Michael Jordan ’s body offers a significant site to explore larger cultural meanings and anxieties in post-Reagan America. Informed by cultural studies sensibilities, this paper explores selected sporting and advertising accounts to suggest that representations of Jordan’s athletic body are constructed by promoters in ways which rely on particular associations of Black masculinity, sexuality, and the nuclear family. The carefully crafted image of Michael Jordan offers an enticing portrait of Black masculinity, playing off notions of natural athleticism and family sentiment in ways designed to induce devotion. This public persona of Jordan participates in the moralistic “family values” climate of post-Reagan America, while simultaneously working to deny historical and stereotypical depictions of Black masculinity as overtly erotic and dangerous. Thus marketing strategies encourage a voyeuristic, albeit “safe” enjoyment of Jordan’s commodified body.
Nima Dehghansai and Joseph Baker
Initiatives have been designed to attract novice athletes and to enable transfer for experienced athletes. However, the authors have very little knowledge of the effectiveness of these programs. To further improve our understanding, this study explored the demographic and sporting careers of 225 participants attending one of the 10 Paralympian Search events held between 2016 and 2018. The sample consisted of participants with a wide range of impairments and sport experiential backgrounds. The majority of the participants reported having some experience in sports, suggesting that either the promotions reached athletes involved in sports already or the advertising appealed especially to this cohort. Athletes with impairments acquired at various stages of their lives (congenital, before adolescence, adolescence, early adulthood, and adulthood) displayed differences in their sporting trajectories, suggesting considerations for current developmental models. Furthermore, it should be considered to vary the testing locations of future events to increase the reach to rural areas and implement new methods to attract novice participants.
Peter M. Hopsicker and Douglas Hochstetler
In this paper, we ethically examine the value of dichotomies to the endurance community or any sports community bifurcated by attitudes of superiority in one qualitative method of experiencing an activity over another—as Pearl Izumi's 2007 advertising campaign “We are not joggers” has done by dividing the bipedal ambulatory endurance community into “runners” and “joggers.” Using the writings of American pragmatists William James and John Dewey, we will describe the endurance sports community in terms of “unsympathetic characters” and “sympathetic characters.” We will then layer conceptions of the “static” self and the “dynamic” self on top of this dichotomy. The results of this examination will not support Pearl Izumi's dichotomy in “static” ways. However, if these perspectives are viewed as exemplifying a temporal measure of the “dynamic” self, as part of the endurance athletes' personal narratives, then actions and attitudes based on these dichotomies can be seen as part of meaningful personal and community growth as well as a potential source of virtue.
Ambush marketing activities—such as advertisements that obliquely reference a major event—have frustrated major sport event organizers and sponsors for years. Nevertheless, these activities, so long as they stopped short of trademark infringement or false advertising, have been perfectly legal. In the last decade, major sport event organizers such as the International Olympic Committee and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association have pressured national governments to pass legislation prohibiting ambush marketing as a condition of a successful bid to host an event. Such legislation has already been enacted in the United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, and the statutes in these jurisdictions reveal an emerging right of association. In this paper, the author surveys the evolution of this right and its key features. She offers a critique of this right, and argues that the need for it has never been properly established, and that the legislation is overly broad, does not reflect an appropriate balancing of interests, and may infringe upon the freedom of expression.
Jim McKay and Toby Miller
Although there are obvious American influences on Australian popular culture, the term “Americanization” is of limited help in explaining the elaborate form and content of Australian sport. The recent transformation from amateur to corporate sport in Australia has been determined by a complex array of internal and international social forces, including Australia’s polyethnic population, its semiperipheral status in the capitalist world system, its federal polity, and its membership in the Commonwealth of Nations. Americanization is only one manifestation of the integration of amateur and professional sport into the media industries, advertising agencies, and multinational corporations of the world market. Investment in sport by American, British, New Zealand, Japanese, and Australian multinational companies is part of their strategy of promoting “good corporate citizenship,” which also is evident in art, cinema, dance, music, education, and the recent bicentennial festivities. It is suggested that the political economy of Australian sport can best be analyzed by concepts such as “post-Fordism,” the globalization of consumerism, and the cultural logic of late capitalism, all of which transcend the confines of the United States.
