses economic theory to examine the variables that affect the competitive balance in a professional sports league and the impact of revenue sharing. The generally accepted proposition that revenue sharing does not affect the competitive balance in a profi t-maximizing league has been challenged by many. It is shown that the competitive balance and the impact of revenue sharing not only depend on the relative size of the market of the clubs, but that they are also affected by the objectives of the club owners and the importance to spectators of absolute team quality and uncertainty of outcome. Furthermore, the clubs’ hiring strategies, including the talent supply conditions, turn out to be important elements affecting competitive balance and the impact of revenue sharing.

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Jeffrey J. Martin and Diane L. Gill

We examined the relationships among trait and state psychological variables and performance in male high school distance runners using the Sport Orientation Questionnaire (SOQ; Gill & Deeter, 1988), the Competitive Orientation Inventory (COI; Vealey, 1986), the Trait Sport-Confidence Inventory (TSCI; Vealey, 1986), the State Sport-Confidence Inventory (SSCI; Vealey, 1986), the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2; Martens, Burton, Vealey, Bump, & Smith, 1990), and separate self-efficacy scales for performance (time) and outcome (place). As hypothesized, trait sport-confidence predicted state sport-confidence and outcome self-efficacy. However, competitive orientation did not contribute to the prediction of state measures. State sport-confidence and self-efficacy predicted performance, as hypothesized. Surprisingly, outcome self-efficacy was a stronger predictor than performance self-efficacy, which did not contribute to the prediction of performance time or place. The runners' youth and lack of competitive track experience may have prevented them from forming accurate performance self-efficacy judgments. In contrast, the familiar and small competitive field may have allowed these athletes to form accurate outcome self-efficacy judgments.

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Robert Brustad Portland and Maureen R. Weiss

This study examined the relationship between cognitive appraisal processes and the affective characteristics of youth sport involvement using Harter's competence motivation theory as a framework. Specifically, the present study extended Passer's (1983) research on patterns of competitive trait anxiety (CTA) in young male soccer players by including female athletes and athletes involved in different sports. Boy baseball players (N = 55) and girl softball players (N = 58) completed self-report measures of CTA, self-esteem, perceived physical competence, and frequency of evaluative and performance-related worries about athletic competition. Multivariate analyses revealed that high-CTA boys reported lower levels of self-esteem and more frequent worries about their performance than did their less anxious counterparts. For the girls, no significant relationships were found between levels of competitive trait anxiety and the cognitive variables. To enhance the experiences of youth sport participants, it is essential that the contributors to, and consequences of, competitive trait anxiety be more closely examined.

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Andrea Hazen, Carolyn Johnstone, Garry L. Martin and Suja Srikameswaran

A videotaping feedback package was developed for improving skills of youth competitive swimmers. Experiment 1 examined the videotaping package for improving freestyle and backstroke racing turns of young competitive swimmers. Positive results were obtained in a multiple-baseline design across subjects. Experiment 2 compared the videotaping feedback package to a group videotaping procedure (that the coach had been using at the time of this research) for improving freestyle swimming strokes of young competitive swimmers. The videotaping feedback package was effective whereas the group videotaping procedure had little or no effect. For most subjects in the two studies, improvements were maintained with minimal prompting and feedback under normal practice conditions. Suggestions for future research are discussed.

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J. D. DeFreese and Alan L. Smith

Social support and negative social interactions have implications for athlete psychological health, with potential to influence the links of stress-related experiences with burnout and well-being over time. Using a longitudinal design, perceived social support and negative social interactions were examined as potential moderators of the temporal stress–burnout and burnout–well-being relationships. American collegiate athletes (N = 465) completed reliable and valid online assessments of study variables at four time points during the competitive season. After controlling for dispositional and conceptually important variables, social support and negative social interactions did not moderate the stress–burnout or burnout–well-being relationships, respectively, but did simultaneously contribute to burnout and well-being across the competitive season. The results showcase the importance of sport-related social perceptions to athlete psychological outcomes over time and inform development of socially driven interventions to improve the psychological health of competitive athletes.

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J. Graham Jones, Austin Swain and Andrew Cale

This study examined situational antecedents of multidimensional competitive state anxiety and self-confidence in a sample of 125 elite intercollegiate middle-distance runners. Cognitive anxiety, somatic anxiety, and self-confidence were measured 1 hour prior to performance via the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory–2. Subjects also completed the 19-item Pre-Race Questionnaire (PRQ) which was designed to examine situational antecedents of the competitive state anxiety components. Factor analysis of the PRQ revealed five factors: perceived readiness, attitude toward previous performance, position goal, coach influence, and external environment. Stepwise multiple regression analyses demonstrated that cognitive anxiety was predicted by the first three of these factors. However, none of the factors were found to significantly predict somatic anxiety. Self-confidence was also predicted by two factors, perceived readiness and external environment. These findings suggest that cognitive anxiety and self-confidence share some common antecedents but that there are also factors unique to each.