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Yuan Wang and Shuhua Zhou

Social media have been increasingly used by sports organizations to communicate with the public. This study explored the Twitter-using practices of National Basketball Association (NBA) clubs (N = 30) in the U.S. in building relationships with their fans during the 2013–14 season. Specifically, it focused on how these clubs used Twitter to build professional, personal, and community relationships through a content analysis of 5,561 tweets on their official Twitter sites. The results suggested that NBA clubs tended to use social media to develop professional relationships with their publics via sharing information and promoting products. There were significant relationships between relationship dimensions and the number of retweets and favorites from Twitter followers. Sports organizations should use social media effectively to strengthen the professional, personal, and community relationships with their publics.

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Matthew J. Robinson and Galen T. Trail

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships among gender, type of sport, motives, and points of attachment to a team for spectators of selected intercollegiate sports. The significant MANOVA results indicated that gender explained 2% of the variance in motives and 3% of the variance in points of attachment; type of sport explained 4% and 7% of the variance in motives and points of attachment, respectively. A canonical correlation analysis suggested three significant and meaningful variates, which together showed a shared variance between motives and points of attachment in excess of 70%. This suggests that collegiate marketers and managers might want to design their marketing communications to emphasize the relationships among motives and points of attachment rather than trying to segment their fan and spectator base by gender or by type of sport.

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César García

Real Madrid Football Club is today the richest sport team in the world and the third most valuable sport brand, according to the latest rankings (e.g., Deloitte, 2010; Forbes 2009). This scholarly commentary proposes the application of a relationship management model of building long-lasting relationships with fans as the main key of Real Madrid’s success. Results of this study highlight that, under the presidency of Florentino Pérez, a public relations approach has been integrated into every strategic decision including the recruitment of players with media appeal; the use of event planning, Internet, social media, promotional tours, and publications; and the display of Real Madrid’s own audiovisual media. The adoption of this model has proven successful despite poor sports results.

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Christoph G. Grimmer and Edward M. Kian

This article examines German print sport journalists’ perceptions, experiences, and relationships with Bundesliga clubs’ public relations (PR) staffers and each club’s designated press spokesperson, as well the impact of a competitive, multitier 21st-century media environment on their jobs. All Bundesliga clubs are now disseminating more multimedia content on their own through official Web sites and social media such as Twitter and Facebook. Meanwhile, the German newspaper industry is in a state of transformation and decreased prominence among mediums in German sport journalism. A survey of print journalists who cover Bundesliga clubs showed that these changes have affected the historic symbiotic relationship between the sporting press and Bundesliga clubs. Power and media autonomy have increased for Bundesliga clubs and their designated press spokespersons, while print reporters are more dependent on the clubs’ PR staffers to provide access. The surveyed journalists recognize the increasing power of television in German sport journalism, but nearly half do not consider this as negative for their jobs. These print sport journalists are called on to find new ways and types of media content to begin restoring the needed balance in a symbiotic relationship between independent press and PR, while also distinguishing their work from televised media content.

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Bob Heere, Chiyoung Kim, Masayuki Yoshida, Hidemasa Nakamura, Toshiyuki Ogura, Kyu Soo Chung and So Youn Lim

The purpose of this study was to provide an analysis of an international sporting event as a possible catalyst for social change. Because of the unique circumstances surrounding the bid process, the dual hosting of the World Cup 2002 by Korea and Japan was seen as a unique opportunity to examine the power of sport as a catalyst behind change. Longitudinal secondary data were consulted to look at the economic, social and cultural impact of the event, while interviews with respondents in both nations gave more insight on how the respondents viewed the relationship between the two nations. Economic, social and cultural indicators all reflected an impact of the World Cup on the bilateral relationship. The interviews suggested that there were two main barriers to an improved relationship between the two nations (Victim mentality of the Korean toward the Japanese, Lack of awareness of Korea in Japan), and that it was not necessarily the organization of the event that alleviated these barriers, but the performance of the Korean football team.

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Jason W. Lee

By Brandi Watkins. © 2019 by Lexington Books , Lanham, MD. $85.00 . 148 pp. ISBN: 978-1-4985-4005-6 In Sport Teams, Fans, and Twitter: The Influence of Social Media on Relationships and Branding, author Brandi Watkins takes the reader through a thoughtful examination of social media as it

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Brian McNamara

This study sought to identify factors associated with computer resistance for employees within subsets of three segments of the sport industry. Seven hypotheses were developed to test the relationship between computer resistance and various independent variables, including assorted demographic factors and an employee’s background. Prior hands-on computer experience was the most important determinant of the extent of computer resistance. Another important determinant was age, with younger employees being less computer resistant than older employees. Other characteristics associated with computer resistance included number of years in present employment and exposure to computer education.

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Rui Biscaia, Abel Correia, Antonio Fernando Rosado, Stephen D. Ross and João Maroco

Sponsorship studies have generally been focused on attitudinal measures of fan loyalty to understand the reactions to abstract sponsors. This study examines the relationships between both attitudinal and behavioral loyalty with sponsorship awareness, attitude toward two actual sponsors, and purchase intentions. Data were collected among fans of a professional soccer team, and the results of a structural equation model provide evidence that attitudinal loyalty impacts the attitude toward both sponsors and purchase intentions. Behavioral loyalty influences sponsorship awareness, and impacts differently the attitude and purchase intentions toward each sponsor. Sponsorship awareness influences significantly the attitude toward both sponsors, while the attitude toward the sponsor was the strongest predictor of purchase intentions. These findings highlight the importance of examining actual sponsors and suggest managerial implications, such as the need for sponsors to help attract fans to the stadium and to design additional activation strategies to improve sponsorship value.

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Youngjin Hur, Yong Jae Ko and Joseph Valacich

The Internet website has become an effective marketing vehicle for sport organizations. The purpose of this study was to examine theoretical relationships between key variables of online sport consumption behavior such as sport consumers’ perceptions of sport website quality, satisfaction, and behavioral loyalty to the websites. In addition, the mediating effect of e-satisfaction between website quality and e-loyalty was examined. The results of data analyses using structural equation model tests revealed that loyalty to a sport team’s website was more likely to occur as sport fans developed positive perceptions and satisfaction with the website. The results also suggested that consumer e-satisfaction is an important mediating variable between sport website quality and e-loyalty.

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G. Clayton Stoldt and Mark Vermillion

Employing an organizational public relations (PR) roles typology, this study addressed differences in the professional use and perceptions of social media based on the primary PR roles of college athletics communicators. Data were gathered via an online survey of members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (N = 518). Results indicated that those in management roles spent significantly more time working with blogs and social media than technicians did. Managers and technicians also differed significantly in several ways regarding their perceptions of the impact of social media and their relationship with traditional mainstream media. The findings contribute to an understanding of how PR roles have evolved in the era of social media, as well as role-related dynamics specific to social media in college sport PR.