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David J. Shonk and Gonzalo Bravo

Sporting event networks are complex partnerships providing scope for investigation at multiple levels of analysis, including interpersonal, interorganizational, and field level. Based on an integration of the literature on interorganizational relationships, perceived organizational support, and interorganizational commitment, the paper proposes a conceptual model applicable to sporting event networks wherein perceived interorganizational support (PIOS) influences perceived interorganizational commitment (PIOC). The level of PIOS is indicated by six salient factors: trust, resources, structure, prior ties, reputation, and legitimacy.

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Lindsey J. Meân and Jeffrey W. Kassing

The purpose of this study was to examine identity and spectator/fan communication at youth sporting events. Data were collected through naturalistic observation of 44 youth sporting events. The median age range of the athletes was 6–11 years. Critical discourse analysis revealed the enactment of overlapping and conflicting identities (sports fan/spectator, coach, and parent) and the re/production of the ideology of winning (at all costs) and aggressive competition, rather than participation, support, and “unconditional” encouragement. In particular, the enactment or performance of sports identities, including identification with athletes, was observed to overlap with the enactment of parental identities and identification with children in ways that suggested that the salient issue was enhancement of parent self-categorization as sports spectator/fan, coach, and parent of a great athlete through the success of the child-athlete. That is, talk and identity performance were less about the children and more about parents’ identities.

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Milena M. Parent and Peter O. Foreman

Although identity, image, and reputation are important issues for the sport management field, little research has examined how sport organizations construct and manage such intangible yet critical aspects of their organizations. This article addresses this gap in the literature by exploring the process of identity construction within organizing committees of major sporting events. The insights gained from two case studies indicate that committees draw on three types of identity referents: the nature of the event, context, and key individuals of organizing committees. These referents are projected as images from the organizing committee to various stakeholder groups and then reflected back to the organizing committee. In addition, images are often received by stakeholders through indirect channels of transmission, especially the media, further complicating the process of image and identity management. Finally, organizing committees attempt to manage the process primarily via verbal and symbolic communication strategies.

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Hyung-Seok Lee and Chang-Hoan Cho

By investigating the personality congruence between brands and sporting events, this study explores which brands and sporting events fit together best. The results of our survey, which included 373 student-subjects, showed that the pairing of “sincerity” brands and “diligence” sporting events yielded the best brand-event personality fit and sponsorship effectiveness. Through structural-relationship testing, this study confirmed that the personality congruence between a sponsoring brand and a sporting event was the most significant attitude predictor toward the sponsoring brand.

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Laura Misener and Daniel S. Mason

This article examines the perceptions of members of urban regimes in three cities: Edmonton, Manchester, and Melbourne, regarding the use sporting events for broadbased community outcomes. In Edmonton, members of the urban regime interviewed did not perceive the sporting events strategy to be directly tied to community development objectives. In Manchester and Melbourne, regime members believed that the use of events for development was uniquely tied to communities and community development goals. In addition, regime members in the latter two cities provided examples of symbolic attempts to foster community around the sporting events strategies. While this study could not reveal whether attempts to meet the needs of local communities were being achieved through the sporting events strategies, it is at least encouraging to note that those who control resources and conceive of, oversee, and implement growth strategies within cities view community development as important to these strategies.

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Lindsey Darvin and Michael Sagas

Gendered processes in the sport industry often perpetuate male dominance and female inferiority. While these gendered occurrences have been well documented, the outcomes of such processes are underexplored. Under the guidance of objectification theory and the production–reception relationship, the authors investigated the influence of objectification in sports-media outlets’ coverage of a female sporting event for a national sample of U.S. consumers (N = 225). In addition, given the lack of coverage directed toward female sporting events, the current study investigated the influence of previous viewership on consumer behaviors for a future women’s sporting event. Findings suggest that processes of objectification influence both men’s and women’s consumer behaviors and that previous viewership influences future consumer-behavior motives. Furthermore, objectified images and language did not adversely affect future consumer behaviors for those who had previously viewed a similar women’s sporting event. Sport-media and communications professionals alike can leverage these relationships.

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Wonseok Jang, Yong Jae Ko and Svetlana Stepchenkova

Advertisers put considerable effort into developing messages that appeal to a persuadable target group. Based on the characteristics of these audiences, as well as a number of situational factors, advertising messages can be described as primarily informational or emotional. The purpose of this study was to test how the value orientation of a sports-related event and situational involvement moderate consumers’ information processing and attitudes toward the event advertisement. Consistent with dual-process theory, the results indicate that, when dealing with information about a utilitarian sports career-fair event, consumers rely on either effortful or effortless processing depending on their level of situational involvement. However, consumers use both effortful and effortless processing for a hedonic sporting event. This study extends the dual-process theory and planning models by suggesting that a traditional, theory-based dichotomous dual-process model should give way to a co-occurrence model for hedonic sporting events in high-involvement situations.

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Ronald E. McCarville, Christopher M. Flood and Tabatha A. Froats

Sponsorship has become a major source of funding for special and on-going sporting events. However, sponsors may question return on their investment in such events. Managers may find that potential sponsors are reluctant to invest in sporting activities as a result. This paper addresses the issue of return on investment by monitoring reaction to a sponsor's promotional efforts in an experimental setting. In the context offered by a hypothetical nonprofit sporting event, participants were randomly assigned to groups who received (a) basic information about the sponsor, (b) discount coupons offered by the sponsor, and (c) trial samples of the sponsor's product (pizza). Those who received the product trial responded most positively to the sponsorship message. They rated the sponsor's product in more positive terms and were more likely to intend to purchase that product within the next month. Conversely, promotions that presented only logos, sponsor's telephone numbers, slogans or coupons generally failed to alter perceptions of the product or sponsor.

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Lauren Reichart Smith

Disposition theory research within mediated sporting events has traditionally looked at the relationship between enjoyment and outcome. A gap currently exists in the theory concerning the effect of the different elements of the mediated content. The purpose of this study was to examine one such element of mediated content. This study used a 2 × 2 × 2 between subjects and an experimental design to test the effects of commentary from a United States broadcast on enjoyment. Within the experiment, commentary and outcome were manipulated for two teams of different nationalities. Results showed commentary did have an effect on enjoyment; however, commentary was a stronger predictor of enjoyment than was outcome. In addition, it was found that nationality alone did not have an effect on enjoyment, but commentary and nationality combined did have such an effect. Findings from this study have implications for disposition theory and future research on factors affecting enjoyment.

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Laura Misener and Daniel S. Mason

This article examines the coalitions undergirding comprehensive sport-centered growth agendas in three cities actively pursuing sporting event development strategies: Edmonton, Canada; Manchester, United Kingdom; and Melbourne, Australia. Using DiGaetano and Klemanski’s (1999) study of modes of urban governance as a starting point, we review each city’s urban political economy, urban governing agenda, and urban governing alliances. We then discuss whether coalitions in each of the cities can be identified as regimes, by examining the conditions required for the presence of regimes developed by Dowding (2001). Results suggest the presence of regimes in each city, which can be best described using Stoker and Mossberger’s (1994) symbolic regime, developed in their typology of regimes for cross-national research. However, the cities differ slightly, with Edmonton exhibiting the characteristics of a progressive version of a symbolic regime, whereas Manchester and Melbourne more closely resemble urban revitalization regimes.