Forthcoming and Online First Articles

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing (IJSMM)

Forthcoming articles have been peer-reviewed and accepted for publication but are pending final changes, are not yet published and may not appear here in their final order of publication until they are assigned to issues. Therefore, the content conforms to our standards but the presentation (e.g. typesetting and proof-reading) is not necessarily up to the Inderscience standard. Additionally, titles, authors, abstracts and keywords may change before publication. Articles will not be published until the final proofs are validated by their authors.

Forthcoming articles must be purchased for the purposes of research, teaching and private study only. These articles can be cited using the expression "in press". For example: Smith, J. (in press). Article Title. Journal Title.

Articles marked with this shopping trolley icon are available for purchase - click on the icon to send an email request to purchase.

Online First articles are published online here, before they appear in a journal issue. Online First articles are fully citeable, complete with a DOI. They can be cited, read, and downloaded. Online First articles are published as Open Access (OA) articles to make the latest research available as early as possible.

Open AccessArticles marked with this Open Access icon are Online First articles. They are freely available and openly accessible to all without any restriction except the ones stated in their respective CC licenses.

Register for our alerting service, which notifies you by email when new issues are published online.

We also offer which provide timely updates of tables of contents, newly published articles and calls for papers.

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing (33 papers in press)

Regular Issues

  •   Free full-text access Open AccessFootball agents from the perspective of their clients: services, service evaluation, and factors that create satisfaction
    ( Free Full-text Access ) CC-BY-NC-ND
    by Andreas Gohritz, Gregor Hovemann, Peter Ehnold 
    Abstract: The article analyses players satisfaction with their football agents and factors that influence differences in level of satisfaction. To analyse the performance relationship between player and agent, their relationship is based on the principal-agent theory. The explorative study includes a dataset from professional German football players (n=336). A logistic regression model was used to determine relevant factors influencing differences in a players satisfaction with an agent. Across all leagues, agents generally perform classic transfer and contract-related tasks. It is less common for agents to be delegated tasks requiring expert knowledge in areas such as taxation. Players levels of satisfaction with their agents appears to be rather ambivalent. However, this is significantly influenced by implicit and explicit factors, such as the scope of services and a personal relationship or screening agents in advance, respectively.
    Keywords: Football agents; Football intermediaries; Principal-agent relationship; Football agents’ services; Service evaluation; German agents market; Moral hazard; Screening; Monitoring; Logistic regression.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2022.10047327
     
  • Investigating the Sport Participation Legacy of a Major Event: The Case of One Multi-Use Sport Facility   Order a copy of this article
    by Kevin E. S. Wilson, Patti Millar 
    Abstract: Newly constructed sport facilities are often a staple of hosting major sport events. However, these facilities often become underutilized and present a significant financial burden for host communities. With demonstrated relationships between facility access and physical activity levels, sport facilities that are built with intended community use following the event are perhaps a likely mechanism to foster a sport participation legacy. The purpose of this study was to investigate the sport participation legacy associated with one multi-use sport facility built for a major sport event. Interviews with key stakeholders and an analysis of program documents revealed that the location and design of the facility itself, the formal agreements between the facility operating groups, and the breadth of sport and recreation programming offered at the facility all contributed to fostering a post-event sport participation legacy. Future research directions and practical implications are presented.
    Keywords: event legacy; sport participation; recreation programming; sport facilities; major events; community sport and recreation.

  • Capital structure of Iberian football clubs: Does sport performance matter?   Order a copy of this article
    by Luís Pacheco 
    Abstract: The main objective of this paper is to study the capital structure determinants of the major Spanish and Portuguese football clubs, in particular the impact of their sport performance on leverage. Football clubs were chosen because of their public relevance and also because the sectors capital structure has hardly been studied, in particular in the Iberian Peninsula. The obtained results could be useful to football clubs managers, particularly in regard to their capital structure management. Using panel data methodology and considering a sample of 32 football clubs organised as public limited sports companies we study the capital structure determinants between 2010 and 2015, adding a set of sport performance variables. The results suggest that size, total liquidity and asset intangibility are key factors affecting the capital structure and that Pecking Order theory seems more suited to those companies, whereas sport performance variables are irrelevant.
    Keywords: Capital structure; Professional football clubs; Public limited sports companies; Panel data estimation.

