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Bridget Rubenking and Nicky Lewis

Sports viewers use online platforms to engage with sports content and other fans, and some of this engagement occurs as a secondary task while viewing sporting events in real time. Multitasking while viewing can both help and hinder enjoyment, depending on the context and time devoted to secondary tasks. A field experiment (N = 215) explored how socializing with others (physically and virtually) and how time spent with social, event-related, and non-event-related secondary activities were related to enjoyment of a university football game and fan identification. Results demonstrate that both posting to Facebook and viewing in more social settings are related to greater enjoyment. However, more time spent on social media and looking up non-event-related content were negatively related to enjoyment and fan identification. This suggests that a short window of time spent on secondary tasks while viewing a sports event may be the sweet spot for maximizing enjoyment.

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Sue Inglis

This paper addresses the degree of influence exerted on athletic programs from internal and external sources. Using survey data, internal influence was assessed by the athletic administrators indicating their perceptions of their influence in decision-making activities. Factor analysis yielded three factors (administrative, strategic, and marketing decision types) that were used in repeated-measures ANOVA procedures with administrative level as the independent measure and decision types as the dependent measures. Significant results are discussed in relation to the theoretical concepts of decision types, gender, and hierarchical position. External influence was assessed by the athletic administrators and university presidents indicating their perceptions of the degree of influence exerted by external groups on the athletic program. Repeated-measures ANOVA procedures with subsequent Scheffé post hoc analyses where appropriate were used. The results are discussed in relation to the hierarchical position of the respondents and levels of influence exerted by the external groups.

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Sharon A. Mathes, Amy T. McGivern and Carole M. Schneider

Interest in the potential benefits of exercise and fitness programs has led many corporations to invest in such for their employees. Fitness program directors need to better understand factors that affect employees' decisions to participate. The purpose of this study was to examine whether male and female participants and nonparticipants differed in their conceptual and institutional motives for involvement in a corporate exercise program. The Exercise Program Survey was developed and administered randomly to 310 employees of a metropolitan insurance company. Participants scored items associated with enhancing fitness, reducing stress and learning to relax as more important than nonparticipants did. Participants also indicated that the institutional motive structure was more important, thus emphasizing the need for appropriate times, places, and availability of instruction. Women felt more strongly than men that weight control, fitness, stress reduction, relaxation, and smoking cessation activities were necessary components of a fitness program. Women also scored the structure and health institutional motives as more important.

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Susan C. Brown

This study sought to identify significant predictors of success (a) in a graduate program of sport management at a major research institution in the United States and (b) in initial employment success. Regression analysis identified four significant predictors for success in the graduate program. The variables that produced a positive relationship with the dependent variable—final graduate grade point average—were age upon application, number of years of extracurricular activity involvement in undergraduate school, and undergraduate grade point average. The number of years in a full-time position in sport management upon application produced a significant negative relationship. Discriminant analysis was used to identify possible predictors of initial employment success identified as time from graduation to employment in a sport management position. However, no significant predictors were found.

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Matthew T. Bowers, B. Christine Green and Chad S. Seifried

Founders of the North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM) set out to realize a future in which the management of sport was part of a broader vision that included exercise, dance and play. However, the organization quickly became untethered from this broad interpretation of sport management. In this mixedmethod historical research and Delphi study, 10 founding members of NASSM explain the underlying reasons why NASSM leaders redirected the organization’s focus over time. Drawing from the literature on institutional legitimacy as a lens to understand the development of NASSM, the findings suggest an emphasis on commercial sport emerged over that of exercise, dance, and play. This emphasis was perceived to offer a more sustainable niche within the crowded sport and physical activity academic society continuum. Shaped by market- and culture-driven processes, NASSM’s legitimacy-seeking efforts ultimately catalyzed a narrowing of the organization’s scope.

