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Lisa Kihl, Kathy Babiak and Scott Tainsky

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.

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Stephen Frawley, Daniel Favaloro and Nico Schulenkorf

professional sport organizations, with the intent of providing insights into their experience-based leadership development practices. To achieve this research aim, the paper begins by outlining the relevant leadership development literature and the theoretical perspectives that inform the empirical study. The

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Rebecca M. Achen, John Kaczorowski, Trisha Horsmann and Alanda Ketzler

sport scholars to expand empirical studies and provide strong frameworks for studying social media in sport, the purpose of the current study was to move beyond explaining how sport teams are using social media and instead examine how fans are engaging with content posted by professional sport teams on

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Matthew Juravich, Steven Salaga and Kathy Babiak

For profit-driven professional sport organizations, organizational performance is argued to be measurable in two ways. One approach considers the financial performance of an organization over some duration of time by measuring the profits generated by a team, primarily through ticket sales and

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Patrick Ward, Johann Windt and Thomas Kempton

and conditioning, biomechanics, performance analysis, biostatistics, and data science. Regardless of their foundation and specific job title, we believe that effective sport scientists working in professional sport should be able to develop systematic analysis frameworks to enhance performance within

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Shani Pitcho-Prelorentzos and Michal Mahat-Shamir

professional sport is considered a highly stressful ( Clowes, Lindsay, Fawcett, & Knowles, 2015 ) and long-lasting process ( Barker-Ruchti & Schubring, 2016 ; McKenna & Thomas, 2007 ) that requires psychological, social, financial, and occupational adjustments ( Taylor, Ogilvie, & Lavallee, 2005 ). Indeed, it

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John Nadeau, Ann Pegoraro, D. Floyd Jones, Norm O’Reilly and Paulo Carvalho

This paper reports on an investigation of racial-ethnic congruency among professional sport teams and their local markets. The study empirically tested the relationship between racial-ethnic team-market congruence and market support. Results of the research provide some support for the relevance of team and market congruency in the marketing of professional sport. Although varying by city, by North American professional sport league, and by racial-ethnic community, the results demonstrate that consumers have noticed and used their own reflections in professional baseball teams to influence their level of team support.

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Jeffrey Petersen and David Pierce

Undergraduate sport management curriculum continues to be debated amongst this discipline’s educators. Curricular content impacts professional sport organizations as program graduates become employees. This study gathered the input of human resource professionals from NFL, MLB, and NBA franchises regarding curricular topics via an existing, modified questionnaire. The questionnaire included a five-point scale assessment of 61 curricular topics. A 34.8% response rate was proportionally distributed between the leagues. An ANOVA of means for ten curricular areas revealed significant differences with the following rank order: Field Experience 4.38; Communication 4.23; Legal Aspects 4.02; Ethics 3.98; Management and Leadership 3.97; Marketing 3.96; Economics 3.68; Budget and Finance 3.59; Governance 3.25; and Socio-Cultural Aspects 3.25. An ANOVA of topics revealed seven significant between-league differences including: Sport Sociology, Ethics, Market Shares/Ratings, Business Writing, Labor Relations, Stadium/Arena Economics, and Risk Management/Liability. These results can inform the development or modification of curricula to better prepare students for professional sport needs.

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Frederick Neff

This paper discusses a model of providing a specialized employee assistance program, with psychological services that are far-reaching and beyond what traditional employee assistance programs offer. Three main areas in which services are deemed especially critical include working with the athletes to improve their sports performance using various mental skills techniques, providing personal counseling, and impacting the organization at an organizational level. Also discussed is the author’s current role with the team and management, both during the preseason and the official season. Further, the author evaluates his effectiveness as a sport psychology consultant and the problems encountered as well as the importance of developing and maintaining proper boundaries within the organization. In conclusion, issues related to the goodness of fit between the professional sport organization and the sport psychology consultant are addressed.

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Gashaw Abeza, Norm O’Reilly, Benoit Seguin and Ornella Nzindukiyimana

This study, guided by the relationship marketing theoretical framework, adopted an observational netnography method to investigate professional sport teams’ use of Twitter as a relationship marketing tool. Specifically, the study focused on the three core components of the theoretical framework of relationship marketing: communication, interaction, and value. The observational netnography is based on data gathered from the official Twitter account of 20 professional sport teams in the four major North American leagues over a seven-month period. Results outline seven emergent communication types, six interaction practices, and ten values (co)created by the teams or/and fans. Theoretical and practical implications, as well as impetus for future research, are identified.