Forthcoming and Online First Articles

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing (IJSMM)

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International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing (19 papers in press)

Regular Issues

  • Do endorsements by sports celebrities positively influence consumers purchase intentions? Endorser-product congruence and the amplifying influence of consumers involvement in the sport   Order a copy of this article
    by Aaron Von Felbert, Christoph Breuer 
    Abstract: Companies use product endorsements in overstimulated markets as a marketing tactic to gain consumers attention and increase their product sales. Extant studies have indicated that a sports celebritys endorsement can have an overall positive influence on advertising outcomes like purchase intentions. However, research lacks a holistic perspective, such as the combined influence of endorsers characteristics, brand credibility, and endorser-product congruence on purchase intentions. To address this limitation, the present study reports on the results of 262 responses from an online survey that were analyzed using a multigroup Structural Equation Model. Findings show that endorsers direct influence on consumers purchase intentions is negative, independent of endorsed product category, but outweighed by a positive influence of endorser-product congruence in a sports-related endorsement. The study also shows that a consumers significant involvement in the sport amplifies the negative effect of a non-sports-related product endorsement.
    Keywords: Sports Marketing; Sports Celebrity Endorsement; Endorser-Product Congruence; Consumers’ Sports Involvement; Structural Equation Modeling.

  • Exploring the Involvement of Athletes in Influencing a Host Countrys Image via Social Media: The Case of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games   Order a copy of this article
    by Maksim Berdnikov, Norm O'Reilly 
    Abstract: This study explores the role of athletes in influencing the image of an Olympic Games host country via social media, specifically the image of the country of Brazil during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. The study employed a content analysis method based on data gathered from Canadian Olympic athletes (n=314) social media platforms, namely Twitter, Instagram and Facebook over a period of three months. The study identified eight categories of Brazils image communicated on the athletes social media platforms. These include urbanscape, natural environment, countrys landmarks, social issues, cultural assets, emotional connection, Games operations, and ease of travel. The most often communicated posts were in the urbanscape category (44.0%) followed by natural environment (20.2%) and country landmarks (17.2%). Contributions to the field, managerial implications, and ideas for future research are included.
    Keywords: mega events; place image; content analysis; Twitter; Facebook; Instagram.

  • Aligning donor and organizational interests: An analysis of college athletics fundraising officers   Order a copy of this article
    by Matt Huml, Chris McLeod 
    Abstract: Agency theory and stewardship theory are both widely accepted within the corporate governance literature but it is unclear whether these theories are compatible or competing explanations of principal-agent relationships. This study used an inductive approach to integrate agency theory and stewardship theory in the context of nonprofit sport organizations. Drawing on interviews with gift officers for athletic departments in the United States, and employing a Gioia methodology for analysis, this article asks: How do athletic foundations reconcile their priorities with financers interests when creating gift-financed projects? Findings show seven scenarios where athletic department priorities are reconciled with donor interests, ranging from scenarios where athletic department priorities prevail over donor interests to scenarios where donor interests come first. The ideal scenario, a cultivated donor base, is a special case and the only situation described by a perfect stewardship relationship. This article contributes a continuum model that blends agency theory and stewardship theory.
    Keywords: Fundraising; Agency Theory; Stewardship Theory; Donors; College Athletics.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2020.10036915
  • Applying the Rasch Model to Sport Management Research: The Case of a Psychological Capital Questionnaire for Sport Employees   Order a copy of this article
    by Minsoo Kang, Heontae Kim, Minjung Kim 
    Abstract: Rasch analysis is a probabilistic model used to calibrate and validate scales during the development and measurement of standardized tests. Its general principles and applications were determined in this research on the basis of a version of the 24-item psychological capital questionnaire (PCQ). The validation of the original PCQ was extended by collecting data from 438 intercollegiate sport employees, after which the Rasch rating scale model was used to examine the data. Overall, the findings regarding modeldata fit, differential item functioning, and convergent validity evidence provided additional support for the suitability of the psychometric properties of the PCQ as a starting point in assessing the psychological states of sport employees. The findings also reflected the wide application potential of Rasch analysis in the assessment of sport management studies.
    Keywords: Rasch model; scale calibration; sport employees; psychological capital.

