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

content in the off-season, data were collected from 1 week in the month of March and might not be indicative of strategy. In addition, Miranda et al. ( 2014 ) found that teams in North American and European professional sport leagues were using Facebook to improve the game-day experience and entertain

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Hunter Fujak, Stephen Frawley, Heath McDonald and Stephen Bush

context market in the context of attitudinal loyalty, finding partial support that the principle holds in a sport setting. However, their research was limited to only National Rugby League (NRL) and AFL fans as two broad groups, excluding the remaining two football codes and other sport leagues that

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Shi Lei, Chinmoy Ghosh and Han Srinivasan

Corporate partnerships with professional sport leagues are growing rapidly. How can we assess the value of such partnerships? Using an event study method, this research examined the economic effects of corporate partnerships with six professional sport organizations (NFL, MLB, NBA, NASCAR, NHL, and PGA). Three new interesting results were found. (1) Though a partnering firm experiences a net-of-market increase in shareholders’ value of 2.93% from a new corporate partnership with a professional sport league at the two-day window (0, +1), renewals of corporate partnerships induced a significant net-of-market decrease of 1.12% during the same window of time. (2) Cross-sectional analysis revealed that superior performing firms as well as firms with higher institutional and moderate managerial ownership benefitted more than the average, and (3) the integrations of the partnerships with other business strategies elicited different responses from the investment community. Overall, a strategic implication was that marketing-focused partnerships in financially sound, well-managed firms contributed the most to enhancement in shareholders’ wealth.

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Thilo Kunkel, Daniel Funk and Brad Hill

Understanding brand relationships as perceived by consumers is important for the successful management and marketing of connected brands. Brand architecture and consumer behavior literature was integrated in this study to examine brand relationships between professional sport leagues and teams from a consumers’ perspective. Online questionnaire data were gathered from football consumers (N = 752) to test the influence of leagues and teams on consumer loyalty. Consumers were segmented into three theoretically identified sport brand architecture groups: league dominant, team dominant, and codominant. Findings of CFA, MANOVA, paired-sample t tests, frequency analysis, chi-square and linear regression analysis revealed that leagues and teams were in a codominant relationship with one another. Results revealed the brand architecture of leagues and teams as perceived by consumers, provide a reliable and valid tool to segment sport spectators, and showcase the influence of external factors on consumer loyalty with a team. Suggestions for league and team management and marketing are presented to better leverage their brand relationship and increase consumer loyalty with both brands.

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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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Thilo Kunkel, Daniel Funk and Ceridwyn King

Existing research has primarily focused on sport teams as brands, overlooking the branding of professional sport leagues. Professional sport leagues are required to build and leverage their brand associations to be sustainable and to help affiliated teams. This study integrated existing team brand association research with brand architecture literature to examine league brand associations from a consumer perspective. A freethought listing pilot test (N = 22) was followed by semistructured interviews (N = 26) to uncover 17 brand associations linked with professional sport leagues. Online questionnaires among consumers of four sport leagues in Australia (N = 1182) were used to support 17 distinct identified league brand associations. One sample t tests and correlation analyses empirically revealed that 17 league brand associations were linked with attitudinal and behavioral outcomes related to sport leagues. Finally, ANOVAs identified that some league brand associations differed between four leagues as perceived by consumers, reflecting league specific characteristics.

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Lindsey Conlin, Dylan M. McLemore and Richard A. Rush

Female sport fans account for over 45% of the fan base in some major professional sport leagues. This study analyzes every verified Pinterest account from teams in the 4 major North American sport leagues to investigate how teams use a social network consisting largely of female users to reach this growing target audience. The study finds that sport teams use Pinterest to promote purchasable items, share information about the team, highlight the fan experience, and share creative content—although to a lesser extent than the typical Pinterest user. Differences between leagues and details of content frames are discussed. Future directives for understanding how sport teams use Pinterest are presented, and the utility of visual framing for investigating new media is discussed.

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Donna Duffy and Brian Loy

Despite the apparent positive impact that coaching education programs have on the attitudes and behaviors of volunteer youth sport coaches, few programs exist to actually educate these coaches (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2001; Gould et al., 1990). The organizations that coordinate youth sport leagues have an obligation to train these volunteer coaches, but few coaches receive training and if they do receive training, it is often lacking in specific developmental areas. There are also often differences between the coaching education programs that do exist and what volunteer coaches actually want to learn and need to learn.

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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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Brendan Dwyer, Greg Greenhalgh and Carrie LeCrom

The sport marketplace is overcrowded, and contemporary sport fans have more choices than ever. This makes it difficult for new teams, leagues, and sports to enter the marketplace. In addition, a cultural oligarchy of mainstream sport leagues currently dominates media coverage. As a result, marketers and managers of emerging sports need to understand the attributes for which sport fans connect with entities. Little is known, however, about the differences between fans of niche (emerging or nonmainstream) sports and their mainstream-sport counterparts. Guided by social-identity theory, this study explored the dispositional and behavioral differences between niche- and mainstream-sport fans as a means of psychometric and behavioral segmentation. In particular, an individual’s need for uniqueness and communication behaviors were compared. The results suggest that dispositional differences between the segments were minimal. However, potentially important behavioral differences were uncovered related to how sport fans assimilate with others and advertise their sport affiliations.