Gregg Bennett, Robin K. Henson and James Zhang
The rise in consumer and corporate interest in action sports, also known as extreme sports, has been phenomenal. The apparent popularity of action sports, when combined with the sponsorships, endorsements, and advertising dollars they have quickly garnered, lends itself to scientific inquiry regarding the level and nature of public interest. The purpose of this study was to examine Generation Y's perceptions of action sports, with a specific focus on the expressed popularity of action sports and the relationship between action sports interest and use of the media. The 39-item Action Sports Questionnaire (ESQ) was constructed to examine Generation Y perceptions of action sports, sports related viewing preferences, and sports related media usage among middle and high school aged students. The present findings suggested that these members of the Generation Y (n = 367) niche market preferred action sports over the traditional sports of basketball and baseball. Respondents also indicated stronger preference for soccer, but would prefer to watch the X-Games over the World Cup. There is an indication that soccer and action sports are more popular among the younger generation than some traditional team sports. Males were slightly more supportive that action sports would become more popular in the future, and the male respondents were likewise more familiar with action sports. More members of Generation Y watch action sports than their predecessors, and they likewise tend to be optimistic about the future of action sports if they watch events on television.
Marc Francaux and Jacques R. Poortmans
Allegations about side effects of creatine supplementation by athletes have been published in the popular media and scientific publications.
To examine the experimental evidence relating to the physiological effects of creatine supplementation.
One of the purported effects of oral creatine supplementation is increased muscle mass. A review of the literature reveals a 1.0% to 2.3% increase in body mass, which is attributed to fat-free mass and, more specifically, to skeletal-muscle mass. Although it is unlikely that water retention can completely explain these changes, increase in muscle-protein synthesis has never been observed after creatine supplementation. Indirect evidence based on mRNA analyses suggests that transcription of certain genes is enhanced. Although the effect of creatine on muscle-protein synthesis seems irrefutable according to advertising, this allegation remains under debate in the scientific literature. The kidneys appear to maintain their functionality in healthy subjects who supplement with creatine, even over several months.
The authors, however, think that creatine supplementation should not be used by an individual with preexisting renal disease and that risk should be evaluated before and during any supplementation period. Even if there is a slight increase in mutagenic agents (methylamine and formaldehyde) in urine after a heavy load of creatine (20 g/day), their excretion remains within a normal range. No data are currently available regarding the potential production of heterocyclic amines with creatine supplementation. In summary, the major risk for health is probably associated with the purity of commercially available creatine.
Jennifer L. Copeland, Cheryl Currie, Ali Walker, Erin Mason, Taura N. Willoughby and Ashley Amson
Providing freely accessible exercise facilities may increase physical activity at a population level. An increasingly popular strategy is outdoor fitness equipment in urban parks. Few studies have evaluated the effectiveness of this intervention in smaller cities. This study examined fitness equipment use, perceived effectiveness, and ways to increase use in a city of 100,000 people in 2015.
Two parks with fitness equipment and 4 without were directly observed. Interviews with 139 adults in active parks or living nearby were also conducted.
Only 2.7% of adult park users used the fitness equipment over 100 hours of observation across 3 seasons. In contrast, 22.3% of adults interviewed reported monthly or more use of the equipment, highlighting the limitations of self-report methods. Adults interviewed perceived the equipment as potentially beneficial and suggested strategies to increase public use, including increased advertising, the introduction of programming to teach and encourage use, improved equipment quality, and improved maintenance of the equipment and surrounding area.
In a low density city, park fitness equipment may not be an effective public health practice without additional efforts to market, introduce programming, and maintain these sites.
Catherine Draper, Susan Basset, Anniza de Villiers, Estelle V. Lambert and the HAKSA Writing Group
There is current concern for the health and well-being of children and youth in South Africa, including habits of physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior. The 2014 Healthy Active Kids South Africa Report Card evaluates the current activity status of children and youth.
The Research Working Group was comprised of 23 experts in physical education, nutrition, sport science, public health and journalism. The search was based on a systematic review of peer-reviewed literature (previous 5 years), dissertations, and nonpeer-reviewed reports (‘gray’ literature) dealing with the PA and nutritional status of South African children and youth 6−18 years of age. Key indicators were identified and data extracted. Grades for each indicator were discussed and assigned.
Overall PA levels received a D grade, as roughly 50% or more of children and youth were not meeting recommended levels. Organized sports participation fared better with a C, and government policies were promising, receiving a B. Screen time and sedentary behavior were a major concern and received a grade of F. Under- and over-weight were highlighted, but overweight is on the rise and this indicator was assigned a D grade. Most of the other indicators in South Africa remained the same or became worse so that grades declined from C- to D. In particular, sedentary behavior, soft-drink and fast food consumption, and an ineffectual regulatory environment to control advertising to children were a concern. There is need to engage parents and communities for advocacy and social mobilization.
and identities. If sport is an important site for boys and men to confirm their masculinity, and advertising is an industry that offers a promotional vehicle to publicly circulate images of masculinity, it behooves us to understand deeply how sport promotional culture operates to influence public