As corporate community initiatives (CCI) in sport are becoming an important dimension of corporate social responsibility, a key issue is evaluating the quality of the processes by which they are delivered and how they are managed. The purpose of this study was to explore the implementation process of a professional sport team’s CCI using program evaluation theory (Chen, 2005). Interviews were conducted with 42 key stakeholders (team executives, partnership implementers, participants, parents, coaches) from one Major League Baseball team’s CCI to understand critical processes involved in CCI implementation and execution. The findings showed concerns in the quality of program implementation with the: 1) the partnership agreement, 2) the ecological context, 3) protocol and implementation, and 4) target population. We propose an iterative model of program evaluation for use in the sport context. We conclude the paper with recommendations for further research in this area and implications for practitioners.
Lisa Kihl, Kathy Babiak, and Scott Tainsky
James M. Gladden, Richard L. Irwin, and William A. Sutton
Following a decade that produced astonishing player salaries, continued player mobility, widespread corporate involvement, and skyrocketing ticket prices and broadcast rights fees, North American major league professional sport teams enter the 21st century encountering a number of significant challenges. An analysis of the aforementioned trends yields valuable insight into the future of professional team sport management in North America and leads to the identification of a primary concern of team owners and operators, that of managing the franchise's brand equity. With team owners increasingly reaping profits from the long-term appreciation of the team's value while continuing to lose money on a yearly basis, there will be an increased focus on strengthening team brands. This new focus will lead management to build and maintain brand equity through two primary means: the acquisition of assets and the enhancement of customer relationships. Each of these predictions is explained in depth in this paper and examples are provided.
Adam Karg, Ali Tamaddoni, Heath McDonald, and Michael Ewing
quality, and the “co-creation” of products, high churn rates are still common in many markets ( Lemmens & Gupta, 2013 ). Sport organizations are not exempt from churn. Even among professional sport teams, where high levels of fan loyalty are often assumed ( Smith & Stewart, 2010 ), churn rates of 20% and
Fabian Kautz, Michael Schaffrath, and Alex C. Gang
The sport industry has long used social media as an effective instrument of communication. In the framework of the current study, a content analysis investigated how professional sport clubs in Germany use Facebook and Twitter. The study covers the entire 2015–16 season, which was illustrated via selectively choosing 2 weeks for data analysis; four clubs each from basketball, ice hockey, football, and handball were collected as a sample. All Facebook posts and Twitter tweets published by the 16 clubs during the 2 weeks, a total of 3,412 contributions (Facebook 717, Twitter 2,695), were included in the analysis. The codebook contained 57 variables, and this article presents the results on the identified topics of the published contents on the two social media platforms. On both platforms, the clubs under examination primarily issued statements regarding themselves and their sport-related activities. Twitter is predominantly used as a live medium during games, whereas Facebook allows for significantly greater reach. However, no sport-related differences were found between the two social media platforms.
Brandi Watkins and Regina Lewis
In this case study, the authors take a first look at how professional sports teams are using mobile apps as part of their branding and marketing strategies, as well as to enhance fan experience. Through the use of quantitative content-analysis methodology, professional sports teams’ mobile apps (N = 72) are analyzed to assess branding and marketing strategies and opportunities for fan engagement. The branding strategies most prevalent on the mobile apps include information about the teams and their performance. In terms of marketing strategies, 32 of the mobile apps provide an opportunity for fans to purchase team merchandise, and 75% provide an opportunity for fans to purchase tickets. Fan-engagement features that were most prevalent in mobile apps include check-in features (40%) and fantasy-league information (33%). Nearly 90% of mobile apps in the sample integrated Twitter, while 65% provided fans with access to Facebook.
Stirling Sharpe, Thilo Kunkel, Olan Scott, and Anthony Beaton
Daniel Yang and Kathy Babiak
As public interest in social responsibility in business has increased, professional sport teams have also recognized the importance of their social role in their communities ( Kihl, Babiak, & Tainsky, 2014 ). The growth of socially responsible programs and initiatives in this industry has led
Adrien Bouchet, Thomas W. Doellman, Mike Troilo, and Brian R. Walkup
Gaining exclusive sponsorship rights to international football club apparel has become increasingly competitive, resulting in larger deal values. The first objective of this study was to analyze the effect of kit sponsorship announcements on the underlying value of sponsoring firms. Utilizing event study analysis, we found that firms announcing kit sponsorships experience negative abnormal returns. This finding may not be surprising given the fierce competition for obtaining valuable, scarce marketing space and the well-known winner’s curse. The second objective was to shed further light on the value of kit sponsorship deals by conducting a novel test in which we analyzed a subset of sample observations where the kit sponsorship changed to a new sponsor. We found that firms may be willing to overpay for sponsorships to pre-empt their direct competitors from obtaining valuable, scarce marketing space. Firms losing a pre-existing sponsorship to a direct competitor experience large negative abnormal returns.
Andrew Adams, Stephen Morrow, and Ian Thomson
This paper presents a novel theoretical conceptualization of football clubs and empirical evidence as to how supporter groups, owners, and others engaged to resolve threats to their club. We use boundary theory to understand the evolution of two football clubs’ ownership, financing, and governance structures and demonstrate how the blurring of club boundaries was linked to engagements in interface areas between the club and other social groups. We argue that the appropriateness of different combinations of ownership, financing, and governance practices should be evaluated in terms of how they support effective engagement spaces that negotiate relationships with codependent social groups. Conceptualizing football clubs as boundary objects provides some specific insights into changes observed in Scottish football clubs. However, this approach is relevant to other situations in which club success is dependent on cooperative engagements with multiple social groups that have both convergent and divergent interests in the club.
Katherine Raw, Emma Sherry, and Katie Rowe
programming is that of professional sport teams ( Welty Peachey, Cohen, Shin, & Fusaro, 2018 ). Such work straddles corporate social responsibility (CSR) and SFD agendas, demonstrating opportunities for professional sport teams to potentially derive commercial benefit while also contributing to community