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Sharon A. Mathes, Amy T. McGivern and Carole M. Schneider

Interest in the potential benefits of exercise and fitness programs has led many corporations to invest in such for their employees. Fitness program directors need to better understand factors that affect employees' decisions to participate. The purpose of this study was to examine whether male and female participants and nonparticipants differed in their conceptual and institutional motives for involvement in a corporate exercise program. The Exercise Program Survey was developed and administered randomly to 310 employees of a metropolitan insurance company. Participants scored items associated with enhancing fitness, reducing stress and learning to relax as more important than nonparticipants did. Participants also indicated that the institutional motive structure was more important, thus emphasizing the need for appropriate times, places, and availability of instruction. Women felt more strongly than men that weight control, fitness, stress reduction, relaxation, and smoking cessation activities were necessary components of a fitness program. Women also scored the structure and health institutional motives as more important.

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Michael L. Naraine and Milena M. Parent

The purpose of this study was to examine sport organizations’ social-media activity using an institutional approach, specifically, to investigate the main themes emanating from Canadian national sport organizations’ (CNSOs) social-media communication and the similarities and differences in social-media use between the CNSOs. An exploratory qualitative thematic analysis was conducted on 8 CNSOs’ Twitter accounts ranging from 346 to 23,925 followers, with the number of tweets varying from 219 to 17,186. Thematic analysis indicated that CNSOs generally used tweeting for promoting, reporting, and informing purposes. Despite the organizations’ differing characteristics regarding seasonality of the sport, Twitter-follower count, total number of tweets, and whether the content was original or retweeted, themes were generally consistent across the various organizations. Coercive, mimetic, and normative isomorphic pressures help explain these similarities and offer reasons for a lack of followership growth by the less salient CNSOs. Implications for research and practice are provided.

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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.

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Marion E. Hambrick and Per G. Svensson

Sport organizations can use social media to build relationships with current and potential stakeholders. These opportunities are pertinent for smaller niche and sport-for-development-and-peace (SDP) organizations, which rarely receive the same media and consumer attention as their larger, more mainstream counterparts. This study examined the role of social media with 1 SDP organization and used qualitative data collection and analysis to explore what social-media platforms the staff members selected, how they used these platforms, and what benefits and challenges they faced with this use. Their identified social-media activities were 3-fold: disseminating news, promoting events, and educating stakeholders. Some hurdles arose with this use, in particular attempting to engage readers in conversations and ensuring that the posted messages uniformly relayed organizational goals. SDP and other organizations can use social media to achieve communication objectives but should recognize the potential challenges associated with these efforts.

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Sang Keon Yoo

This case study attempted to determine how the Korean print media have covered women’s professional golf tournaments held in Korea and the United States. The study, which also investigated whether there is a shifting trend in newspaper coverage of players and activities associated with both the LPGA and KLPGA tours, focused on golf coverage of Chosun Ilbo from 1998 through 2011. The findings revealed that the paper covered the LPGA (75.5%) much more frequently than the KLPGA. In addition, the LPGA received more coverage in terms of size, feature stories, and photographs. It is notable that this case study’s principal innovation is the finding of changes in the overall approach of the Korean media over the years. The coverage devoted to the KLPGA tour increased from 13% to 44% across the 14 years analyzed. In addition to the findings, the case study’s implications and questions are presented.

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Brendan Dwyer

Fantasy football participation is an extremely-popular, yet unique online activity that combines traditional sport fandom with interactive components to enhance a fan’s overall sport experience. The player-specific concentration of the game, however, has the potential to alter traditional team-focused loyalties that have driven sport consumer behavior inquiry for decades. Due to this intriguing circumstance, this study investigated the relationship between fantasy football involvement and traditional NFL fan loyalty. In addition, given the varying levels of fantasy participation, this study examined factors that predict differing levels of involvement among fantasy owners. The results suggest a positive relationship between involvement and attitudinal loyalty and a nonstandard relationship between a highly-involved fantasy football participant’s attitudes and behaviors, especially with regard to team loyalty. Discussed are the theoretical repercussions of this conceptual disconnect, the potential for future research, and practical implications for the future marketing of individual teams, leagues, and fantasy-related applications.

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Brody J. Ruihley and Lisa T. Fall

Public relations (PR) activities in college athletics are concerned with many types of people, organizations, and businesses. The success of a program depends on support from these constituents. The purpose of this research was to determine the perception of PR roles in a college athletic environment. One goal was to determine how many athletic directors (ADs) occupy PR positions in their department or what position they perceive to be most involved with PR. A second goal was to examine attitudes held by ADs regarding the importance, benefits, and responsibilities of PR officers. A final goal was to determine what role behaviors PR practitioners are exhibiting. This study provides empirical research in the area of PR, specifically in college athletics. The findings provide a benchmark for the PR literature in relation to the sports industry, how PR fits into the sports structure, and what roles PR plays in college athletics.

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Paul Turner and David Shilbury

Environmental factors such as emerging technology, globalization, economic reform and social change are creating a background in which sporting organizations must seek to quickly adapt to manage their ongoing activities and operations. Focusing on emerging technology in the area of sport broadcasting, this research examined six preconditions for interorganizational relationship (IOR) formation from the perspective of professional football clubs in Australia. Based upon theories derived from the IOR literature, these six preconditions for IOR formation were considered to determine if emerging broadcasting technologies impact on IOR formation between Australian Football League (AFL) and National Rugby League (NRL) clubs and broadcasters. Semistructured in-depth interviews with senior managers of 11 AFL, and 10 NRL clubs were undertaken and data analyzed, coded and emergent themes identified. Results indicate that professional club managers display most of these attributes that precipitate the preconditions for IOR formation, but although these preconditions exist, there is little willingness by the clubs to formulate IORs with sport broadcasters.

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Susan C. Brown

This study sought to identify significant predictors of success (a) in a graduate program of sport management at a major research institution in the United States and (b) in initial employment success. Regression analysis identified four significant predictors for success in the graduate program. The variables that produced a positive relationship with the dependent variable—final graduate grade point average—were age upon application, number of years of extracurricular activity involvement in undergraduate school, and undergraduate grade point average. The number of years in a full-time position in sport management upon application produced a significant negative relationship. Discriminant analysis was used to identify possible predictors of initial employment success identified as time from graduation to employment in a sport management position. However, no significant predictors were found.

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Lisa Kihl, Sally Shaw and Vicki Schull

This study examined organizational processes involved in a merger between two gender affiliated intercollegiate athletic departments. A conceptual framework incorporating the concepts of gendered social processes, and the transition and integration stages of organizational mergers framed the study. Organizational political activity is perceived as a gendered process in merging groups. Interviews with 57 stakeholders of a university athletic department were conducted. The data analysis showed that gender politics identified in the transition stage involved stakeholders’ emotional reactions. In the integration stage, gender politics were evident during the social processes of assessing trust and loyalties, and cultural reengineering. Practical implications for merger facilitation are noted in terms of considering the necessity of merging, the hiring of outside leadership, and implementing a communication plan. Overall, our study furthers our understanding of the gender politics involved in merging gender affiliated sport organizations.