  • Modifying rules in womens professional sport: A case study of the Australian Football League Womens league   Order a copy of this article
    by Kim Encel, Pamm Phillips, Paul Turner, Helen Brown, Gavin Abbott 
    Abstract: Rule modifications are common-place in mens professional sport however there is little understanding of why rules are modified in womens professional sport beyond sociological enquiry. This research aims to understand the Australian Football Leagues (AFL) rationale for, and approach to, modifying match rules for the inaugural Australian Football League Womens league (AFLW). Performance data was collected from 295 players during 10 exhibition matches in 2016 and semi-structured interviews were conducted with AFLW managers (n=2) and coaches (n=8). A rigorous data-driven approach to modifying rules for the AFLW suggested that the AFL had commercial logics and were not driven by sociologically driven gendered expectations. However, quantitative data indicated that rule modifications made no significant difference to the commercial appeal of match play. Rather, AFLs commercial priorities in modifying rules were tempered by developmental logics of operational stakeholders which led to the introduction of minimal rule modifications for the AFLW.
    Keywords: women’s sport; rule modifications; sport development; professional sport leagues; logics.

  • Internationalization and martial arts: the case of Carlson Gracies Brazilian jiu-jitsu gym   Order a copy of this article
    by Heloisa A. F. Soares, Renato D. C. Mello, Clarice Kogut 
    Abstract: This study analyzes the internationalization process of Carlson Gracies Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy, from the perspective of behavioral theories of internationalization applied to services. Using the case study method, it sought to understand the reasons for internationalization, factors influencing it, and, mainly, the explanatory power of the aforementioned theories. As a result, behavioral theories have provided solid explanation to this phenomenon, with Network Theory and International Entrepreneurial Orientation best supporting the case. With an empirical, unique and interesting case, we hope to contribute to the assessment of behavioral theories of internationalizations applicability and the exploration of international entrepreneurship and network literatures.
    Keywords: Internationalization of firms; service firms; Sport related firms; Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu; behavioral theories of internationalization; martial arts; Gracie family;.

  • Centre versus Periphery: The Impact of Hosting National Football Matches Outside the Capital City   Order a copy of this article
    by Åse Jacobsen, Tor Georg Jakobsen, Rasmus K. Storm, Nikolaj Schelde 
    Abstract: In this study we analyse the effect on interest in attending Danish national mens team football matches when they are spread across different stadiums instead of playing them at the national stadium in the Danish capital city only. Our analysis covers all 32 home matches played at eight other stadiums in the period 20152019 and survey responses from more than 37,000 spectators. The findings show that spectators at national team matches outside the capital city are significantly more interested in attending future matches than spectators at games in the capital city. The matches played outside the capital city are training matches (as opposed to tournament qualification matches) which we believe strengthens the credibility of our findings. Further, our results suggest that hosting several games at the same stadium over a short period has a negative effect on spectators interest in attending future matches. This study contributes to the literature on match day attendance by adding knowledge about the impact on interest for national team matches by spreading these matches.
    Keywords: spectator demand; football; national team matches; stadiums; superstars; scheduling; match day attendance.

  • Corporate Social Responsibility in Professional Sport Organisations: A Developing Country Perspective   Order a copy of this article
    by Talent Moyo, Rodney Duffett, Brandon Knott 
    Abstract: Sports distinctive social element serves as an excellent platform to facilitate corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. This is particularly true in developing countries, where sport is increasingly recognized as a conduit to address social issues and development. Therefore, this studys main research objectives were to establish professional sport organisations (PSOs) understanding of CSR; identify their CSR objectives; identify their engagement in CSR initiatives; and identify the benefits derived from CSR in a developing country context (South Africa). Data was collected via a qualitative approach, with in-depth interviews conducted among selected PSOs (n=10). The results showed that PSOs engaged in and derived several benefits from their CSR initiatives, viz.: brand recognition; positive brand image; brand loyalty; increase in fans, commercial value, and sponsorship; and leveraging sponsorship. Additionally, some PSOs took more of a socially inclined approach in their CSR initiatives as opposed to a strategic approach.
    Keywords: professional sport organisations; corporate social responsibility (CSR); CSR objectives; CSR initiatives; CSR benefits; social CSR approach; strategic CSR approach; South Africa; developing country.

  • Sports services: Motivations and attitudes in the practise of physical activity and sports in Spain and Colombia   Order a copy of this article
    by Javier A. Sánchez-Torres, Francisco-Javier Arroyo-Cañada, Ana María Argila-Irurita, Julian A. Rivera-Gonzalez 
    Abstract: This is a cross-sectional, empirical study set in Spain and Colombia to examine the main motivations and attitudes towards physical and sports activity in different population groups. An empirical model is proposed which integrates two existing models that explain the behaviour of physical exercise and sports practice: the Physical Activity and Leisure Motivation Scale (PALMS), and the theory of planned behaviour (TPB). The results show no significant differences between the two countries nor any differences in other categories, such as gender or age group. The motivation to take part in sports is seen as an improvement in physical condition and mental state and as a desire for mastery in sports practice. This is one of the most complete studies carried out in two countries at the same time to examine the process of consumer behaviour regarding sports services.
    Keywords: customer service; sport; physical activity; motivations; attitude; behaviour; Colombia; Spain; fitness; wellness; management; marketing; international; business.