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Norm O’Reilly and Twan Huybers

As an accepted tool in the promotional mix of organizations, sponsorship and sport sponsorship have become everyday marketing practice, in which sponsors invest in sponsees in return for marketing value. The implementation, or fulfillment, as it is often called in practice, of a sponsorship involves three main activities: activation, evaluation and servicing. While the literature has investigated both activation and evaluation, work in the area of servicing is limited. Guided by a sponsorship-linked marketing lens, a longitudinal study of sponsorship organizations was undertaken followed by a best-worst scaling experiment. Longitudinal results inform us that sponsees are underservicing sponsors; however, the best-worst scaling experiment finds a reduced gap. Results illustrate that although gaps between importance and performance perceptions are relatively small for sponsors, sponsees and agencies, a mixed pattern of agreement and disagreement exists between each of the three respondent groups in relation to the specific importance and performance dimensions.

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Elizabeth B. Delia and Cole G. Armstrong

Scholars have frequently examined sponsorship effectiveness via survey instrument; however, no efforts have been made to gauge sponsorship effectiveness via social networking sites. As a medium for consumer activity and interaction, scholars and industry professionals can leverage social media to monitor the effects of sponsorship in real time, as consumers experience a sporting event. In this exploratory study, we employed a mixed methods study design to examine Twitter users’ discussion of 2013 French Open sponsors during the tennis tournament. We found a weak positive relationship between sponsor-event functional fit and positive sponsor-related sentiment, and a weak positive relationship between a sponsor company’s social media presence and event-related buzz. Through case study analysis, we discovered unintended misrepresentation and activation were apparent drivers of sponsor-related social media conversation during the 2013 French Open. As an emerging area for sponsorship research, we provide suggestions for future research into sponsorship and social media.

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Brendan Dwyer

Fantasy football participation is an extremely-popular, yet unique online activity that combines traditional sport fandom with interactive components to enhance a fan’s overall sport experience. The player-specific concentration of the game, however, has the potential to alter traditional team-focused loyalties that have driven sport consumer behavior inquiry for decades. Due to this intriguing circumstance, this study investigated the relationship between fantasy football involvement and traditional NFL fan loyalty. In addition, given the varying levels of fantasy participation, this study examined factors that predict differing levels of involvement among fantasy owners. The results suggest a positive relationship between involvement and attitudinal loyalty and a nonstandard relationship between a highly-involved fantasy football participant’s attitudes and behaviors, especially with regard to team loyalty. Discussed are the theoretical repercussions of this conceptual disconnect, the potential for future research, and practical implications for the future marketing of individual teams, leagues, and fantasy-related applications.

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Kathy Babiak, Brian Mills, Scott Tainsky and Matthew Juravich

This study explored the philanthropic landscape of professional athletes and their charitable foundations. This research also investigated factors influencing the formation of philanthropic foundations among this group of individuals. First, data were collected to identify athletes in four professional North American sport leagues who had formed charitable foundations. Then, 36 interviews were conducted with athletes, foundation directors, league and team executives and a sport agent to explore the motives and beliefs about philanthropy in professional sport. Using the theory of planned behavior, this paper identified the factors considered in the formation of charitable foundations in this unique group, primarily focusing on attitudes (altruistic and self-interested), perceived behavioral control, subjective norms, self-identity and moral obligation as antecedents to athlete philanthropic activity. The paper also discusses the unique context in which these individuals operate, some of the particular constraints they face, and identifies opportunities for athlete foundations and their partners.

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Kostas Alexandris, Rodoula H. Tsiotsou and Jeffrey D. James

The objective of this research was to test the application of an alternative hierarchy of effects model (affect, cognition, and conation) in the context of sponsorship. Activity involvement and team attachment (affect) were proposed to influence sponsor image and attitudes toward sponsorship (cognition), which in turn were proposed to influence consumer behavioral intentions (conation). Fans of a professional basketball team in Greece (N = 384) participated in the study. The results provided support for the alternative hierarchy of effects model and its application in the context of sponsorship. Team attachment (affect) was shown to have both a direct and indirect relationship with behavioral intentions (conation), through its influence on sponsor image and attitudes toward sponsorship (cognition). Furthermore, the attraction dimension of involvement was shown to influence team attachment. The theoretical and managerial implications of these results are discussed.