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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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Daniel S. Mason and Trevor Slack

Focusing on player agents in professional ice hockey, this paper utilizes the theoretical construct of agency theory as a means of evaluating attempts by several stakeholder groups to find solutions to opportunistic agent behavior. As proposed by agency theorists, this would include the creation and implementation of monitoring mechanisms by industry stakeholders in order to regulate agent activities. Stakeholder groups involved include state and federal governments, the agents themselves, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and Players' Associations, which, at various times, all have adopted forms of certification programs in attempts to monitor player agents. Documentation on these programs and interviews with industry stakeholders are employed to develop criteria by which such programs can be assessed in terms of their ability to reduce traditional agency problems. In doing so, it is argued that the agency model can be used to provide additional insight into problems associated with these programs and to improve program effectiveness in monitoring hockey agent behavior.

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Mike Wallace and W. James Weese

This study was undertaken to investigate the links between transformational leadership, organizational culture, and employee job satisfaction within the 69 Canadian YMCA organizations. Leadership was measured by the Leadership Behavior Questionnaire (Sashkin, 1988), organizational culture by the Organizational Culture Assessment Questionnaire (Sashkin, 1990), and employee job satisfaction by the Job in General Index (Balzer & Smith, 1990). The results of a MÁNOVA and subsequent ANOVA statistical treatments allowed the researchers to conclude that significant differences in organizational culture existed between the YMCA organizations led by high transformational leaders and YMCA organizations led by low transformational leaders. In addition, the YMCA organizations led by high transformational leaders administered organizations that carried out the culture-building activities of managing change, achieving goals, coordinated teamwork, and customer orientation to a greater degree than YMCA organizations led by low transformational leaders. No significant differences in employee job satisfaction levels existed between the YMCA organizations led by high transformational leaders and those led by low transformational leaders.

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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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Danny O’Brien and Jess Ponting

This research analyzes a strategic approach to managing surf tourism in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Surf tourists travel to often remote destinations for the purpose of riding surfboards, and earlier research suggests the mismanagement of surf tourism in some destinations has resulted in significant deleterious impacts on host communities. The research question in this study addresses how surf tourism can be managed to achieve sustainable host community benefits in the context of a developing country. Primary data came from semistructured interviews and participant observation. The findings demonstrate how sport governing bodies can engage host communities in a collaborative framework for the sustainable utilization of sport tourism resources. The derived knowledge from this research may decrease host communities’ reliance on less sustainable commercial activities, and inform policy and practice on sustainable approaches to using sport tourism for community building and poverty alleviation.

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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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Lionel Frost, Margaret Lightbody and Abdel K. Halabi

Australian Football clubs have traditionally been seen as contributing social benefits to the rural communities in which they are embedded. Declining numbers of participants, both players and volunteers, suggest that this role may not be as strong today. Critical explorations of the extent to which football has driven social inclusion and exclusion in such environments emphasizes a historic masculine culture of drinking and violence that segregates and marginalizes women and children. Less is known about the contemporary strategic efforts of clubs to use social capital to support their activities, and whether the resources they generate have positive impacts on social inclusion in the wider community. We use evidence from the Parliament of Victoria’s Inquiry into Country Football (2004) to explore the current focus of rural Australian Football clubs regarding social inclusion, in light of changes occurring in society and rural towns in the 21st century.

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Yuhei Inoue, Aubrey Kent and Seoki Lee

Despite the acknowledged importance of investigating the link between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate financial performance (CFP) within a single industry, very few studies have examined this relationship in the context of the sport industry. Using charitable giving data as a proxy of CSR, this study investigated if CSR would affect CFP of professional sport teams within the four major U.S. leagues. Although the positive CSR-CFP relationship was hypothesized based on instrumental stakeholder theory, CSR was found to have non-positive effects on CFP. These results are still notable since they may highlight the importance of the connectedness between CSR and team operations and the awareness of CSR activity among stakeholders in leveraging CSR benefits. Overall, through the use of improved methodology, the current study furthers the understanding of the CSR-CFP relationship among the U.S. professional teams.

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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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Lisa M. Kikulis, Trevor Slack and C.R. Hinings

The period between 1984 and 1988 was one of considerable change in the Canadian sport system. National sport organizations (NSOs) were subject to institutional pressures from the government agency Sport Canada to dispense with their traditional operating procedures and move to a more professional bureaucratic organizational design. Researchers who have studied this time period have suggested that NSOs were passive receptors of these government pressures and that they acquiesced to the changes promoted by Sport Canada. This paper challenges this idea and suggests that the role of human agents and the choices they made in response to the pressures emanating from the state agency are important aspects of the change dynamic. Using data from a study of 36 NSOs, this paper shows that NSOs demonstrated resistance in the form of pacifying activities and ceremonial conformity.