  • How Value Congruence Affects Fan Consumption Behaviour   Order a copy of this article
    by Curtis Ziniel, Clay Gransden 
    Abstract: This paper examines whether consumers holding certain ethical values demonstrate paralleled consumption behaviour when they perceive those same values in the businesses they patronise. Our study investigates whether this value congruence leads to greater levels of consumption in both number of items purchased and the amount spent. To explore this connection, we integrate a large customer survey (n=1925) with the sales records of a Premier League football club in the UK. We find that value congruence has a substantive impact upon consumption behaviour. This is a helpful finding for the role of values and ethical behaviour in business because it identifies a monetary incentive for businesses to reflect the moral values found in their customers.
    Keywords: Values; Ethics; Football; Fandom; Value Congruence.

  • HASHTAG ACTIVISM BY BRAND LOVERS: A NETNOGRAPHIC STUDY   Order a copy of this article
    by Cássia Carvalho, Belem Barbosa 
    Abstract: Hashtag activism has been receiving a lot of attention from academics and the media due to its power as a form of protest and the ability to open debate on important social issues. Indeed, as social network sites (SNS) stand out as online platforms where people spend time and communicate with each other, hashtags offer interesting features to leverage message reach. SNS users adopt hashtags to share their opinions and often to influence others decisions, such as peers, politicians, and brands. This article explores the case of hashtag activism conveyed by brand lovers, which has been so far disregarded by the literature. This article aims to help fill this gap by exploring the case of hashtag activism conveyed by brand lovers. A netnographic study was conducted regarding the hashtag #juninhonocorinthiansnao, targeted at the Brazilian football club. The study demonstrates that brand lovers use hashtag activism as a way to protect brand values and to fight against actions that are not coherent with the essence of the brand and its communication, being a tool of brand control by its fans.
    Keywords: Social Network Sites; Social Media Marketing; Brand control; Netnography; Sports marketing; Football fans.

  • A Dynamic Capabilities View of the NBA and eSports   Order a copy of this article
    by David Finch, Norm O'Reilly, Nadège Levallet, Anthony Mikkelson 
    Abstract: Guided by a dynamic capabilities framework, this research explores the National Basketball Associations (NBA) expansion into esports. Based on the input of thirteen sport industry experts, the paper presents research on simulated professional sports (SPS) with a deep investigation of the NBA 2K League (2KL). NBA 2KL is the first esports league in North America that is owned and operated by a traditional professional sports league. Results identify both league and club level outcomes for: 1) learning dynamic capabilities; 2) integrating/coordinating dynamic capabilities; 3) reconfiguring dynamic capabilities. Practical recommendations to the NBA, extended to other professional leagues, are provided. A framework for future research, including questions to be addressed, is outlined based on the findings.
    Keywords: esport; NBA; dynamic capabilities.

  • The Influence of Expectancies on Sport Consumer Behavior: From BIRGing to COFFing   Order a copy of this article
    by Jonathan Jensen, James Evans, Brian Turner 
    Abstract: This study makes a novel contribution to the consumer behavior literature by confirming the influence of expectations on the propensity of sport consumers to engage in BIRGing behaviors. Notably, while many researchers have measured behavior via self-reported surveys, this study breaks new ground in its analysis of actual consumer behavior. Consistent with expectancy theory, results revealed that study participants who expected a win were more than twice as likely to BIRG, and the effect of expectations on behavior was not moderated by the outcome of the game. An analysis of participants who expected a loss provides the first empirical support in the sport consumer behavior literature for the theory of COFFing (i.e, cutting off future failure). Given the need to protect their ego from future damage, those who did not expect to win were 50.5% less likely to BIRG, representing an important theoretical contribution to the literature.
    Keywords: consumer behavior; expectancy theory; BIRGing; COFFing.