  • Does home location put young athletes under pressure?   Order a copy of this article
    by Elsa Kristiansen, Martin Schnitzer, Barrie Houlihan 
    Abstract: This paper examines how Norwegian (n=5) and Austrian (n=12) cyclists experienced the interaction with different stakeholders when participating at the UCI Road World Championship. Athletes were interviewed during and after the event in their respective home countries. In addition informal interviews with coaches and journalists were conducted. Findings reveal that the young athletes perceived the media to be a stressor when adding the home location to the event; this was particularly true for the Norwegian men. The massive attention, extra-curricular activities added by sponsors and the expectation of excelling at home, placed pressure on them. In contrast to the Norwegians, Austrian athletes were less stressed as the local organisers were more focused on promoting cycling tourism than on Austrian success in the competition. The findings contribute to the literature by 1) emphasizing the significance of the media as a stressor, 2) identifying the factors that determine the level of stress on young athletes , and finally, 3) analysing the significance of home location for young atheletes in the context of major sports events.
    Keywords: Event tourism; media stress; cycling events; athlete-journalist relationship; young athletes; sponsor demands.

  • Winning the Loyalty Cup: Impact of Symbol-related Brand Elements on Brand Loyalty of Sports Clubs   Order a copy of this article
    by Aravind Reghunathan, Joshy Joseph 
    Abstract: Extant research in marketing has recognized the importance of branding in sports. Professional sports clubs are considered to be big brands, and fan loyalty is a crucial factor in determining their success. Brand elements are the building blocks of brands and are used by brand managers to create distinct associations in consumers minds, resulting in brand recall and recognition. This study employs the context of football to explore the relationship between the symbol-related brand elements of a sports club and brand loyalty towards the club. We find that the brand elements, the history of the club, jersey and logo positively influence brand loyalty towards a sports club. The study sheds light on the importance of brand elements for a sports club brand and can help brand managers and sponsors to focus more on investments in brand elements that matter, as opposed to those which do not.
    Keywords: brand awareness; brand associations; sponsorships; brand loyalty; sports brands; sports marketing.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2021.10040072
  • Strategic Responses and Disclosures in a Sporting Drugs Scandal: The Case of the Essendon Football Club   Order a copy of this article
    by Abdel K. Halabi, Brendan O'Connell 
    Abstract: This case utilises Olivers (1991) framework of strategic responses to institutional processes to provide insights into the actions of an Australian football club faced with a prominent drugs scandal. It analyses public disclosures and statements by senior executives and coaching staff of the Club across the period 2012 to 2016 in the face of heavy media attention, as well as narrations and content through its annual reports. A defiance response strategy is identified and characterised using Olivers framework. This case study presents lessons on how organisations may deal with these types of scandals, and how actors may alter their strategies to have their best interests served in a public sports scandal.
    Keywords: Institutional Processes; Crisis; Sports Doping; Sports Scandal; Strategic Responses; Australian football.

  • Real option valuation methods : Application in the football sector   Order a copy of this article
    by Rania El Modni, Mounime El Kabbouri, Tariq Morchid 
    Abstract: This paper aims to offer a practical example of applying the real option pricing method in the football sector. This paper makes two significant contributions in this context. Firstly, it provides a formal theoretical basis for the validity of the Black-Scholes option pricing model in the valuation of buy-back options included in player transfer agreements. Secondly, it presents the first application of the Black-Scholes model using a real player contract situation as its testbed. Our application focuses on comparing the buy-back option price obtained from the Black-Scholes model with the price estimated by the Monte Carlo simulation. Results show that the Black-Scholes model, generally used for pricing financial options, can also be applied to estimating buy-back options, but with some limitations.
    Keywords: Real options; Black-Scholes model; Monte Carlo simulations ; buy- back option; transfer agreement; football.

