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Michael L. Naraine, Benoît Séguin and Eric MacIntosh

In this case study, students are exposed to the issue of stakeholder management through the lens of the National Football League (NFL), using a contemporary example of ambush marketing and player endorsement deals as the primary context. The case depicts nonfictitious events that involve players and their disdain for league policies regarding donning brands and products that violate exclusivity agreements the league has with other companies. After identifying the origins of the circumstances, the case profiles the three principal stakeholder groups involved (i.e., the players, the ambushed sponsor, and the focal organization) through their respective leaders (i.e., DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL players association, Bob Maresca, president of Bose Corporation, and Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the NFL). Using fictitious commentary, the case culminates with the three actors utilizing the services of a sports consultancy firm as they work together to determine the best course of action. Learning objectives include understanding collegiality in a professional setting, and mitigating conflicting sponsorship strategies.

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Brian Sutton-Smith

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Florian Hemme and Marlene A. Dixon

James Park has been hired as the new CEO by the board of directors of GoSports Inc., a large national sporting goods retailer, which has been battling economic and internal issues over the previous years. Despite Park’s experience at the helm of large companies in need of profound strategic and structural change, in his new position at GoSports he has been “butting heads” with a powerful collective of executives unhappy with the hire and threatened by the new CEO’s accolades. To complicate matters, rumor has it that the decision to hire Park was far from unanimous, with various factions vying for control in the company, waiting for a chance to fill the power vacuum a quick departure by Park would leave behind. After two weeks with the company, Park is called before the board of directors to report on the progress made and how he plans to return GoSports to its former glory.

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Mary A. McElroy and Don R. Kirkendall

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John L. Crompton, Dennis R. Howard and Turgut var

This paper identifies the pervasiveness, magnitude, and trends of public investment in major league sports facilities and describes the forces that typically direct and dictate the debate. In 2003 dollars, the total investment in facilities currently being used by franchises in the four major leagues in North America is almost $24 billion, of which over $15 billion was contributed by public entities. Four eras of funding these facilities are identified and described: the Gestation Era 1961-1969; the Public Subsidy Era 1970-1984; the Transitional (Public-Private Partnership) Era 1985-1994; and the Fully-Loaded (Private-Public Partnership) Era post 1994. There is a consistent trend of private contributions increasing across these eras, but public sector contributions remain substantial. The final section of the paper discusses the four primary sources of momentum undergirding this public investment: owner leverage, the community power structure, the stimulus of increasing costs, and the competitive balance rationale.

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Mary A. McElroy and Joe D. Willis

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Brent Hardin and Marie Hardin

This study explores the media-related attitudes and values of 10 male wheelchair athletes by soliciting their opinions and suggestions concerning disability sport print media. Using the “auto drive” technique for qualitative data collection, the analysis reveals four themes: (a) athletes are avid consumers of mainstream sport media; b) they use both mainstream and niche publications; (c) they do not want “courtesy coverage,” but instead, coverage focusing on elite elements of their sports; (d) they are unsure of media obligation in the coverage of sports involving athletes with disabilities. While the scope of this investigation is limited to male wheelchair athletes, the themes can provide a basis for further analysis and study in the emerging area of sport media research as it relates to disability.

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Ericka P. Zimmerman and Valerie Herzog

Edited by Christine Lauber