Sport industry groups including athletes, teams, and leagues use Twitter to share information about and promote their products. The purpose of this study was to explore how sporting event organizers and influential Twitter users spread information through the online social network. The study examined two bicycle race organizers using Twitter to promote their events. Using social network analysis, the study categorized Twitter messages posted by the race organizers, identified their Twitter followers and shared relationships within Twitter, and mapped the spread of information through these relationships. The results revealed that the race organizers used their Twitter home pages and informational and promotional messages to attract followers. Popular Twitter users followed the race organizers early, typically within the first 4 days of each homepage’s creation, and they helped spread information to their respective followers. Sporting event organizers can leverage Twitter and influential users to share information about and promote their events.
This study aimed to increase the understanding of loyalty’s formative processes in fitness organizations. Building upon recent conceptualizations, the purpose of this study was to test the mediating role of psychological commitment in the relationships between consumers’ satisfaction, perceived value, involvement, identification, informational, and volitional processes and their attitudinal and behavioral loyalty toward a fitness organization. We conducted a questionnaire-based study in a French health and fitness club context with a sample of 252 club members, of which we were able to collect data in regard to repurchasing behavior for 110. This allowed us to confirm the relevance of the research model in regard to behavioral intentions, although including the behavioral-loyalty dimensions of the length of the relationship, frequency of participation, and repurchasing behavior failed to validate it. These findings have managerial implications for sustaining club membership levels.
Marlene A. Dixon and Stacy Warner
Despite the overwhelming emphasis on job satisfaction in sport management research, scholars continue to advocate for the distinctiveness and importance of evaluating both job satisfaction and dissatisfaction. The purpose of this investigation is to develop a model of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction for intercollegiate coaches. Fifteen head coaches participated in semistructured interviews. Results revealed a sport industry specific three-factor model. Desirable job factors (Player-Coach Relationships, Recognition, and Social Status) were related only to satisfaction. Industry Standard Factors (Sport Policy, Salary, Recruiting, Supervision, and Life Balance) were related only to dissatisfaction. Performance Dependent Factors (Flexibility and Control, Program Building, and Relationships with Colleagues) were related to satisfaction and dissatisfaction. The results support the distinctiveness of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction as constructs, and also demonstrate a continued need for examining job attitudes within context. As sport managers understand the particular expectations of their employees and their industry they can better diagnose and solve employee issues.
Daniel C. Funk and Jeffrey D. James
Prior research has demonstrated a direct relationship between loyalty and reasons for liking a particular sport team. The current study replicates and extends this line of inquiry by examining the mediating role of attachment, a process by which an individual moves from merely liking a team (attraction) to becoming loyal to a team (allegiance). Data (Collegiate N = 194; Collegiate and Professional N = 402, Favorite Sport Team N = 808) were collected to examine 13 benefits and attributes associated with liking a sport team, 3 attitude formation properties, and allegiance. A three-stage test of mediation using MLR revealed that attachment mediated the relationship between allegiance and Vicarious Achievement, Nostalgia, Star Player, Escape, Success, and Peer Group Acceptance. Results demonstrate that allegiance is the outcome of a process by which individuals develop stronger emotional reactions to, more functional knowledge about, and greater symbolic value for benefits and attributes associated with a sport team.
Hans H. Bauer, Nicola E. Stokburger-Sauer and Stefanie Exler
This study highlights the importance of brand image for fan loyalty in team sport. A parsimonious 4-factor, 20-indicator structure effectively represents brand image. In contrast to Keller’s proposed model, relationships between the brand image’s components were discovered. Thus, in line with means-end theory, a brand-image model should incorporate causalities among brand attributes, benefits, and attitudes. Fan loyalty is positively influenced by a fan’s brand attitude. Relationships among the brand-image dimensions and loyalty are confirmed via structural equation modeling. The non-product-related brand attributes (i.e., logo or tradition) have a particularly large impact on attitudes and behavior. They represent promising starting points for a successful and differentiating team brand strategy.