  • It is not about the problem you face but how you define it: The case of the gentlemens pact in the Mexican football league   Order a copy of this article
    by Rogelio Puente-Diaz 
    Abstract: Problem definition is a robust framework to examine leadership from a social constructionist perspective. Problems can be defined as Critical, Wicked or Tame with their respective forms of action. Using the social construction of problem definition as our theoretical framework, we analyze the case of the gentlemens pact in the Mexican football league. This pact represents an oral agreement between owners not to acquire a player until the selling and the buying teams set a financial compensation for the selling team even though the contract of the desired player has expired. We suggest that the pact represents a pertinent example of how a problem is defined as critical, rather than as a wicked problem, with its respective consequences. We also discuss how this definition legitimizes the acceptance of the pact, even though such practice is illegal, unconstitutional, and against the rules set by FIFA regarding the transfer of players.
    Keywords: leadership; football; social construction;.

  • Do soccer player registrations meet the accounting concepts behind the recognition of intangible assets? A discussion of the European context   Order a copy of this article
    by Domenico Campa 
    Abstract: Soccer player registrations are accounted for as intangible assets in the financial statements of soccer clubs. This study provides a discussion about the main accounting concepts behind this type of accounting treatment for player registrations, namely the accounting definition of intangible assets and the matching principle of accounting. The article argues that the way player registrations are currently accounted for in soccer clubs annual reports is in line with the matching principle of accounting, but the actual rules behind the transfer of player registrations do not allow them to strictly meet the accounting definition of assets. This paper aims to generate a discussion about the rules governing the transfer of player registrations. Moreover, it proposes potential changes to registration transfer rules aimed at enhancing the level of control that clubs have over their player registrations.
    Keywords: Accounting for Player Registrations; Financial Fair Play; Player Registration Transfer; Transfer fees.

  • Small-world networks and regional traders on the European football transfer market   Order a copy of this article
    by Diána Ivett F?rész, Zsolt Havran 
    Abstract: There is a huge difference between European football clubs in their financial and sporting performance, which may be due to their distinct economic conditions and motivations on the transfer market. Transfers of players can be considered a special supply chain; therefore, the investigation of transfer networks and central actors may yield valuable results. Unlike previous research, the European transfer market is investigated on a regional level where different groups are identified as various networks. We assume that these differences are resulted in the diverse structure of networks (small-world/random), with clubs demonstrating very different attitudes. To support this, assuming the transfer market is divided into four networks. The small-world indicators are calculated for each network by applying social network analysis, considering some 20,000 transfers between 2005 and 2019. The practical benefit of this study is the identification of the main participants and brokers in each network.
    Keywords: European football; transfer market; Eastern Europe; social network analysis; small-world; betweenness centrality; sports management.

  • Why do(nt) young people watch the Olympics?: A comparison of motives and constraints for attendance and media viewing   Order a copy of this article
    by Jeeyoon Kim, YuKyoum Kim 
    Abstract: This study investigates internal and external motives, and intrapersonal, interpersonal, and structural constraints affecting domestic young peoples intentions for attending or media viewing the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Through thought-listing, key motives and constraints are identified. Based on surveys and SEM analysis, relationships among motives, constraints, and intentions are tested, and findings related to attendance and media viewing are compared. Perceived motives/constraints/intentions in host and non-host regions are compared based on mean structure analysis. Universal (e.g., curiosity, enjoyment, social influence) and contextual (e.g., lack of knowledge, cost) motives/constraints affecting attendance and/or media viewing are identified. Interestingly, only structural constraints affect attendance intention, whereas intra- and interpersonal constraints affect media viewing intention as well. Perceived levels of motives/constraints/intentions partially vary between host and non-host regions. Diversified marketing strategies for Olympics attendance and media viewing in host- and non-host regions are discussed.
    Keywords: Motive; Constraint; Negotiation of Motivation and Constraint; Olympics; Winter Olympics; Attendance; Media Viewing; Olympic marketing; younger generation; domestic resident.