  • Sponsorship Activation: A Systematic Review and Future Research Agenda   Order a copy of this article
    by Pascale Marceau, Frank Pons 
    Abstract: Since the utilization of sponsorship activations is constantly increasing, the objective of this article is to provide a thorough overview of knowledge, and to showcase future avenues of research according to trends and gaps found in literature. A systematic review of the literature (SRL) which summarizes the different understandings of sponsorship activation within an innovative conceptual framework linking both activations and events was conducted. The analysis of the 107 writings included in this SRL contributes to a better understanding of the current literature. The results show that no consensus exists when it comes to the definition of the activation concept. Also, the results reveal that taking into consideration certain variables drawn from a theoretical framework related to event marketing which unite both the organizational strategy and the consumer experience can enable a global overview. This article provides an in-depth analysis and overview of the relatively chaotic body of knowledge currently found in this field.
    Keywords: activations; sponsorships activations; systematic review of the literature; SRL; future research agenda; events; leverage; sports; management; marketing.

  • Developing and Validating a Scale to Measure the Perceived Value of Sport Spectators   Order a copy of this article
    by Fereshteh Sameie, Alireza Elahi, Mostafa Afshari 
    Abstract: This study was purposed to develop and validate a questionnaire to measure the perceived value of sport spectators. Reviewing the theoretical background of perceived value in the marketing management and semi-structured qualitative interviews were two deemed methods used to identify components and items of the questionnaire. The results have demonstrated six main factors including: product, service, brand, personal, psychological and social benefits which affect the perceived benefits of spectators. Also, they have revealed other five main factors including: financial, time, physical, psychological and social costs affecting the perceived costs of the spectators. Therefore, sport managers are advised to improve factors associated with the stadium, such as effective management, spectator safety, facilities and welfare.
    Keywords: Perceived Value; Spectators; Cost-Benefit; Football; Attendance.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2022.10050331
     
  • Consumption Determinants in the National Hockey League: The Influence of Violence in the United States and Canada   Order a copy of this article
    by Alexander Traugutt, Gregory P. Greenhalgh, Chad Goebert, Michael Broda, Cody T. Havard 
    Abstract: The National Hockey League is aligned in such a way that it must present its product to large audiences in two countries. Given the difficulty of such a marketing effort, this study sought to determine the impact that violence, as measured by fighting, has on consumption. Separate demand models were estimated for attendance and viewership in the US and Canada via Tobit and OLS regression models. Results from the various models indicated that the promotion of violence should not be considered a viable strategy for increasing consumption. More specifically, while fighting was found to be a positive predictor of attendance in all models, its impact was minimal. From a viewership perspective, fighting was not found to be a significant predictor in either market. Given the evolving nature of consumer preferences, these results are particularly salient to marketers seeking to develop strategies that are reflexive of the marketplace.
    Keywords: sport marketing; consumer behavior; attendance; viewership; National Hockey League.

  • Generation Y consumers wearable activity tracker adoption intention: Applying the theory of planned behaviour   Order a copy of this article
    by Chantel Muller, A.L. Bevan-Dye 
    Abstract: The growing demand for wearable activity-tracking (WAT) devices coupled with an increasing number of WAT manufacturers entering the market has led to a progressively more dynamic and competitive global wearable tracker market. As WAT manufacturers seek new markets to expand into, the emerging South African market is manifesting as an important target market, particularly the sizable Generation Y consumer segment with their known affinity for technological devices. Successfully appealing to this segment necessitates having a clear understanding of the factors that influence their adoption intentions towards such devices. In addressing this, this study applied an adapted version of the theory of planned behaviour to determine the influence of subjective norms, perceived behavioural control and attitudes on South African Generation Y consumers WAT adoption intentions. The study was guided by a descriptive research design and the results obtained from a sample of 462 respondents indicate that the adapted version of the theory of planned behaviour may be used as a forecasting tool for South African Generation Y consumers WAT adoption intentions. This, in turn, gives rise to several managerial and theoretical implications.
    Keywords: Wearable activity-tracking devices; South Africa; Generation Y consumers; Technology adoption intentions; Theory of planned behaviour.

  • Barriers to Youth Sport Participation in Dense Urban Centres   Order a copy of this article
    by Norm O’Reilly, Tony Hernandez, Benoit Seguin, Lance Warwick, Tahereh Hasani 
    Abstract: This research examines barriers that urban youth face which limit participation in sport. Conceptually, this work distinguishes between three categories of active (participatory) engagement: (i) those that never participated, (ii) those that used to participate, and (iii) those that do participate; and their level of passive engagement. A set of hypotheses for urban youth sport participation incorporating external and intrinsic factors are tested and guided by the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB). Based on pre-interviews with urban youth (n=53), a large-sample survey (n=3,003) of youth in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver was conducted. Results identified four segments of urban youth participation; a multiple regression analysis supported the TPB as an appropriate lens for understanding urban youth sport participation. The development of segments of urban youth based on sport engagement has implications for managers involved in promoting participation. The article contributes theoretically through the extension of the TPB in the context of urban youth participation.
    Keywords: sport participation; marketing; consumer behaviour; city; adolescent.

