International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing (14 papers in press)
Do endorsements by sports celebrities positively influence consumers purchase intentions? Endorser-product congruence and the amplifying influence of consumers involvement in the sport
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
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
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.
Applying the Rasch Model to Sport Management Research: The Case of a Psychological Capital Questionnaire for Sport Employees
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?
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
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.
Strategic Responses and Disclosures in a Sporting Drugs Scandal: The Case of the Essendon Football Club
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.
Special Issue on: Consumer Behaviour and Trends in Sports Services
Presenting a new mixed method for measuring service quality of health clubs
by Hossein Abdolmaleki, Behzad Soheili, Michal Varmus, Abbas Khodayari
Abstract: Sports organisations do their job well when they illuminate the future path of society and future building is one of their main characteristics; so, for these organisations, explaining the landscape and improving performance is necessary. So, the aim of this study was to evaluate the quality of services of health clubs by the combined method of balanced scorecard (BSC), quality function deployment (QFD) and fuzzy analysis hierarchical process (FAHP). From the conducted survey, it can be concluded that determining the capacity of sports activities and ensuring the quality of the program of sports clubs for health, providing quality services in a new way is an inevitable necessity.
Keywords: balanced scorecard; BSC; fuzzy analytical hierarchy process; health clubs; performance; quality function deployment; QFD; service quality.
Supporting sacrifice or condemning belief: consumer reactions to Nike's advertising campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick
by Akira Asada, Jimmy Sanderson
Abstract: The purpose of the current study was to explore the key personal and emotional factors related to consumers' reactions to Nike's 'Believe in Something' advertising featuring Colin Kaepernick. The results of a survey with 254 US consumers indicated that: a) dominance and egalitarianism had positive relationships with purchase intention, whereas uncritical patriotism had a negative relationship; b) anger, gratitude, and pride mediated the effects of dominance, egalitarianism, uncritical patriotism on purchase intention, whereas contempt did not show a mediation effect. The present study contributes to the sport marketing literature as one of the first studies to examine the effects of controversial advertising on sports consumers' emotions and behaviours. The results also provide unique insights for sports brands to develop effective promotion strategies.
Keywords: controversial advertising; moral emotions; sports brand.
A scale for measuring member commitment and integration in fitness services
by Dimitri Koutsoubakis
Abstract: This study assesses the reliability and validity of an instrument adapted from the domain of student attrition in higher-education research, for implementation in the field of fitness services management. The study was conducted at a commercial fitness facility based in Dubai, UAE, and comprised 184 subjects. A questionnaire was created by adapting a model with extensive research support in the field of student attrition studies; modifications were based on Delphi technique and subject interviews. Items were measured on a 5-point Likert scale, and the data set was subjected to exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Four factors emerged: goal commitment; institutional commitment; social integration; institutional integration. CFA fit indices indicated good model fit, and all factors had strong Cronbach alpha coefficients. The instrument displayed robust psychometric properties/factor-loading invariance, and can be used to measure commitment and integration constructs in commercial fitness-club settings.
Keywords: exploratory factor analysis; EFA; confirmatory factor analysis; CFA; retention; commitment; integration; quantitative methodology; AMOS.
Tourist expenditure behaviour in the strategic leveraging of sport events portfolios
by Jesyca Salgado-Barandela, Patricio Sanchez-Fernandez, Angel Barajas
Abstract: The alternative to a strategy based on unique and large-scale events is the joint use of small-scale events. In this way, the portfolio of events is shown as a new phenomenon that allows for tourism and economic development strategies in cities. This paper analyses the spending profile of attendees to three sporting events that are part of a portfolio. Differences in the expenditure behaviour of attendees are identified by event category. The results are used to analyse the event selection strategy of the portfolios and the development of strategic leveraging.
Keywords: tourism economics; sport tourism; leveraging; sport event.
Professional sports fans' interests in hosting an international visitor at a game: evidence for 'sports hosts'
by Eric C. Schwarz, Aurélie Pankowiak
Abstract: A growing number of sport enthusiasts travel overseas to attend professional sports games. In parallel, fans of local professional leagues seek unique social experiences when attending games. Sport tourism literature suggests that social interactions between hosts and guests provide a unique experience for both, however, knowledge about local sports fans' interests in interacting with international travellers is lacking. This research explored the interests of fans hosting international tourists during a regular-season game. Qualitative content analysis was performed on survey responses from 1,222 Australian Football League (AFL) fans interested in hosting an international traveller at a game. Four main factors emerged: connection with people (75.5%), being an AFL game promoter (42.6%), fans' emotional attachment (34.2%), and providing the visitor a distinctive experience (27.3%). This study provides evidence on the emergence of a 'sport host' as a sporting experience consumer. Implications for sport tourism and fan engagement researchers and practitioners are discussed.
Keywords: sport tourism; international travellers; professional sports; fan engagement; host-guest connection; sport host.
Mobile marketing influence on football fan behaviour: the case of FC Persepolis
by Reza Mohammadkazemi, Bahman P. Ebrahimi, Mahmood Shiri
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to identify the effect of mobile marketing (photo, video, and short message service, SMS or text messaging) in promoting one of the best Iranian football clubs, Persepolis, fans' behaviour in the 2018-2019 season. We collected data on the attitudinal loyalty, behavioural loyalty, and mobile marketing use of the fans attending a home game. We utilised structural equation modelling (SEM) to analyse the data. The findings indicate that mobile marketing has a positive effect on fans' attitudinal and behavioural loyalties. Also, attitudinal loyalty has a positive impact on the behavioural loyalty of the Iran Persepolis Football Club fans. We recommend that the managers of the Pro League clubs such as Persepolis prepare the infrastructure for the implementation of fan supporting systems for their organisations. Furthermore, they should employ media experts and professionals to enhance the relationship between their brand, customers, and delivery of information. This is among the first mobile marketing studies about football fans behaviour in the Middle East.
Keywords: football/soccer club fans; brand management; attitudinal loyalty; behavioural loyalty; mobile marketing; SMS/text marketing.
Non-professional sport academies in Spain: the parents' perspective
by José Bonal, Jairo León-Quismondo, Pablo Burillo, Benito Pérez-González, Álvaro Fernández-Luna
Abstract: Parents play a key role as decision makers within the young sport services (Nuviala and Álvarez, 2005), so to understand their opinion regarding non-professional academies would be a very interesting point for marketing and commercial purposes. A questionnaire was designed for the parents of the non-professional football and basketball academies participants-based and adapted from the study of Costa et al. (2004). After statistic validation, the resultant questionnaire was named non-professional academies parents perspective questionnaire (non-PA/PPQ), composed of five dimensions: a) coaches; b) information and satisfaction; c) facilities; d) development/intention; e) location/environment. On a first exploratory study with parents in Spain, results shown academy 'location', 'focus of the programs', on social and personal development aspects and 'coaches treatment' are the main parameters that determine in which academy parents will enrol their children.
Keywords: sport academy; sport academies; youth sports services; football academies; basketball academies.