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Joris Drayer and Daniel A. Rascher

Teaching a graduate level sport finance class can be quite complex. With a variety of concepts such as pricing, budgeting, and public funding, to convey in a limited amount of time, new forms of pedagogy are necessary to assist instructors as this technologically-advanced generation enters into academia. Subsequently, technology has been created to apply basic concepts related to finance to the complexity of a professional sports organization. One such program is the Oakland A’s Baseball Business Simulator. Through interviews and “emotional recall” (Ellis, 2004), this evaluative case study seeks to determine the effectiveness of this technology within this environment.

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Marshall H. Medoff

The various biological, psychological, and sociological hypotheses and the economic hypothesis provided possible explanations of why blacks will be underrepresented at central positions in professional sports. The economic hypothesis attributes this phenomena to the inferior socioeconomic status of blacks and differential skill and development costs. Over the time period 1970–1984, when the psychological and sociological factors remained relatively constant but blacks’ socioeconomic status and access to facilities increased, the data showed that in major league baseball the recruitment of blacks in central positions increased and declined at the noncentral outfield position. This finding was consistent with the economic hypothesis but inconsistent with the alternative hypotheses.

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Julie Burns and Lynn Dugan

For many professional sports, nutrition is not recognized as an important component of the team's training program. The implementation of a nutrition program for one professional hockey team has had positive results. Players who had been unable to maintain their weight during the season can now maintain their weight and be prepared for the playoffs. Others have improved their endurance with proper fluid and carbohydrate replacement. Working with the entire time—coaching staff, trainers and players—has led to the success of this program.

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Wayne Halliwell

This article relates experiences and knowledge gained in providing sport psychology consulting services to professional hockey teams over a 6-year period. The process of getting involved in professional hockey is described and the importance of obtaining ample consulting experience before working with professional athletes is discussed. Philosophical and organizational components of service delivery are presented along with the range and type of service provided. The development of trust and confidence in the player/consultant relationship is seen as the key to effective sport psychology consulting. Also, the importance of being able to read situations, fit into the professional sports environment, and adopt a low-key, behind-the-scenes approach is discussed.

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Samantha King

This paper analyzes the discourse surrounding AIDS and HIV in the light of Magic Johnson’s public announcement that he was HIV positive. In the context of the New Right backlash of the 1980s, the bodies of Johnson and others have been used to (re)produce specific, narrowly defined messages about the meaning of AIDS and the HIV virus. Commercial and professional sports interests have used this event to enter into a well-established discourse that reproduces and reinforces the dominant messages of homophobia and misogyny surrounding the syndrome.

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Daniel S. Mason

Although initially developed as cartels of independently owned and operated clubs joining to produce a sports product for spectator consumption, professional sports leagues have emerged as monopolies wielding significant economic power. By increasing revenue-sharing practices, and thus attempting to align owner interests, leagues have become single-business entities that maximize wealth for the league as a whole. Over the past four decades, the National Football League has implemented such practices to become the most popular team sport in North America. Using agency theory, this paper examines how the NFL's former commissioner, Pete Rozelle, and the League Executive Committee used these practices in order to increase League revenues and decrease opportunistic behavior by team owners. However, certain owners continue to act entrepreneurially, to the detriment of the League as a whole. This behavior is congruent with the tenets of agency theory, which contend that interests will diverge within a principal-agent relationship (e.g., the NFL— NFL teams). Until such time that team owners realize that the welfare of the other League clubs, along with their competitive equality, is paramount in retaining interest in and producing the League product, professional sports leagues will continue to be plagued with problems such as unnecessary franchise relocations and other acts of maverick owners.

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Jean Harvey, Alan Law and Michael Cantelon

This paper maps the current ownership patterns of North American major professional sports franchises in order to assess the extent to which they are interconnected with media/entertainment conglomerates. First, the 120 franchises are classified according to owner’s industrial sector. Second, five models of linkages between franchises and media/entertainment corporations are followed by case studies representative of each. The paper concludes that indeed empirical evidence supports the alleged increasing control of North American pro sport franchises by large media/entertainment conglomerates. However, the paper also demonstrates that the phenomenon involves much more diversity than the major conglomerates commonly identified in the current literature. Finally, the paper discusses the impacts of this trend on sport, as well as on fans.

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Katherine L. Lavelle

The re/production of Chinese cultural identity is often fraught with contradictions. When China’s Yao Ming was drafted Number 1 in the National Basketball Association (NBA) draft, he was supposed to reinforce and transcend Chinese/ Asian identity. Yao’s entrance into the NBA signaled a new understanding of Asian identity in the United States. To study this phenomenon, the author examined commentary from television broadcasts of U.S. NBA games featuring a prominent Asian athlete (Yao Ming) using critical discourse analysis. Analysis of 13 games from Yao Ming’s 2nd and 3rd seasons revealed that Yao is linguistically constructed as a panethnic Asian/Chinese person. In addition, the analysis upholds the stereotypes that Asian people are a “model minority” and unfit to play professional sports. Given the dearth of Asian players in the NBA, how do linguistic representations of Yao Ming in game commentary reinforce Asian and Chinese cultural stereotypes or create a new identity of China?

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Michael Atkinson

While largely discounted as a genuine sport by most, professional wrestling has evolved from a minor source of “entertainment” to a culturally powerful multi-media complex. Attracting audiences in abundance of fifty million viewers on a weekly basis, professional wrestling has become the number one rated “sports-entertainment” program on television. In doing so, professional wrestling broadcasts challenge long-standing cultural constructions of sport in North America, while hyperbolising and unapologetically exploiting that which is highly entertaining about professional sports contests. Specifically, professional wrestling's mandate is to excite audiences via contrived and hyper-violent athletic competition. Drawing on Elias' (1978, 1983, 1994, 1996) and other process-sociologists' (Dunning, 1999; Maguire, 1999; Sheard, 1999) understanding of mimesis, it is argued here that professional wrestling derives the bulk of its cultural appeal from the ways in which the staged violence is presented as both “sporting” and “exciting” to audiences.

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D. Brett King, Brittany L. Raymond and Jennifer A. Simon-Thomas

The 19th century can be characterized as a time of avid public interest in team and spectator sports. As diverse and challenging new sports were developed and gained popularity, many articles on a rudimentary sport psychology began to appear in cultural magazines in the United States and Great Britain. Athletes, physicians, educators, journalists, and members of the public wrote on topics such as profiles and psychological studies of elite athletes, the importance of physical training, exercise and health, and the detrimental effects of professional sports to the role of age, gender, and culture in sports. Although a scientific foundation for such observations was largely absent, some of the ideas expressed in early cultural magazines anticipate contemporary interests in sport psychology.