  • Leadership development of university students through outdoor training: A systematic literature review   Order a copy of this article
    by Anna Kourtesopoulou, Athanasios Kriemadis 
    Abstract: There is a growing need for continuous training and development efforts in all career stages. Essential horizontal competences such as teamwork and creative thinking are considered critical in academic and workplace settings. The Outdoor Training (OT) approach is a promising educational tool seeking to improve team performance and develop managerial competencies. This review attempts to determine the observed outcomes of the OT approach with a special focus on leadership development in higher education students. Five sources were used to detect all relevant and eligible studies: specific electronic databases; existing related publications and meta-analyses; reference lists of research papers; hand searches of key journals; and contact with authors to clarify missing or unclear data. In addition, each study was evaluated with a quality assessment tool. 58 studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were selected as primary studies, with a total number of 7579 university students over 18 years old. In the majority of studies, the OT interventions lasted one day, with ropes courses being the most common program type. The leadership skills domain received noticeable focus with team development being the most common competency, followed by change leadership. The most frequently observed personal attribute outcomes were accurate self-insight, and positive disposition. Interpersonal skills were the third most frequent outcome, with development of relationships and interpersonal effectiveness being the most observed competencies. The last domain of outcomes included skills directly related to management effectiveness, such as decision making and managing the job. Educational practices promoting teamwork and leadership development that feature high quality OT programs can prepare students transitioning from university into future careers. The findings of this systematic review provide relevant information for planning and applying a high-impact experimental OT program as part of management and leadership development amongst university students.
    Keywords: outdoor training; leadership competencies; observed outcomes; university students; systematic review.

  • Historical Evolution of Competitive Balance in the Mexican Football League: A Time Series Analysis, 1943-2015.   Order a copy of this article
    by Raúl Vázquez-López 
    Abstract: This paper employs the Bai-Perron (BP) approach to perform a time series analysis of two measures of competitive balance (CB) in the unexplored area of the Mexican football league. A significant break point where CB experienced a substantial reduction is found. The time of the break point coincides with a modification of the league's regulations, which implemented two short tournaments instead of a single annual season to increase the revenue by doubling the final playoff games. This paper also establishes the first periodisation of the league's evolution, from its professionalisation in 1943 to 2015. In defence of the invariance principle, elements of collusion do not seem to have repercussions in CB. Nevertheless, the findings support the argument regarding the potential of significant regulatory changes to affect competitive equilibrium in sports contests.
    Keywords: Competitive Balance; Soccer; Time series; Break points.

  • Digital engagement with Super Bowl commercials: Analyzing likeability, length, and mood   Order a copy of this article
    by Karen Loveland, Katherine Smith, Lawrence Smith 
    Abstract: The purpose of this study is to measure digital engagement with television commercials using online advertising metrics. Using data collected from 370 Super Bowl ads from 2014 through 2020, this study builds on prior research by examining digital engagement with the ads and related brands. Further, this study adds to prior research by including a broader measure of digital engagement along with the assessment of the sentiment of that engagement. Findings indicate that likeable ads generate higher volume and more positive sentiment in digital engagement with the ad. Contrary to prior research, findings indicate that longer ads and emotional ads do not lead to increases in positive digital engagement. Findings from this research can will help marketers design effective commercials that will increase their return on investment by stimulating digital engagement. Given the high cost of Super Bowl ads, this is very useful for marketing managers to know.
    Keywords: Digital engagement; ad likeability; sentiment analysis; television advertising; online chatter.

  • The Influence of Music on Self-Paced Fitness Consumers Perceived Motivational Qualities and Optimal Level of Emotional State and Satisfaction with Exercise Experience   Order a copy of this article
    by Antonio Williams, Byungik Park, Zack Pedersen 
    Abstract: The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of motivational qualities of music elicited by two primary types of music sources (i.e., self-selected music and facility-selected music) on consumer emotional and cognitive responses in a fitness facility environment. The concept of motivational qualities of music was aligned with Mehrabian and Russells stimulus-organism-response (SOR) theory. A survey was administered to self-paced fitness customers (n = 183) who were exposed to either type of music in a natural field experiment setting. SEM was utilized for hypothesis evaluation. The three hypotheses were confirmed: that SSM provides a greater degree of motivation for fitness facility customers than FSM; that higher perception of motivational qualities of music led to greater arousal and pleasure, and that the greater their pleasure and arousal, the greater their satisfaction with their exercise experience.
    Keywords: motivational qualities of music; satisfaction; exercise experience; emotional state; self-selected music; facility-selected music; stimulus-organism-response; fitness facility; fitness centre; motivation.

