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Matthew Katz, Thomas A. Baker III and Hui Du

.g., Major League Soccer, National Women’s Soccer League; Szymanski, 2018 ). The popularity of international soccer leagues in the United States may be attributed to a reputation of superior quality, but sustained consumption of sport requires a meaningful relationship between consumers and the brand ( Wann

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Gashaw Abeza, Norm O’Reilly and Ian Reid

Relationship marketing (RM) is about retaining customers through the achievement of long-term mutual satisfaction by businesses and their customers. Sport organizations, to retain customers by establishing, maintaining, and enhancing relationships, need to communicate and engage in dialogue with their customers. To achieve this on an ongoing basis, sport organizations need to employ effective communication platforms. In this regard, social media (SM) is becoming an ideal tool for a continuing 2-way dialogue. However, the effects of SM, primarily in terms of addressing RM goals, are not yet well understood. This study explores the opportunities and challenges facing managers in sport organizations in using SM in an RM strategy. Eight case studies were undertaken on organizations that put on running events. The article presents the findings on the use, opportunities, and challenges of SM and recommendations encouraging continued investigation.

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Yu Kyoum Kim, Galen Trail and Yong Jae Ko

The importance of relationship quality in relationship marketing has been well documented; however, very little attention has been paid to the issues of relationship quality in sport consumer behavior contexts. We investigated the cognitive structure of relationship quality (RQ) constructs (Trust, Commitment, Intimacy, Identification, Reciprocity) by comparing a general-specific model to a hierarchical model. In addition we empirically tested the link between RQ and three sport consumer behavioral intentions: attendance, media consumption, and licensed merchandise consumption. The model comparison revealed that individual constructs reflected both the distinct aspects of the specific dimensions of relationship quality and the holistic nature of relationship quality, supporting a general-specific model. Results from the simultaneous equation model indicated that for sport consumers, relationship quality with the team explained 56% of the variance in intention to attend games, 75% of intention to consume sport media, and 66% of intention to purchase licensed merchandise.

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Francis Farrelly

This paper provides a critical assessment of the sponsorship relationship by examining relationship-related causes of termination. Based on a comprehensive investigation of major sport organizations and their sponsors spanning four years, the findings reveal partners at cross-purposes due to changing perceptions of value, opportunity, and responsibility. Related problems involving strategic versus tactical intent, commitment asymmetry, and sponsorship capability gap are identified. The research develops our understanding of the interfirm dynamics of sport sponsorship relationships including how they should be managed to avoid termination. Recommendations to prevent sponsorship termination and improve relationship outcomes, and directions for future research are provided.

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Claudio M. Rocha

same direction and does not make assumptions about the direction (positive or negative) of legacy perceptions. The major problem with those previous studies resides in the fact that they have relied on cross-sectional data. Considering the long-term nature of the preparation phase, the relationship

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Janet B. Parks, Ronald L. Russell and Peter H. Wood

The purpose of this study was to investigate marital and other primary dyadic relationships of intercollegiate athletics administrators at the 106 NCAA Division IA institutions (N = 1072). The Spanier Dyadic Adjustment Scale (Spanier, 1976, 1989) was used to assess perceptions of the quality of dyadic relationships among administrators who were either married or in unmarried, cohabiting partnerships (n = 402). Application of independent samples t tests, with alpha adjusted from .05 to .003 by Bonferroni's contrasting procedure, revealed that (a) there was a significant difference between Dyadic Cohesion scores of athletics administrators and the married norm group (p < .001), and (b) female athletics administrators produced significantly higher scores in Dyadic Cohesion than did male athletics administrators (p < .003). Future research should include an investigation of dyadic adjustment of the mates/partners of intercollegiate athletics administrators to facilitate comparisons of the two perceptions of the relationship.

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Shaun M. Anderson and Matthew M. Martin

MLB’s struggle to establish relationships with African American communities was due to the organization’s inability to stay relevant. While meant to be a satirical dramatization of MLB’s African American plight, his sentiments reveal a harsh truth. MLB has seen a drastic decline in African American

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Arthur T. Johnson

Changes in the political and economic environment of sports organizations are taking place, especially at the levels of state and local government. These changes will impact negatively the nature of the sport-community relationship. The manner in which sports administrators respond to these changes may ultimately determine the viability of many sports organizations. This article suggests that sports administrators must be sensitive to these changes and must adjust their views of the sport-community relationship and their negotiating strategies accordingly. This especially will be important for sports administrators representing organizations that do not have major league status and, therefore, lack power at the negotiating table.

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John Amis and Trevor Slack

Contingency theorists have consistently identified size as a major factor influencing the structure of an organization. This study examines the size-structure relationship in a set of voluntary sport organizations (VSOs). The results of the study generally support the trends identified in the organization theory literature; they also demonstrate that VSOs have unique features that influence the effect that size has on their structural arrangements. This is most noticeable when the association, or more specifically the lack of association, between size and the structure of decision making is examined. The relationship between professionals and volunteers, and their associated struggle for control of these organizations, is identified as a principal factor contributing to this situation.

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César García

Historically, Barcelona Football Club (BFC) has represented one of the pillars of Catalan identity, which earned it the slogan “more than a club.” In recent times, especially under the presidency of Joan Laporta, management has radicalized the club’s political positions by using BFC as a platform to openly promote the independence from Spain of the Catalan region. Despite the fact that most Barcelona fans in Catalonia, as well as in the rest of Spain, have much more moderate political positions, the radicalization of BFC does not appear to have eroded the relationship-building process with Barcelona fandom. This article argues that BFC as an institution still maintains a good relationship with its fans because the social, as well as individual, identity provided by allegiance to a soccer club such as BFC is ultimately more important to members and fans than the club’s political positions.