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Off-Field Behavior of Athletes and Team Identification: Using Social Identity Theory and Balance Theory to Explain Fan Reactions

Janet S. Fink, Heidi M. Parker, Martin Brett, and Julie Higgins

In the current article, we extend the literature on fan identification and social identity theory by examining the effects of unscrupulous off-field behaviors of athletes. In doing so, we drew from both social identity theory and Heider’s balance theory to hypothesize a significant interaction between fan identification level and leadership response on fans’ subsequent levels of identification. An experimental study was performed and a 2 (high, low identification) × 2 (weak, strong leadership response) ANOVA was conducted with the pre to post difference score in team identification as the dependent variable. There was a significant interaction effect (F (2, 80) = 23.71, p < .001) which explained 23% of the variance in the difference between prepost test scores. The results provide evidence that unscrupulous acts by athletes off the field of play can impact levels of team identification, particularly for highly identified fans exposed to a weak leadership response. The results are discussed relative to appropriate theory. Practical implications and suggestions for future research are also forwarded.

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A Tale of No Cities: Analysis of Premier Lacrosse League Fan Identity and Fanship

Samuel D. Hakim

similarities can include personality traits and work ethic. People see athletes as both hero and as celebrity—both of which carry social desirability that fans strive to either have or be affiliated with ( Billings & Brown, 2017 ; Fontenrose, 1968 ). Social Identity Theory and Fan Identity Social identity

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Audience Perceptions of Female Sports Reporters: A Social-Identity Approach

Elizabeth A. Baiocchi-Wagner and Elizabeth Behm-Morawitz

Attempts at investigating female sports reporters’ credibility and persuasiveness from the audience’s perspective are limited and outdated. This study, grounded in social identity theory, fills the gap in media literature. A quasi-experiment tested respondents’ perceptions of male and female sports reporters’ credibility and persuasiveness as a function of salient gender identity and reporter and athlete sex. Respondents’ sports fandom, frequency of sports-media usage, and general perceptions of news-media credibility also were examined. Results of a MANOVA indicated no significant differences in respondents’ perceptions of a male and female reporter, even when controlling for respondent gender; however, sports fandom and general perceptions of news-media credibility did have a significant impact on perceptions.

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We Love You, We Hate You: Fan Twitter Response to Top College Football Recruits’ Decisions

Jason Stamm and Brandon Boatwright

school student-athletes being recruited by fans’ favorite teams. This project both addresses that gap and extends our understanding of how relevant theories—PSI and social identity theory—can explain the way these connections are made, maintained, and dissolved through social media platforms and what

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Championship and Sponsor Analysis in Intercollegiate Athletics: A Case Study Examining the Effects of Identification, Expectations, and Game Outcomes on Event Sponsorship Evaluations

Natalie Brown-Devlin, Michael B. Devlin, and Vincent Peña

consider potential risks when sponsoring an event whose outcome may violate fans’ expectations. Team Identification Team identification is closely linked with social identity theory ( Abrams & Hogg, 1990 ; Hogg, 2020 ; Lee et al., 2020 ; Liao et al., 2020 ; Prayag et al., 2020 ; Tajfel & Turner, 1986

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Major Sport Events and Psychic Income: The Social Anchor Effect

Brent D. Oja, Henry T. Wear, and Aaron W. Clopton

capital interacts with one’s social identity to impact psychic income generation. Social Identity Theory Social identity theory is a broad-based concept that has been used in various disciplines in an effort to describe and explain the entities individuals associate themselves with, and how these entities

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Black Lives Matter to the NBA: The Impact of Sport Fanship and Political Affiliation on the Perception of the NBA’s Racial Justice Initiatives During the 2020 Playoff Bubble

Kenon A. Brown, Nicky Lewis, Matthew Barnidge, and Courtney D. Boman

identity theory and how it relates to our two characteristics in question: fanship and political identity. Social Identity Theory Social identity theory (SIT) proposes that group identity and, by extension, intergroup relations originate not from functional motivations regarding in-group utility, but

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The Role of Athlete Leadership Quality in the Characteristics of Team Resilience in Elite Soccer Teams: A Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Mediation of Team Identification

Miguel A. López-Gajardo, Inmaculada González-Ponce, Tomás García-Calvo, Edgar Enrich-Alturo, and Francisco M. Leo

.g., collective efficacy or group cohesion; Fransen, Coffee, et al., 2014 ; Fransen et al., 2015 ). Furthermore, in many of these studies, team identification, based on the social identity theory, has helped athlete leaders to enhance team members’ positive behaviors ( Fransen, Coffee, et al., 2014 ). Despite all the

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Sport Spectatorship and Life Satisfaction: A Multicountry Investigation

Yuhei Inoue, Mikihiro Sato, Kevin Filo, James Du, and Daniel C. Funk

account the multifaceted nature of subjective well-being ( Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 1985 ). Regarding the psychological pathway, the relationship between team identification (i.e., social identification with a sport team) and subjective well-being can be predicted based on social identity theory

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“You Wanna Ride, Then You Waste”: The Psychological Impact of Wasting in National Hunt Jockeys

Tanya McGuane, Stephen Shannon, Lee-Ann Sharp, Martin Dempster, and Gavin Breslin

to study how athletes’ identity formation, and hence group behavior, is influenced by social processes is social-identity theory (SIT; Tajfel, 1982 ). SIT assesses the formation of identity, based on membership in a social in-group. When individuals perceive personal value in subscribing to in