A de-escalation of team fandom model was created based on identity work theory. To both test the model and understand how once highly identified fans of sports teams could eventually become non-fans, 23 former fans of National Hockey League (NHL) teams were interviewed. The reasons given for their de-escalation in fandom can be categorized into seven themes: sport in general, the sport of hockey, the league, the team, individual players, media, and life. For those fans who remain fans of the sport, watching national teams play in international competition has been a common practice in the years since the bond with their former favorite NHL team was severed. While only a minority of participants believes it realistically possible they could ever become NHL team fans again in the future, some suggested their children or grandchildren might pull them back into fandom.
Craig G. Hyatt and William M. Foster
Jennifer Bruening, Rhema D. Fuller, Raymond J. Cotrufo, Rachel M. Madsen, Justin Evanovich and Devon E. Wilson-Hill
Allport’s (1954) intergroup contact hypothesis states that interactions with members of an out-group, particularly of a different racial and/or ethnic group, are effective in changing attitudes about diversity (Allport, 1954; Pettigrew, 1998). In this study, the intergroup contact hypothesis was applied to the design of a sport management course. The classroom component focused the role of sport in education, health, and leadership development, and the application was structured sport and physical activity programming with school-age children at several urban sites. Data were gathered from 91 college students over 3 years about course-related experiences and how the students’ backgrounds influenced their social identities and understanding of out-group members. Results showed that intergroup contact effectively assisted in developing understanding and cooperation and reducing negative attitudes between groups. The participants received diversity education, via intergroup contact, both inside and outside the classroom, which will potentially equip them to take proactive strategies when managing organizational diversity in the sport industry.
Doris Lu and Darlene A. Kluka
Lynley Ingerson and Michael L. Naraine
This case study explores the elements of fit between individuals, job opportunities, an NBA franchise, and its environment. Developing the right job descriptions for attracting a talented team of sport managers to Buffalo, who are capable of managing the highly competitive Buffalo Braves basketball franchise, is fundamental to getting the fit right. The focus of this case includes exploring motives and rewards for the various management roles devised, understanding the concept of ‘fit’ in hiring talented and innovative sport managers, developing clear responsibilities, and effectively aligning the expectations within a psychological contract between each new management role and organization at the Buffalo Braves.
Trygve B. Broch
This study investigates Norwegian television commentary of men’s team handball. Five World Championship games and 5 European Championship games were recorded and all commentaries transcribed. The main focus was to investigate gendered patterns and to suggest ways these patterns might shape particular understandings of the game and its players. By combining Connell’s gender perspectives with discourse analysis, implicit and explicit meanings were located within the commentaries. Further data analysis revealed that televised depictions of men’s handball hold a dominant focus on a specific form of masculinity. Fueled by gendered symbolism and metaphors, the word bang was identified as a key signifier for this particular form of masculinity. The contextual use of bang was analyzed as connoting and reproducing specific notions of sport and masculinities.
Merrill J. Melnick
It is argued that the social forces of urbanization, individualism, interpersonal competition, technology, and geographical mobility have brought greater and greater numbers of strangers into people's everyday lives and have made the achievement of primary, social ties with relatives, friends, neighbors, and workmates more difficult. As a result, many are forced to satisfy their needs for sociability in less personal, less intimate, less private ways. It is proposed that sports spectating has emerged as a major urban structure where spectators come together not only to be entertained but to enrich their social psychological lives through the sociable, quasi-intimate relationships available. The changing nature of the sociability experience in America presents sport managers with interesting challenges and opportunities. A number of recommendations are offered for maximizing the gemeinschaft possibilities of sports spectating facilities. By giving greater attention to the individual and communal possibilities of their events, sport managers can increase spectator attendance while rendering an important public service.
E. Nicole Melton and George B. Cunningham
The purpose of this qualitative analysis was to explore the work experiences of sport employees who are LGBT, and examine how these individuals negotiate their multiple social identities in a sport context. Considering the growing interest in sport, and sport management in particular, it is important for scholars to gain of better understanding of why people choose to work in the sport industry, and understand how employee identity may influence career decisions and subsequent work experiences. Thus, the researchers only interviewed employees who did not fulfill coaching or player roles, as these individuals could potentially work in other industries. Analysis of the data revealed how working in a sport context may present sexual minorities with certain advantages, such as an opportunity to enhance self-esteem and gain social acceptance. When confronted with unjust treatment because of their sexual orientation, employees used coworker social support and social mobility techniques to cope with these negative situations. Although the employees did not always view their sexual orientation as salient to their identity, they had all disclosed their sexual orientation, to varying degrees, to others in the workplace. Finally, though the participants did not engage in social change activities, some of their supportive coworkers attempted to proactively create a more inclusive work environment. Implications of these findings are discussed and practical suggestions are provided.
Seungmo Kim and Damon P.S. Andrew
Des Thwaites and Andrew Carruthers
This paper studied the corporate sponsorship of both rugby league and rugby union clubs. The broad objective of the research was to establish the degree to which the rigorous framework for sponsorship management identified in the literature is applied in practice. In general the league sponsors adopted a more commercial approach to their initiatives, although further analysis highlighted the diverse nature of union sponsors who may be identified on a motivational continuum from commercial to philanthropic. Clear opportunities are identified wherein sponsorship programs may be adapted to contribute more fully to corporate marketing objectives through a greater application of the prescriptions in the current literature. Specific issues addressed include: functional control, selection, objective setting, implementation, evaluation, and leverage. An assessment of the extent to which this situation is common to the sponsorship of other sports in England is made by reference to studies of professional soccer and horse racing.
Mary Jo Kane and Heather D. Maxwell
In 2005, the Journal of Sport Management printed Wendy Frisby’s Earle F. Zeigler Lecture. The main thrust of Frisby’s presentation was that critical social science is an underutilized framework for conducting research in sport management and that, as a result, we remain limited in our abilities to truly understand how institutions and organizations “are best viewed as operating in a wider cultural, economic, and political context characterized by asymmetrical power relations that are historically entrenched” (2005, p.1). Other scholars such as Cunningham and Fink (2006) reinforced the importance of doing this kind of critical work. In their review of key research findings in sport management literature related to issues of diversity they concluded that the vast majority of studies “operated from the paradigm of positivism” and thus our field “could benefit from an incorporation of different investigative paradigms” (p. 458). Finally, Shaw and Frisby (2006) called for an embrace of critical theoretical frameworks which empirically address the complexities of, for example, gender relations and (in)equalities found throughout the vast sport enterprise.