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Kent L. Granzin and Janeen E. Olsen

Using survey data from personal interviews, this study investigated the relationship between voluntary commitment to physical fitness and three categories of predictor variables. Voluntary commitment was explored conceptually and then operationalized as membership in a health club or organized exercise class. The principal findings are as follows: (a) involvement in fitness activities can be usefully considered in terms of voluntary commitment; (b) commitment is empirically related to demographics, attitudes, and both passive and active leisure pursuits; (c) persons who commit to physical fitness programs have the characteristics of youth; (d) persons who commit hold a self-image of fitness and athletic ability, have been influenced by friends on how to spend their time, and have a higher level of self-motivation and mental ability; and (e) persons who make a commitment to formal physical fitness programs are more involved in a variety of active and passive leisure pursuits.

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Lynne P. Gaskin

This study determined what the courts have said regarding the condition of equipment and facilities in physical education, athletic, and intramural programs and developed guidelines to assist sport managers. Four trends emerged from the study: (a) In comparison with the 14 equipment cases, the larger number of 60 facility cases is significant, (b) The number of reported cases based on the doctrine of governmental immunity did not decrease through the years, as was anticipated, but remained relatively constant within and across the decades, (c) The number of equipment and facility cases supports the observation that America is becoming an increasingly litigious society. (d) Generally neither age, role, sex of the injured party, nor the sport or activity within which the injury occurred would appear to influence the decision of the court. Court decisions consistently have been based on the presence or absence of the four elements necessary to prove negligence and the legal principle applied. Guidelines were extracted from the cases.

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Matthew Walker and Aubrey Kent

Organizations within the sport industry are facing increasing pressure to both maintain profitability and behave in socially acceptable ways, yet researchers have provided little information on how consumers perceive and react to corporate social responsibility (CSR). This mixed-design study examined the relationship between CSR activities and fans’ assessments of reputation and patronage intentions. In addition, the study sought to determine the role of team identification in the aforementioned relationship. Fans of two NFL teams were sampled (N = 297), with quantitative results suggesting that CSR is an important predictor of reputation, and that two types of patronage could be significantly impacted as well. The moderating effect of team identification was significant yet influenced the outcomes in different ways. Qualitative findings reinforced the quantitative discussion by providing support for the general conclusions that CSR was viewed favorably by most fans, and is an important aspect of the overall business strategy of a sport organization.

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Nancy Gard McGehee, Yooshik Yoon and David Cárdenas

This study utilized an adaptation of the uni-dimensional involvement scale developed by Josiam, Smeaton, and Clements (1999) to test Havitz and Dimanche's Proposition XI, which states that “an individual's involvement profile with a recreational activity, tourist destination, or related equipment is positively related to frequency of participation, travel, or purchase” (1990, p. 189). Relationships between recreational runners' involvement in travel to road races and behavioral characteristics, including preparation for and participation in road races, travel behavior and running-related expenditures were examined. Proposition XI was partially supported. The research found statistically significant differences between the high involvement group and medium involvement group in terms of travel behavior and running-related expenditures. There were no significant differences between involvement groups and preparation for or participation in road races. It was concluded that involvement should be considered by sport and tourism agencies when planning, marketing, and managing events targeted at traveling recreational runners.

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Steve McKelvey and John Grady

Companies invest millions of dollars to become “official sponsors” of major global sporting events. The tremendous publicity and consumer audiences generated by such events provide an attractive marketing opportunity for companies other than the event’s official sponsors who seek to associate themselves in the minds of the public with the goodwill and popularity of these events. This activity, known as ambush marketing, poses significant legal and business challenges for sport event organizers seeking to protect both the financial investment of official sponsors and the integrity of their sponsorship programs. With rising sponsorship stakes, event organizers have become increasingly proactive in their efforts to combat ambush marketing. This article examines the implementation and effectiveness of a variety of evolving sponsorship program protection strategies including: pre-event education and public relations initiatives; on-site policing tactics; contractual language in athlete participation and spectator ticket agreements; and the enactment and enforcement of special trademark protection legislation.

