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Karen H. Weiller, Catriona T. Higgs and Scott B. Martin

Sports are omnipresent in American society; available for viewing 24 hours a day and can constitute much of everyday life and conversation. Researchers have indicated that men and women relate to sport differently (Gantz & Wenner, 1991). Evidence shows males outnumber females in sport viewership, and in the past much of the sport programming to which we are exposed caters specifically to men. The purpose of the present study was to explore issues related to audience perception of the 1996 Olympic Games. Participants (125 males and 92 females) ranging from 18 to 40 years of age were administered a gender specific version of the Audience Perception Questionnaires (APQ) following viewing video segments of men’s and women’s competitions (i.e., basketball, gymnastics, swimming and diving, and volleyball). The two versions of the APQ were developed from current literature, and by employing a delphi technique to validate the APQ. Factor analyses resulted in four underlying media perception dimensions: Commentary Coverage, Gender Marking and Stereotyping, Hierarchy of Naming, and Verbal Descriptors. Results revealed perceptions of male and female athletes by the public are influenced to a great degree by gender.

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Philip K. Porter and Deborah Fletcher

This article uses data from the 1996 Summer Olympic Games and the 2002 Olympic Winter Games to test the predictions of regional input-output models. Real changes associated with these events are insignificant. Nominal measures of demand overstate demand increases and factor price increases absorb the impact of real increases in demand. Nominal changes appear to be limited to hotel prices. Input-output models of a regional economy are often used to predict the impact of short-duration sporting events. Because I-O models assume constant factor prices and technical coefficients between sectors are calibrated from long-run steady-state relations in the regional economy, the predictions greatly overstate the true impact. Because the predictions of these models are increasingly used to justify public subsidies, understanding these deficiencies is crucial.

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Stephen R. McDaniel

This study uses a two-stage telephone survey method, involving a stratified random sample (n = 248) of American adults (18+), to examine the implications of audience demographics, personal values, lifestyle, and interests to sport marketing and media, in the context of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. Three hypotheses were tested using stepwise multiple regression and independent group t-test analyses and all received at least partial support. Male respondents' levels of interest in the Olympic Games were significantly related to their patriotic values and lifestyle. Those most interested in this event reported significantly higher levels of patriotism and religiosity than those less interested; likewise, the high event interest group reported enjoying advertising at a significantly greater level than their low event interest counterparts. Demographics, lifestyle, and event interest levels significantly influenced total amount of exposure to the event telecast.

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John Vincent and Jane Crossman

This study compared how The Globe and Mail and The New York Times covered the Canadian and U.S. women’s and men’s ice hockey teams competing in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. A content-analysis methodology compared the amount and prominence of coverage devoted to the women’s and men’s teams. Each newspaper provided more coverage of the men’s teams and to its own national teams, particularly in prominent locations. Textual analysis was used to analyze how the gendered themes intersected with national identity in the narratives. Theoretical insight was drawn from Connell’s theory of gender–power relations, Anderson’s concept of the imagined community, and Hobsbawm’s theory of invented traditions. Four themes emerged: the future of hockey at the Winter Olympic Games, postgame celebrations, gendered discourses, and the importance of the gold-medal games. A discussion of each theme is presented.

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J. Vincent, Charles Imwold, J. T. Johnson and Dwayne Massey

This study was a comparison of how selected newspapers from Canada, Great Britain, and the United States reported on female athletes competing in four “gender-appropriate” sports with female athletes competing in four “gender-inappropriate” sports at the Centennial Olympic Games. The liberal feminist theoretical framework underpinning this study views equality of opportunity and individual liberty as an inevitable by-product of political, legal, and educational reform juxtaposed with a gradual social acceptance. Content Analysis was used to examine all the articles and photographs from the front pages and the sports sections of the newspapers. Based upon the data, female athletes competing in the “gender-appropriate” sports of swimming, gymnastics, tennis, and diving received more newspaper coverage than female athletes competing in the “gender-inappropriate” sports of soccer, softball, field hockey, and volleyball in terms of the average number of words per article and the average number of paragraphs per article. In addition, the “gender-appropriate” athletes were over-represented in the average number of photographs, the average number of photographs on the first page, and the average number of photographs on the top of the pages. Qualitative analyses of articles and photographs revealed a subtle but discernable amount of culturally stereotyped coverage.

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John Harris and John Vincent

The spectacular success of Team GB in the London 2012 Olympic Games saw an extension of a popular celebration of Britishness. Drawing on an analysis of Olympic coverage in the Western Mail, self-styled national newspaper of Wales (papur cenedlaethol Cymru), this study explores the ways in which narratives of the nation are (re)presented in a particular locale. After a brief discussion of the opening ceremony, key events from the Games, including the staging of football matches in the capital city of Cardiff, the singing of “God Save the Queen” before football matches, and the medal successes of Welsh athletes, are used as cases to explore the multiple layers of national identities at play. The analysis highlights the complementary, complex, and at times contradictory interplay between Welsh and British identities within these narratives and explores the often fuzzy and sometimes hazy frontiers of identity.

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Dana L. Ellis, Milena M. Parent and Benoit Seguin

This article examines how Olympic ambush marketing stakeholder power and transfer of sponsorship, as well as ambush marketing knowledge, have influenced institutional processes leading to the institutionalization of antiambush legislation over the years. Using a qualitative case study design and network analysis, findings show the International Olympic Committee and Organizing Committees for the Olympic Games demonstrate the greatest stakeholder influence within the Olympic ambush marketing network. The power and influence resulting from the structure of Olympic ambush marketing networks was argued to impact the institutional processes of objectification and sedimentation. Various knowledge transfer tools, as well as challenges and issues faced in this area, seem to act as moderators for the relationship between network structures and the process of institutionalization.

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Nancy Rivenburgh

The 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games was a sporting and financial success, yet an international image disaster. Atlanta’s goal to shine on a global stage was met with harsh criticism and stereotypical portrayals by media nationally and around the world. What happened? Using a multimethod approach, including content analyses of print and broadcast media in 27 countries, review of institutional reports, and observation of media operations during the Games, this study identifies four key factors largely responsible for Atlanta’s image disaster as Olympic host. In doing so, it provides an exemplar case study of the complex challenges faced by hosts of global media events in their efforts to garner favorable international media coverage. A secondary purpose of this case study is to summarize the preparations, process, and innovations related to media use in the Atlanta Games. Such an account of Atlanta 1996 is missing in the current Olympics literature.

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Shane M. Murphy and Alfred P. Ferrante

A description is given of the sport psychology services provided to the U.S. Team at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. The service delivery model is described and several examples illustrate the nature of the consultations provided to coaches and athletes. Some 72 formal consultations were held with 40 individuals and teams, and an analysis is given of the types of services requested and the clients who were served.

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James R. Angelini, Andrew C. Billings and Paul J. MacArthur

A population of NBC’s primetime coverage of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics (64 hours) was analyzed to determine differences between the media treatment of U.S. and non-U.S. Olympians. Results showed that U.S. athletes were highlighted at three to four times to rate their successes would suggest. In addition, American athletes were more likely to be depicted as succeeding because of their intellect, commitment, and consonance while non-American athletes were more likely to be depicted as failing because they lacked the strength and skill of other athletes. From a personality/physicality standpoint, American athletes received enhanced comments about their outgoing/extroverted nature while non-American athletes received more comments about the size and parts of their bodies. Ramifications for framing theory and Olympic nationalism research are articulated.