  • CSR Communication in the Outdoor Sports Industry: A Content Analysis of CSR Disclosures by Seven International Corporate Brands   Order a copy of this article
    by Aurélien François, Benjamin Harant, Natacha Heutte 
    Abstract: This article investigates how CSR and sustainability are communicated in the outdoor sports industry from investigations led in seven brands (Rip Curl, Millet, Burton, Vans, Salomon, Patagonia, Decathlon). Data were collected from companys official website and annual CSR/sustainability reports. Content analysis was performed to categorise these data into the seven CSR categories of the ISO 26000 standard by counting the number of times a category was referred to. At the sample level, our findings show the prevalence of environmental issues on the other categories. At the brand level, results are more contrasted in three cases where the environment is not significantly the most communicated category. From a practical perspective, this article offers insight into CSR communication as a new line of research by providing new perspectives on the under-studied outdoor sports industry. It also encourages practitioners to reflect on how well align their CSR communication with their practices.
    Keywords: CSR Communication; ISO 26000 standard; strategy; outdoor sports industry; international outdoor brands.

  • Cultural differences in Sports Fan Engagement on Facebook: A comparison of Australian and Indian Cricket league   Order a copy of this article
    by Balamurugan Annamalai, ShabbirHusain R.V, Shabana Chandrasekaran, Sanjeev Varshney 
    Abstract: The study explores the impact of cultural differences on social media fan engagement depending on the post content shared on social media. The differential impact on fan engagement with regard to team performance is also explored. Around 1500 Facebook posts across four cricket teams from the cricket leagues of Australia and India were evaluated. Analysis of variance was used to test the effect of the post content, team performance, and cultural differences on affective fan engagement. First, fans are likelier to have higher engagement with posts that deal with individual sports person than the team and this effect is more pronounced in countries with higher power distance. Second, our study has established that fans are likelier to have higher engagement with better performing teams and this effect is more pronounced in countries with higher collectivism. This is the first study to explore the cultural differences and the impact of player versus team-related content types on social media engagement metrics in sports fan engagement. The study results have direct implications on developing the social media content strategy for sports clubs across different cultures.
    Keywords: Australia; Cricket; Culture; Facebook; Fan engagement; India; Individualism; Power-distance; Social media marketing; Sports.

  • Developing a Model for Athletes Personal Brands on Social Networks (Case Study: Instagram)   Order a copy of this article
    by Ali Reza Zakerian, Pegah Sarkoohi, Farzad Ghafouri, Sara Keshkar 
    Abstract: The purpose of the present study is to identify the characteristics of athletes' personal brands on social networking sites, with Instagram being the focus of attention. This study is of the qualitative type and relies on the grounded theory. In this study, three soccer players namely Ali Daei, Ali Karimi, and Sardar Azmoun who have the largest number of followers on Instagram were selected. The participants in this study consisted of 15 marketing managers, marketers of soccer clubs and professors in the field of brand and sports marketing, with whom in-depth interviews were conducted. The data were conceptualized and categorized through open, axial, and selective coding processes. The results show that social, sports, political, religious, economic and personal/behavioral factors, respectively, are the most important factors influencing users decision to follow athletes on Instagram. The results, also, indicate that personal sports brands can expand their branding strategies and help to improve relationship marketing.rn
    Keywords: Grounded Theory; Instagram; Personal Brand; Relationship Marketing; Social Networks.