Margie A. Weaver and Packianathan Chelladurai
Associate/Assistant athletic administrators from Division I (139 males, 123 females) and Division III (130 males, 123 females) universities of the NCAA responded to a questionnaire consisting of (a) items eliciting background information, (b) perceived and preferred mentoring functions measured by the Mentor Role Instrument (Ragins & McFarlin, 1990), (c) perceived barriers to mentoring measured by Perceived Barriers Scale (Ragins & Cotton, 1991), and a scale of satisfaction developed for the study. Factor analysis yielded three facets of satisfaction: Work Group, Extrinsic Rewards, and Intrinsic Rewards. The results of MÁNOVA showed that an equal proportion of males and females had experienced mentoring relationships, and mentored individuals were more satisfied with work than their non-mentored counterparts. Respondents from Division I received significantly higher salaries, and they were more satisfied with their extrinsic rewards than the respondents from Division III. Finally, correlational analyses showed positive but weak relationships between mentoring functions and the satisfaction facets.
Matthew Walker and Aubrey Kent
Organizations within the sport industry are facing increasing pressure to both maintain profitability and behave in socially acceptable ways, yet researchers have provided little information on how consumers perceive and react to corporate social responsibility (CSR). This mixed-design study examined the relationship between CSR activities and fans’ assessments of reputation and patronage intentions. In addition, the study sought to determine the role of team identification in the aforementioned relationship. Fans of two NFL teams were sampled (N = 297), with quantitative results suggesting that CSR is an important predictor of reputation, and that two types of patronage could be significantly impacted as well. The moderating effect of team identification was significant yet influenced the outcomes in different ways. Qualitative findings reinforced the quantitative discussion by providing support for the general conclusions that CSR was viewed favorably by most fans, and is an important aspect of the overall business strategy of a sport organization.
Lindsey Darvin and Michael Sagas
Gendered processes in the sport industry often perpetuate male dominance and female inferiority. While these gendered occurrences have been well documented, the outcomes of such processes are underexplored. Under the guidance of objectification theory and the production–reception relationship, the authors investigated the influence of objectification in sports-media outlets’ coverage of a female sporting event for a national sample of U.S. consumers (N = 225). In addition, given the lack of coverage directed toward female sporting events, the current study investigated the influence of previous viewership on consumer behaviors for a future women’s sporting event. Findings suggest that processes of objectification influence both men’s and women’s consumer behaviors and that previous viewership influences future consumer-behavior motives. Furthermore, objectified images and language did not adversely affect future consumer behaviors for those who had previously viewed a similar women’s sporting event. Sport-media and communications professionals alike can leverage these relationships.
Nicolas Chanavat, Guillaume Martinent and Alain Ferrand
Notwithstanding the substantial development of sponsorship investigations, relationships between the sponsor and cosponsees and fan’s responses (i.e., cognitive, affective and conative) have not been investigated yet in a multiple sponsorship sport event context. Hence, the purpose of this study was to analyze the impact of commercial sponsorships on the intention to purchase sponsor products in relation to brand image and brand attachment. Furthermore, this researcher analyzed the relationships between a sponsor (adidas), an event (2006 FIFA Soccer World Cup Germany), a team (French National Soccer Team) and a top player (Zinédine Zidane). Structural equation modeling was used to conduct this research. The crucial results revealed that a multiple sponsorship arrangement creates interactions between the sponsor and the sponsees brands cognitive and affective stages. Secondly, the model demonstrated that multiple sponsorship activates brand behavioral dimensions (i.e., cognitive, affective and conative) according to the hierarchy of effects model (Lavidge & Steiner, 1961).
Jerred Junqi Wang, James J. Zhang, Kevin K. Byon, Thomas A. Baker and Zhenqiu Laura Lu
Building on schema theory, the current study highlighted the role of brand-event personality fit (BEPF) in sport-event sponsorship communications and empirically examined its impact on sponsors’ consumer-based brand equity (CBBE) in the setting of American college football. Three studies were conducted to refine a sound measurement scale of BEPF and examine the structural relationships between BEPF and CBBE. Research findings confirmed the validity and reliability of the proposed BEPF measurement scale and revealed a series of positive relationships between crucial subdimensions of BEPF (i.e., responsibility fit, emotionality fit, and aggressiveness fit) and CBBE (i.e., brand awareness/association, perceived value, and brand loyalty). The findings offer brand managers specific references as to which aspects of BEPF should be prioritized in their promotional communications to build CBBE. Event marketers could also use the findings to communicate with corporations regarding potential or continued sponsorship agreements.