An organization’s initial response to a crisis can dictate the tone of its sustained response throughout the crisis, as well as stakeholders’ reactions to the incident. When news of the deaths of professional wrestler Chris Benoit, his wife, and their 7-yr-old son broke, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) immediately paid tribute to the superstar. A memorial show to Benoit’s career aired as investigators searched the family’s home. The investigation revealed that Benoit murdered his wife and son before taking his own life, resulting in WWE’s retraction of its earlier tributes. Furthermore, the organization had to respond to the swarm of speculation that steroids—and WWE’s lax policy on their use—were to blame. This case study analyzes WWE’s immediate response strategies to their employee’s family’s deaths and the subsequent strategies used on learning that the employee was implicated. Qualitative analysis of corporate documents and official statements seeks to provide direction regarding how similar organizations should respond in the days immediately after tragic events when employees may be implicated.
Laura Richardson Walton and Kevin D. Williams
Blair Browning and Jimmy Sanderson
Twitter has become a popular topic in sport communication research. Little research to date, however, has examined Twitter from the perspective of student-athletes. This research explored how student-athletes at an NCAA Division I university used Twitter and reacted to critical tweets from fans. Semistructured interviews with 20 student-athletes were conducted. Analysis revealed that student-athletes used Twitter in 3 primary ways: keeping in contact, communicating with followers, and accessing information. With respect to critical tweets, student-athletes reported various perceptions about them and diverse strategies for responding to them. The results suggest that Twitter is a beneficial communicative tool for student-athletes but also presents challenges, given the ease with which fans attack them via this social-media platform. Accordingly, athletic departments must be proactive in helping student-athletes use Twitter strategically, particularly in responding to detractors.
Michael A. Odio, Patty Raube Keller and Dana Drew Shaw
identified through the authors’ extended network as people with extensive experience and insight on Title IX from different perspectives (i.e., administration, litigation, consultation, and activism). All three interviewees were asked to respond to a series of questions under two broad categories aligned
Gashaw Abeza, Norm O’Reilly, Kyle Kashuck, Joshua Law and Alexandra Speck
adopted by ASU (e.g., a donation with ticket purchase) affect stadium attendance? Would you maintain this approach or explore a different one? Explain why. 5. What are the short-and long-term implications of mandatory athletics fees? 6. How would you advise the Athletic Director to respond to students who
Sarah Stokowski, Bo Li, Benjamin D. Goss, Shelby Hutchens and Megan Turk
researchers’ e-mail addresses. To increase the response rate, a reminder e-mail was sent 2 weeks after the first e-mail. A total of 193 sport management faculty responded to the survey, for a response rate of 16.08%. Due to the distribution method of the survey (e-mail), the response rate is lower than other
Whitney W. Marks, Tiesha R. Martin and Stacy Warner
This case addresses the events leading up to the cancellation of the 2012 New York City Marathon in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. The case highlights the importance of making fair and timely decisions. The case is assembled based on newspaper accounts of the circumstances that led to New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg declaring the 2012 marathon would be held and then two days later canceling the event. The facts that were available to Mayor Bloomberg are presented in such a way that students can consider and analyze what they would have done and when, and how this may or may not differ from what actually occurred. Most importantly, the case highlights the decision-making process that many sport and event managers will encounter in the field when a weather-related event occurs in the midst of a planned athletic event. Consequently, the case provides students with an opportunity to critically examine the following: 1) how a sport organization should respond to a crisis; 2) the impact of decision-making on various event stakeholders; 3) the ethics involved in decision-making; and 4) how sport and event managers should respond to public criticism. The case is intended for use in classes focused on event management, sport ethics, and public relations.
Angela Lumpkin and Rebecca M. Achen
Despite what many claim, just because there is teaching does not mean there is learning. Clear and convincing evidence supports changing the instructional paradigm to a learner-centered classroom. Flipping a class shifts the delivery, often through technologically presented lectures, to free class time for student participation in a plethora of learning activities, such as think-pair-share and discussions, leading to student perceptions of greater learning and more enjoyment. In an action research approach with one class, 72% of juniors and seniors in an undergraduate sport finance and economics class reported out-of-class lectures often positively impacted their learning, and the remaining 28% responded these lectures did sometimes. End-of-course evaluations and surveys were overwhelmingly positive about class engagement, interaction, and enjoyment.
Daniel Wigfield and Ryan Snelgrove
In March 2017, responding to a pressure to improve athlete development and enjoyment, Hockey Canada moved to change how youth are introduced to hockey by mandating the implementation of a cross-ice development program for its entry-level participants. The mandate of cross-ice programming was to ensure that all 75,000 entry-level participants received increased touches of the puck on an appropriately sized playing surface; thus, heightening their spatial awareness and foundational skills necessary to enjoyably move forward in hockey. As is common for many sport organizations, the proposed programming changes were met with resistance by some stakeholders. Surprisingly, the resistance to the programming changes evolved into a much-publicized intergroup conflict within Hockey Canada’s largest market. The dispute could not be resolved in time for the beginning of the 2017–2018 season. As a result, the defiant local leagues were granted a one-year reprieve from implementing cross-ice programming. With only a one-year reprieve granted, Hockey Canada must now determine the appropriate steps to fully implement their desired programming change and ensure that resistance-based conflicts are limited in the future.
Peter Han, Mark Dodds, Tara Mahoney, Kristi Schoepfer and Justin Lovich
Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat, have become extremely popular; they serve as tools to connect individuals in a public forum. However, collegiate student-athletes use social media to send messages that may reflect poorly on their educational institutions. For example, student-athletes have posted profanity, obscene messages, compromising photographs, and even threatened the President of the United States while using social media. These messages create negative publicity for the college since athletics and student-athletes are a visible aspect of the institution. As such, inappropriate social media use has become a major concern with college athletic departments. Because the NCAA requires member institutions to adequately and consistently monitor social networking activity, colleges have responded to the actions by disciplining student-athletes that use social media negatively to voice their opinions; in some cases, this punishment has been as severe as actually dismissing the student-athlete from his or her team. But, how does this action impact the public relations of the athletic department? Further, does it subject the college to possible legal action?
thought processes through follow-up questions. • Help students create mental pictures to make connections with prior learning. • Create a classroom climate of shared learning. • Facilitate students responding to classmates’ questions and answers. • Develop rapport with students. • Assess student learning