  • Characterising Features of the Sport Entrepreneurship Process   Order a copy of this article
    by Antti Kauppinen 
    Abstract: The research on sports entrepreneurship suggests that entrepreneurial orientation (EO) is one of its features. However, sports entrepreneurship scholars have thus far neglected the process aspect of EO or its derivates in any empirical analysis. This article reviews the research on sports entrepreneurship as a process. The purpose of the study is to show how the sports entrepreneurship process differs from other entrepreneurship processes. The results confirm a key notion outlined in previous sports entrepreneurship studies: athletes can be entrepreneurial individuals. This paper develops this notion further by suggesting research questions to advance the area of business creation and development among athlete entrepreneurs.
    Keywords: entrepreneurial orientation (EO); process; athlete; entrepreneurial individual.

  • On-site Sponsorship Leveraging Patterns of TOP and Domestic Programmes: The Case of 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games   Order a copy of this article
    by Kyu Ha Choi, Dana Ellis, Becca Leopkey, Jinsu Byun, Kathleen Zinn 
    Abstract: This study explores on-site sponsorship leveraging of The Olympic Partners and domestic sponsors at Olympic venues. Field research consisting of photographs and reflective journals was conducted at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games, and these were analysed along with other archival documents. Findings revealed that, as groups, the two sponsorship programmes did not make a noticeable difference in on-site sponsorship leveraging patterns, such as leveraging methods, leveraging focus, and sponsorship fit. However, slight variances in terms of individual sponsors were observed. The research presents the On-site Olympic Sponsorship Leveraging Cube as a tool that allows for visual cross-sectional representation of individual Olympic sponsors on-site sponsorship leveraging within three key dimensions: leveraging method, leveraging focus, and sponsorship fit.
    Keywords: on-site sponsorship; Olympic sponsorship; leveraging method; leveraging focus; sponsorship fit; brand image transfer; 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games.

Special Issue on: Innovative Marketing in Women’s Professional Sport

  • Motive-Based Taxonomy of Professional Softball Fans: A segmentation study
    by Ceyda Mumcu, Nancy Lough, Michelle Coyner 
    Abstract: Although softball is one of the most popular participation sports in the United States, motives and behaviours of softball consumers have not been examined. As sport consumption options proliferate, there is a greater need to understand consumer’s motives related to the sports they elect to consume. Market segmentation is key to addressing the varying wants and needs of sport consumers, yet there has been limited research on women’s sport consumer segments. The purpose of this study was to identify motive-based consumer segments by examining the motives of professional softball consumers using the Sport Interest Inventory and to explore differences in consumption intentions among these distinct softball fan segments. A two- stage cluster analysis utilizing hierarchical and nonhierarchical methods was performed. Upon identifying motive-based softball fan segments, a MANOVA was performed revealing differences in each fan segments’ consumption intentions. Both theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
    Keywords: fan segments, market segmentation, women’s sport, softball, cluster analysis

Special Issue on: Consumer Behaviour in Sports Tourism, Recreation and Leisure

  • Consuming Team Sports: Individual versus Collective Flow Experiences and Well-Being   Order a copy of this article
    by Kirstin Hallmann, Konrad Reuß, Kathrin Sander, Laura Bogner 
    Abstract: This research investigated the connection between the individual and collective flow and their influence on well-being during team sports consumption. To facilitate a holistic understanding of well-being, hedonia and eudaimonia were included. Semi-structured interviews with basketball and football players (N=20) were conducted. Content analysis, which was both, theory- and empirics-driven, was employed to identify themes and uncover relationships. The results showed a connection between the perceived occurrence of individual and collective flow indicating an interplay between these two types of flow. Further, a relationship between flow and well-being was identified. Individual and collective flow influence both hedonia and eudaimonia which also implies an interplay between these concepts. However, the results also showed that collective flow often involves individual flow and therefore leads to hedonia and eudaimonia. Hence, the collective flow experience leads to even greater well-being. This paper highlights the positive effects resulting from team sports consumption on well-being.
    Keywords: hedonic consumption; basketball; football; hedonia; eudaimonia.