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Paul Turner and David Shilbury

Environmental factors such as emerging technology, globalization, economic reform and social change are creating a background in which sporting organizations must seek to quickly adapt to manage their ongoing activities and operations. Focusing on emerging technology in the area of sport broadcasting, this research examined six preconditions for interorganizational relationship (IOR) formation from the perspective of professional football clubs in Australia. Based upon theories derived from the IOR literature, these six preconditions for IOR formation were considered to determine if emerging broadcasting technologies impact on IOR formation between Australian Football League (AFL) and National Rugby League (NRL) clubs and broadcasters. Semistructured in-depth interviews with senior managers of 11 AFL, and 10 NRL clubs were undertaken and data analyzed, coded and emergent themes identified. Results indicate that professional club managers display most of these attributes that precipitate the preconditions for IOR formation, but although these preconditions exist, there is little willingness by the clubs to formulate IORs with sport broadcasters.

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Brendan Dwyer and Yongjae Kim

The contemporary sport fan has the ability to consume spectator sport through several means including event attendance, television and radio broadcasts, print publications, and Internet applications. Recently, an ancillary sport service, termed fantasy sports, has become one of the most popular activities among sport fans. As a result, the business of fantasy sports is booming. This study examined motivational dimensions underlying fantasy football participation from a Uses and Gratifications perspective. Utilizing Churchill’s (1979) five-step method for developing quality marketing measures, this study identified and validated three motivational dimensions: entertainment/escape, competition, and social interaction. The results suggest a pattern of fantasy football participation that is more purposeful and active than traditional media use. Discussed are the gambling associations, future research opportunities, and suggestions for developing fantasy football participation into a more creative and interactive marketing communication tool.

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Terry Eddy, Lamar Reams and Stephen Dittmore

As online business models have evolved, learning what drives users’ consumptive behaviors has gained increasing interest to sport researchers and sport properties. An increasing number of sport properties are expanding, and deriving revenues from, their presence on digital-media platforms (e.g., MLB, NBA, NFL, UFC, WWE, etc.). Of the sport properties mentioned, none are more reliant on digital-media activity than the Ultimate Fighting Championship. As such, the purpose of this study was to examine the motivations and related consumption habits of users of non-subscription-based (i.e., free-to-use) online message boards. Findings suggest that message-board users find value in the opportunities for interactivity and that heavy online mixed-martial-arts users watch more events and purchase more merchandise than those who spend less time online.

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Vassil Girginov, Marijke Taks, Bob Boucher, Scott Martyn, Marge Holman and Jess Dixon

Sport-participation development requires a systematic process involving knowledge creation and dissemination and interactions between national sport organizations (NSOs), participants, clubs, and associations, as well as other agencies. Using a relationship-marketing approach (Grönroos, 1997, Gummesson, 2002, Olkkonen, 1999), this article addresses the question, How do Canadian NSOs use the Web, in terms of functionality and services offered, to create and maintain relationships with sport participants and their sport-delivery partners? Ten Canadian NSOs’ Web sites were examined. Functionality was analyzed using Burgess and Cooper’s (2000) eMICA model, and NSOs’ use of the Internet to establish and maintain relationships with sport participants was analyzed using Wang, Head, and Archer’s (2000) relationshipbuilding process model for the Web. It was found that Canadian NSOs were receptive to the use of the Web, but their information-gathering and -dissemination activities, which make up the relationship-building process, appear sparse and in some cases are lagging behind the voluntary sector in the country.

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Brody J. Ruihley and Lisa T. Fall

Public relations (PR) activities in college athletics are concerned with many types of people, organizations, and businesses. The success of a program depends on support from these constituents. The purpose of this research was to determine the perception of PR roles in a college athletic environment. One goal was to determine how many athletic directors (ADs) occupy PR positions in their department or what position they perceive to be most involved with PR. A second goal was to examine attitudes held by ADs regarding the importance, benefits, and responsibilities of PR officers. A final goal was to determine what role behaviors PR practitioners are exhibiting. This study provides empirical research in the area of PR, specifically in college athletics. The findings provide a benchmark for the PR literature in relation to the sports industry, how PR fits into the sports structure, and what roles PR plays in college athletics.