  • Unreal? Insights from newly constructed real tennis courts and lessons for future growth   Order a copy of this article
    by Malek Al-Chalabi 
    Abstract: Tennis is a global sport that captures the fascination of many. Although its popularity is much smaller, real tennis (the sport which tennis originates from) is still played today. The literature has examined the history of real tennis in great depth, but presently there is limited research that has focused on the recent growth of the sport. Four newly constructed real tennis courts have been built in the last twenty years. The objective of this paper is to understand how these courts came to be and to assess what lessons can be learned to grow the sport in a new country. Since this is an unexplored subject, the research provides innovative findings on fundraising and sports management for real tennis and the implications for niche sports are also presented.
    Keywords: Real Tennis; Sports Management; Growth; Fundraising; Niche Sports;.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2022.10050548
     
  • Expectation versus Reality: An Analysis of Ex-Ante and Ex-Post Competitive Balance in Major League Soccer from 1996 - 2016   Order a copy of this article
    by Dirk Semmelroth, Franziska Prockl 
    Abstract: This paper analyses ex-ante and ex-post competitive balance in Major League Soccer based on compiled data from 1996 to 2016. Considering ex-post results and ex-ante information using betting odds allows investigating the development of both dimensions of competitive balance. While the results of the ex-post competitive balance measurements indicate a league that becomes more balanced over time, the ex-ante results suggest a tendency towards imbalance with reduced uncertainty of game outcomes. The findings will help MLS officials to draw conclusions to support decision-making around expansion activities or necessary regulations based on the ex-ante and ex-post balance or imbalance.
    Keywords: major league soccer; competitive balance; uncertainty of outcome; betting odds; game results; fan demand; sport management.

  • Who Are Minor League Baseball (MiLB) Spectators? Developing a Motivation-Based Segmentation Typology of MiLB Game Attendees   Order a copy of this article
    by Ari Kim, Jessica R. Braunstein-Minkove, Moonhoon Choi 
    Abstract: Understanding consumers' underlying motivation(s) for attending sporting events is vital in developing strategic marketing plans. A complete understanding of individuals motivations to attend can be essential for sport organizations with lower budgets, limited staffing, and/or saturated markets. With this in mind, this study aimed to investigate Minor League Baseball (MiLB) spectator motivations, identifying spectator typologies using motivation-based segmentation. Data were obtained from 587 MiLB spectators using a modified version of Trail and James (2001) Motivation Scale for Sport Consumption. Confirmatory factor analysis, two-step cluster analysis, and discriminant analysis were employed for classification purposes, resulting in four segments Family Focused, Baseball Lovers, Escapers, and General Entertainment Seekers. This study augments and extends the existing sport marketing literature, particularly with the use of motivation-based segmentation for sport spectator typology. Both theoretical and practical implications are addressed.
    Keywords: sport consumer behavior; MiLB; market segmentation; spectator typology; spectator motivation; cluster analysis.

  • "If there is no Football, then we have Nothing to Discuss": a Phenomenological Study on Football Fandom and COVID-19 Pandemic   Order a copy of this article
    by Ekaterina Glebova, Fateme Zare, Michel Desbordes, Gabor Geczi 
    Abstract: Research question: This paper aims to identify and describe changes in football fans lives brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Meeting at the intersection of football fandom and COVID-19, the objective of this study was to understand and describe how and why football fans experienced the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of their sports spectating habits. Research methods: This phenomenological study was based upon 10 unstructured interviews with self-identified football fans, conducted remotely and lasting from 30-85 minutes. A qualitative approach was selected as it provides an opportunity for rich description and deep contextualized meaning. We used purposive sampling to select football fans across the world based on the following criteria: (1) self-identification as a football fan, (2) proactive position in football communities, and (3) open to talking about their own fan experiences. Findings: The findings are structured around seven overlapping areas at the intersection of football fandom and COVID-19: (1) Emotions, (2) Socializing, (3) Demand for technologies, (4) Temporality, (5) Stadium attendance, (6) Benefits, and (7) Stability and changeability. Findings indicated that the pandemic has negatively affected fans social and emotional responses, which increases the demand for technologies such as: immersive technologies, performance advanced analytics with user friendly interfaces, and e-sports. Implications: The findings could be useful to sports management professionals and allow them to build strategies to deliver better fan experiences in extraordinary circumstances. This study also expands the body of literature on COVID-19s impact and serves empirical dataset analytics.
    Keywords: COVID-19 impact; football fan; fan experience; COVID-19 pandemic; fans habits; socail isolation; sport in COVID-19 pandemic; wellbeing in COVID-19 pandemic; quarantine.

