The present study contributes to, updates, and extends the literature on sport and social mobility by reconceptualizing and reoperationalizing the odds of attaining college and professional athlete status. Using 1990 U.S. census data and team rosters, rates for achieving college and professional sports “careers” were computed for men and women of color in the most popular U.S. sports. A methodological contribution of this research is that the norming variables employed in the statistical calculations were refined, that is, they were age, race/ethnicity, sport, and sex specific. This inquiry contains the most systematic, extensive, and refined measures for assessing the likelihood of achieving the ultimate in sport upward social mobility—major league professional athlete status. A discussion of why the odds of obtaining professional athlete status vary is explored along with some of the conceptual and operational issues created by the concept Hispanic.
Wilbert M. Leonard
Julia Weber and Natalie Barker-Ruchti
During the 1970s, a new corporal and aesthetic standard emerged in women’s artistic gymnastics. No longer was grace and elegance the main feature, but acrobatic and somewhat robotic performances. These exercises were increasingly performed by highly trained and sexually immature girls. The Western audience was fascinated by the athletic and innocent-looking gymnasts. The emerging corporality and performance trend combined youthfulness und slimness with physical fitness and muscular tone, a combination that reflected the idealized woman of the 1970s. Sports photographs played a key role in distributing the “new” ideal of femininity. In this article, we consider how gymnasts’ performances of the 1970s were visualized by examining a sample of professional sports photographs. We demonstrate how sports photographs construct and establish gender and body standards through their visual construction of gendered and de-gendered gymnastics performances.
Michael McDougall, Mark Nesti and David Richardson
The challenges encountered by sport psychologists operating within elite and professional sports teams have arguably been inadequately considered (Nesti, 2010). It has been suggested that this may be due to the inaccessibility of elite team environments (Eubank, Nesti, & Cruickshank, 2014; Nesti, 2010). The purpose of this research was to examine the challenges facing practitioners who operate in elite environments and to illuminate how these were experienced. Qualitative interviews with six experienced applied sport psychologists were conducted and a narrative themed analysis undertaken. Four main themes emerged as most prevalent and meaningful: challenges to congruence, a broader role: managing multiple relationships, the influence of elite sport cultures, and surviving and thriving were presented in narrative form. Practitioners provided experiential insight into how specific challenges were understood and dealt with, and how they are able to provide an effective service while managing themselves and the demands of the environment.
Chris Chard and Kirsty K. Spence
Three years ago, Steve Thornton purchased the South End Mustangs, a professional ice hockey team competing in the D1 division in the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, Thornton has experienced challenging times during his ownership tenure. The team has achieved mediocre results on the ice and poor results off the ice. Thornton knows he needs help to turn the Mustangs franchise around. Thus, as a result, he turns to John Tapner, a sport business owner, operator, entrepreneur, and advisor. Tapner is best known as a professional sport consultant and TV personality, representing his company Sports Rescue, which is the same name as his hit television show. When an owner calls Tapner, it is because a professional sports team is in trouble and needs to be rescued.
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.
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.
Douglas A. Kleiber and Stephen C. Brock
In a previous investigation of the factors that make for a satisfying “exit” from organized sport (Kleiber, Greendorfer, Blinde, & Samdahl, 1987), it was determined that the only predictor of life satisfaction in the years following departure from formal participation was whether one had sustained a career-ending injury. By examining degree of investment in playing professional sports and the academic orientation of that earlier sample, it was possible in the current study to refine the profile of those vulnerable to subsequent depression of well-being (as reflected in lower life satisfaction and self-esteem). Of athletes who had been injured, only those who had an investment in playing professional sport were likely to show lower selfesteem and life satisfaction 5 to 10 years later. The disruption to a “life narrative” that is suggested by these findings argues for a more interpretive approach to research on and treatment of injury and illness among athletes and others.
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.
Brian P. Soebbing and Nicholas M. Watanabe
Price dispersion reflects ignorance in the marketplace in which different prices exist from the same or different sellers for a similar good. One of the sources of price dispersion is uncertain demand for a business’s good or service. Ticket markets are good opportunities to examine a firm’s pricing strategy under demand uncertainty, because professional sports teams have to price their tickets well in advance of the actual event and before actual demand is known. The purpose of the present research is to examine the relationship between price dispersion and regular season average attendance in Major League Baseball. Using a two-step generalized method of moments (GMM) model, the present research finds that an increase in price dispersion leads to a decrease in average attendance.
Shaun C. Tyrance, Henry L. Harris and Phyllis Post
This study examined the relationship between athletic identity, race, gender, sport, and expectation to play professionally and career planning attitudes (career optimism, career adaptability, and career knowledge) among NCAA Division I college student-athletes. Participants of this study consisted of 538 Division I student-athletes from four Bowl Championship Series institutions. Results of this study found that Division I student-athletes with higher athletic identities had lower levels of career optimism; Division I student-athletes who participated in revenue-producing sports had lower levels of career optimism; and student-athletes with a higher expectation to play professional sports were more likely to be optimistic regarding their future career and displayed higher athletic identities. Statistically significant findings indicated the following gender differences: male Division I student-athletes believed they had a better understanding of the job market and employment trends; males had more career optimism; and females had higher levels of athletic identity than their male counterparts. Implications for counseling student-athletes are addressed.