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Hans H. Bauer, Nicola E. Stokburger-Sauer and Stefanie Exler

This study highlights the importance of brand image for fan loyalty in team sport. A parsimonious 4-factor, 20-indicator structure effectively represents brand image. In contrast to Keller’s proposed model, relationships between the brand image’s components were discovered. Thus, in line with means-end theory, a brand-image model should incorporate causalities among brand attributes, benefits, and attitudes. Fan loyalty is positively influenced by a fan’s brand attitude. Relationships among the brand-image dimensions and loyalty are confirmed via structural equation modeling. The non-product-related brand attributes (i.e., logo or tradition) have a particularly large impact on attitudes and behavior. They represent promising starting points for a successful and differentiating team brand strategy.

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Daniel S. Mason

Although initially developed as cartels of independently owned and operated clubs joining to produce a sports product for spectator consumption, professional sports leagues have emerged as monopolies wielding significant economic power. By increasing revenue-sharing practices, and thus attempting to align owner interests, leagues have become single-business entities that maximize wealth for the league as a whole. Over the past four decades, the National Football League has implemented such practices to become the most popular team sport in North America. Using agency theory, this paper examines how the NFL's former commissioner, Pete Rozelle, and the League Executive Committee used these practices in order to increase League revenues and decrease opportunistic behavior by team owners. However, certain owners continue to act entrepreneurially, to the detriment of the League as a whole. This behavior is congruent with the tenets of agency theory, which contend that interests will diverge within a principal-agent relationship (e.g., the NFL— NFL teams). Until such time that team owners realize that the welfare of the other League clubs, along with their competitive equality, is paramount in retaining interest in and producing the League product, professional sports leagues will continue to be plagued with problems such as unnecessary franchise relocations and other acts of maverick owners.

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Dimitrios Kolyperas, Christos Anagnostopoulos, Simon Chadwick and Leigh Sparks

Despite the increasing number and significance of charitable foundations in various business sectors, their role in cocreating corporate social responsibility (CSR) value remains unclear. This paper identifies CSR value cocreation in professional team sport organizations (PTSOs) and answers three key research questions: (a) Why have PTSOs developed charitable foundations as their means toward CSR value cocreation? (b) What CSR-related resources do PTSOs and their charitable foundations integrate? and (c) How do they manage, share, and transfer such resources to cocreate CSR value? Drawing theoretical insights from service dominant logic and consumer culture theory—and using empirical data from 47 semistructured interviews of UK-based professional football (soccer) clubs—this study develops a communicating vessels framework to illustrate the role of charitable foundations in the CSR value cocreation process. Through four tentative CSR value cocreation levels of relationship (bolt-on, cooperative, controlled, and strategic) the study suggests several internal strategies that can enhance the level of collaboration between founders and foundations. These include information sharing through customer relationship management (CRM) systems and social media platforms; staff sharing or flexible movement across the organizations; quality assurance agreements; flexible team cooperation; partnership protocols with social, media, cultural, and commercial stakeholders; and cotraining of personnel.

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Jo Batey and Helen Owton

Maintaining involvement in sport and exercise activities is a challenge for mothers with young children. This study therefore qualitatively explores the experiences of 7 mothers who have managed to remain physically active in team sports exploring how the team environment might meet their psychological needs. We analyze the results through Self-Determination Theory (SDT). Semistructured interviews were thematically analyzed to reveal the following themes: perceived benefits of sport, perceived benefits of being part of a team, needing time out from being a mother, social support and empowerment and self-determination. Feelings of competence, autonomy and relatedness were interwoven to these themes thus demonstrating the applicability of SDT to this domain.

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Chris Gibbs, Norm O’Reilly and Michelle Brunette

Without exception, all professional sport teams in North America use social media to communicate with fans. Sport communication professionals use Twitter as one of the strategic tools of engagement, yet there remains a lack of understanding about how users are motivated and gratified in their Twitter use. Drawing on a specific sample from the Twitter followers of the Canadian Football League, the researchers used semistructured in-depth interviews, content analysis, and an online survey to seek an understanding of what motivates and satisfies Twitter followers of professional sport teams, measured through the gratifications sought and the fulfillment of these motives through the perceived gratifications obtained. The results add to the sport communications literature by finding 4 primary gratifications sought by Twitter users: interaction, promotion, live game updates, and news. Professional sport teams can improve strategic fan engagement by better understanding how Twitter followers use and seek gratification in the social-media experience.

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James M. Gladden and Daniel C. Funk

This study broadens the understanding of brand management in sport by creating the Team Association Model, a scale that identifies dimensions of brand associations, a major contributor to the creation of brand equity. Utilizing Keller’s (1993) theoretical framework of consumer-based brand equity, a thorough review of the sport literature was conducted which identified 16 potential dimensions. These 16 dimensions are derived with reference to Keller’s categorization of brand associations into ATTRIBUTE (success, head coach, star player, management, stadium, logo design, product delivery, and tradition), BENEFIT (identification, nostalgia, pride in place, escape, and peer group acceptance), and ATTITUDE (importance, knowledge, and affect). In order to evaluate the applicability of each potential dimension, a scale is developed, pre-tested, and tested on a national sample of sport consumers. Results of the confirmatory factor analysis of provided support for this paper’s theoretical notion that 16 distinct constructs underlie brand associations in sports.

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Amy Whitehead, Kanayo Umeh, Barbara Walsh, Eleanor Whittaker and Colum Cronin

motives for engaging in B2N were largely centered on physical health motives. For example, 20 out of the 28 participants interviewed specified that their initial reason for attending B2N was to improve their fitness and lose weight. “Well, I, when I asked for it, I thought it might be a team sport and I

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Mallory Mann and Vikki Krane

While recent studies paint an optimistic picture of acceptance and inclusion of queer athletes, it would be naive to assume homonegativism no longer exists. In this study, we interviewed 13 queer female athletes to understand their college team sport climates and how heteronormativity is reinforced and confronted in women’s college sport. Using a feminist cultural studies approach, two types of team climates emerged from the data: inclusive climates and transitioning climates. On inclusive teams, queer and heterosexual members overtly communicated their norm of inclusion to new teammates, normalized diverse sexualities, and consistently engaged in inclusive behaviors. Transitioning teams were described as neither inclusive nor hostile initially, and, while they did not have a history of inclusion, they transitioned to becoming more outwardly accepting of diverse sexual identities. On transitioning teams, queer athletes surveyed the landscape before sharing their sexual orientation, after which the team evolved to become inclusive. All the athletes talked about awkward moments, occasional incidents of nonsupport, and the benefits of inclusion. These findings reveal emerging cracks in hegemonic heteronormativity in women’s sport, especially among athletes.

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Claire-Marie Roberts and Jacky Forsyth

female-specific nuances of sport and exercise, including many excellent studies that addressed important topics such as using exercise to decrease hot flushes in breast cancer patients ( France, Brislane, Holcome, Low, & Jones, 2018 ), homophobia in female team sport ( Bullingham & Roberts, 2018 ), and

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Angela Robles

their strengths, they might be more willing to rise up and play at another level.” Setting individual and team goals, establishing leadership roles, and cultivating a cohesive atmosphere are all essential elements of team sport. One way in which individuals and coaches can align such priorities is to