  • The Analysis and Prediction of Sports Clubs Funding via the Assignation Tax in Slovakia   Order a copy of this article
    by Michal Kubenka, Michal Varmus, Milan Kubina, Dominika Tumová 
    Abstract: Assignation tax plays an important role in the funding of non-profit organizations (NPOs) in Slovakia. The analysis is focused on the funding of Slovak sports clubs via the assignation tax. The hypotheses were defined as follows: H1: Local interest in sports clubs has a positive effect on obtaining the funds from the assignation tax; H2: Assignation tax donors (2%) are more inclined to support individual sports than team sports. The data analysis has proven the growth of the total sum obtained via the assignation tax over time. The growing income from the assignation tax for the whole non-profit sector was predicted by applying statistical methods. Based on the created model, the average annual decrease of sports clubs incomes by 28.80% can be expected, from EUR1,750 in 2019 to EUR600 in 2022. This trend shows the development of the situation without the clubs taking any action. Thus, it can help them with setting promotional activities to gain more funds via the assignation tax in the future and optimizing their financial mix.
    Keywords: Assignation tax; sport management; non-profit organizations; sports clubs; mathematical-statistical modelling; prediction.

  • How to Achieve a Sustainable Circuit for Professional Tennis Players?   Order a copy of this article
    by Matteo Balliauw, Thomas Verlinden, Tomas Van Den Spiegel, Jani Van Hecke 
    Abstract: Professional tennis players outside the top 250 find it difficult to cover expenses, which involves a risk of losing young talents and encompasses match fixing incentives. This paper defines a financially sustainable professional tennis circuit from a players perspective. Current prize money income distributions and players costs are quantified. Subsequently, measures to improve the players financial positions are defined, based on 14 semi-structured interviews. This paper recommends that professional players should compete in fewer tournaments for increased and more horizontally-distributed prize money. To guarantee the future of the sport, a development track for young talented players is proposed too.
    Keywords: tennis; income inequality; sustainable professional circuit; athlete development; sports organisation and management.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2022.10051267
     
  • The dark side of professionalisation in national sport federations: A case study of the Swiss Floorball Federation   Order a copy of this article
    by Kaisa Ruoranen, Siegfried Nagel, Grazia Lang, Christoffer Klenk, Emmanuel Bayle, Josephine Clausen, David Giauque, Torsten Schlesinger 
    Abstract: National sport federations (NSF) are undertaking organisational adaptations towards professionalisation. To what extent they benefit from these adaptions is a matter of controversy. Furthermore, the negative effects of an NSFs proactive professionalisation strategies have gained little attention. This paper explores the dark side of professionalisation in a Swiss NSF. The process and negative effects were investigated using a qualitative analysis of interviews, documents, and secondary studies. We found the dark side of professionalisation to be mainly present in the deteriorating inter-organisational relationships. The NSF was distracted from the needs of the sport community; the objectives of the professionalisation strategy did not reflect the member organisations values and visions. Furthermore, the NSFs offensive marketing activities exceeded clubs capabilities. The evidence suggests that active involvement of clubs into strategy development and the professionalisation process could help it to avoid the negative effects and instead support an efficient use of resources.
    Keywords: professionalisation; professionalisation strategy; sport federations; national sport federations; sport clubs; sport management; sport marketing; floorball; sport Switzerland; case study; negative consequences.

  • Eliciting Emotional Attachment: Jordan Brand and College Fan Purchasers   Order a copy of this article
    by C. Keith Harrison, Katherine Babiak, Jacob K. Tingle, Jessie Dickens, Scott Bukstein, Juan Pablo Urrutia, Patrick Kaltenbacher 
    Abstract: It is widely documented that emotions play an important role in product marketing and branding. The current study explores the role that a human brand association can play in eliciting emotional responses and attachments from consumers that drive their subsequent behavior. The human-centered Jordan Brand was examined because it uses the likeness/image of Michael Jordan. The study revealed the impact of consumer responses and decision-making through survey analysis (N=1,133) at two Jordan Brand partner universitys athletic events. The results demonstrate that the partnership between the university athletic department and Jordan Brand elicits strong emotional responses, influences consumer perceptions and purchasing behavior, and impacts other dimensions of behavior. These dimensions include the propensity to donate to the university, the likelihood of remaining engaged with university sporting events, and increased consumer willingness to pay for merchandise bearing the human brands likeness. The results provide support for hypotheses that athletics and academics can be mutually reinforcing within the university context, with the relationship moderated by branding decisions rather than athletic success. The findings are useful for both scholars and practitioners as evidence that strategies designed to elicit emotional responses can yield positive results in consumer perception of the brand and financial success.
    Keywords: Human brand; Jordan brand; emotional branding; consumer behavior; college athletics.

