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.
Julie Burns and Lynn Dugan
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Amy B. Becker and Dietram A. Scheufele
Recently, the controversy surrounding the use of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs by Olympic and professional athletes has captured the media spotlight, in part as a response to the very public and pervasive steroids scandal plaguing Major League Baseball (MLB). This article examines trends in Americans’ attitudes toward the use of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs in Olympic and professional sport as a way to better understand the messaging challenges that policy makers, players, managers, coaches, and publicists face when trying to influence the media agenda. As the poll data presented suggest, Americans feel that the incidence of performanceenhancing- drug use in professional sport is significant, especially in MLB. Furthermore, Americans suggest that the leadership of various professional sports is not doing enough to combat the use of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs by top competitors.
Verena Burk, Christoph G. Grimmer and Tim Pawlowski
Organizations around the globe have numerous avenues to share information with their target groups and communicate directly without any intermediaries such as journalists. Particularly, sports organizations like professional sports teams make frequent use of e-mail newsletters, (online) club TV channels, stadium magazines, and Internet platforms. In addition, they frequently share information using social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Surprisingly, however, very little is known about the factors influencing consumers’ use of these different communication channels. This paper is the first to analyze simultaneously the factors associated with consumers’ use of different public relations (PR) media by using representative data from club members of one of the biggest professional soccer clubs in Germany and employing a multivariate ordered probit model. Results suggest that decisions on the use of different PR media are closely related, though sociodemographic and membership characteristics have a media-specific impact on the frequency of use.
B. David Tyler and Joe Cobbs
Rivalry is ubiquitous across sports, yet the representation and specification of rivalry varies widely. Such discrepancy poses problems when distinguishing between multiple out-groups and when employing rivalry to explain related questions such as demand for sport consumption. In this paper, we critically examine the many differing conceptions of rivalry and to discern properties of rivalry across different sports. We survey college football fans (N = 5,304) to empirically test the exclusivity, scale, and symmetry of rivalry; then, we replicate the study twice in the context of professional sports (1,649 National Football League fans; 1,435 National Hockey League fans). Results consistently indicate that fans perceive multiple rivals (nonexclusive), rivalry intensity varies among rivals (continuous in scale), and opposing fans rarely share equivalent perceptions of the rivalry (bidirectional). Accordingly, we develop and test a parsimonious 100-point rivalry allocation measure that specifies these three properties of rivalry.
This article uses economic theory to examine the variables that affect the competitive balance in a professional sports league and the impact of revenue sharing. The generally accepted proposition that revenue sharing does not affect the competitive balance in a profi t-maximizing league has been challenged by many. It is shown that the competitive balance and the impact of revenue sharing not only depend on the relative size of the market of the clubs, but that they are also affected by the objectives of the club owners and the importance to spectators of absolute team quality and uncertainty of outcome. Furthermore, the clubs’ hiring strategies, including the talent supply conditions, turn out to be important elements affecting competitive balance and the impact of revenue sharing.