  • Shirt sponsorship awareness of European football clubs: a survey among German-speaking fans   Order a copy of this article
    by Matthias Dombrowski, Alexander Hodeck 
    Abstract: As sponsorship revenue is a major source of income for professional football clubs and even more important during the challenging Covid-19-shaped times, this study examines the impact of several factors on sponsorship awareness of European elite football clubs. The German-speaking survey participants were asked to recall the shirt sponsors of the 15 most successful football clubs based on the UEFAs Club Coefficient Ranking. Additionally, respondents evaluated the sponsorship fit between each club and its respective shirt sponsor. Regarding all three investigated factors (duration of the sponsorship, on-field success of the sponsored club, national or international partnership) a significant influence on sponsorship awareness could be determined. On-field success, long-term sponsorships and national sponsors have a positive impact on sponsorship awareness, while the numbers decrease for short-term partnerships and lower-ranked teams (on-field success).
    Keywords: Sponsorship awareness; European football clubs; shirt sponsors; fans; sponsorship fit.

  • Key factors for cost overruns at Olympic Games - establishment of a model   Order a copy of this article
    by Maike Weitzmann, Holger Preuss 
    Abstract: Olympic Games are repeatedly brought into the context of cost overruns. While various causes for cost overruns in major projects have been widely discussed, no systematic investigation of the reasons for cost overruns at Olympic Games have been conducted, to date. This paper provides a social science model that considers the current state of research on cost overruns in mega projects and at Olympic Games. This makes the complexity of cost overruns more manageable and the identification of causes for cost overruns in large projects much easier. Finally, recommendations to avoid cost overruns at Olympic Games are made. This paper sheds light on the fact that it is necessary to carry out a better review of potential host cities in order to provide greater support to the IOC in the organisation of Olympic Games and to establish an independent commission that would review all processes.
    Keywords: cost overruns; Olympic Games; causes for cost overruns; model development; recommendations avoiding cost overruns.

  • Guidance for professional athletes in selecting a sustainably rewarding player contract   Order a copy of this article
    by Jaco Moolman, Christina Cornelia Shuttleworth 
    Abstract: Sports managers, professional athletes and their advisors must create an environment that is conducive to establishing a mutually beneficial relationship and empowers the athlete with the necessary skills to select a sustainably rewarding player contract. This prompted an investigation into the financial and non-financial considerations an athlete might take into account, before signing a professional player contract. Grounded in actor-network theory (ANT), the researchers conducted interviews with 27 individuals from a potential network of influencers who could sway a professional athletes contract-related and associated financial decisions. The findings showed that those athletes need to contemplate a wide range of financial and non-financial issues when deciding whether or not to accept a player contract. The findings of this study are relevant to professional athletes, those who advise them, player associations, educators and scholars in the field.
    Keywords: Actor-Network Theory (ANT); financial well-being; player contracts; professional athletes; sports.

  • Model Comparison of Regression, Neural Networks, and XGBoost as Applied to the English Premier League Transfer Market   Order a copy of this article
    by Yuchen Wang, Hakan Tarakci, Victor Prybutok 
    Abstract: The English Premier League (EPL) is the highest level in the U.K. professional soccer system and one of the largest and most competitive professional soccer leagues in the world. This research examines factors influencing transfer fees in the most popular transfer market for EPL using data spanning ten years. By building a Nash equilibrium model, a dynamic modeling system is developed to measure the transfer fee with the ordinal least square regression, eXtreme Gradient Boosting (XGBoost), and neural network (NN) models. The study recognizes the effect of bargaining power and provides optimized strategies for clubs and players. Moreover, clubs will be able to utilize NN as the most advantageous method to determine the transfer fees. The research can serve as a comprehensive decision support system for assessing the expenditure needs corresponding to the players scouted in the transfer market.
    Keywords: English premier league; transfer market; game theory; Nash equilibrium; empirical model; neural network; XGBoost.