SMQ Issue 19:4

Contents for SMQ Issue 19:4

Industry Insider: John Brody, p. 183-186
Authors: Jim Kadlecek
Abstract: An interview with John Brody, Principal at Wasserman Media Group and former Senior Vice President of Corporate Sales and Marketing for Major League Baseball.

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Communicating Socially Responsible Initiatives: An Analysis of U.S. Professional Teams, p. 187-195
Authors: Matthew Walker, Aubrey Kent, and John Vincent
Abstract: The unprecedented growth of the Internet has provided new ways for organizations to communicate with their stakeholders. Consequently, messages devoted to ethical, environmental, and other social initiatives have increased in popularity. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is one way in which organizations seek to manage stakeholder pressures, improve organizational reputation, and increase consumer patronage. Based on these potential outcomes, the purpose of this study was to analyze CSR–related content distributed by teams to their stakeholders via electronic newsletters. Over 800 e-newsletters in the four major sport leagues were analyzed. This sample offered both typicality and systematic variety of teams to reveal general CSR practices and communication strategies. The results show that the teams do not display the same eagerness to appear socially responsible in their e-newsletters. Despite adopting different approaches to CSR, many of the teams’ communicative strategies were similar regarding content, self-reference, stakeholder issues, and message orientation.

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Examining Brand Extensions and Their Potential to Dilute Team Brand Associations, p. 196-206
Authors: Patrick Walsh and Stephen D. Ross
Abstract: Brand extensions in sport are becoming increasingly common as they represent an excellent opportunity to increase revenue, enter a new product class, and interact with fans outside of the core product. Previous research has focused on the categorization of extensions, and how consumers evaluate these new offerings. However, how these extensions might impact a team’s brand has not yet been examined. As any change in the team’s brand image will affect their ability to generate revenue, it is important to understand the impact that extensions have on the team’s brand. Therefore, this study examined how the introduction of extensions by a professional sport team affects the brand associations for that team. The results indicated minimal evidence of dilution to the team’s brand associations. In addition, it was determined that the participant’s level of identification with the team had a significant impact on the evaluation of a team’s brand associations.

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Fantasy Sport Consumer Segmentation: An Investigation into the Differing Consumption Modes of Fantasy Football Participants, p. 207-216
Authors: Brendan Dwyer and Joris Drayer
Abstract: Sport fandom is one of the preeminent leisure activities in our society, and contemporary sport consumption has evolved to a point wherein it includes several activities such as event attendance, television viewership, and publication subscriptions, both online and in print. Among these means of sport fan consumption is fantasy sport participation. While the activity has grown immensely within the past few decades, relatively little is known about who participates and what impact participation has on the consumption of sport products and services. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the differing modes of sport consumption exhibited by fantasy sport participants. Employing an orthogonal research design, the study uncovered four distinct consumption modes, each with differing patterns of behavior. Discussed are the theoretical results with regard to player attachment and psychological commitment to team as well as practical implications for sport marketers looking to utilize fantasy sport participation as an enhanced marketing communication tool.

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Exploring the Antecedents and Consequences of Personalizing Sport Video Game Experiences, p. 217-225
Authors: Dae Hee Kwak, Galen E. Clavio, Andrea N. Eagleman, and Ki Tak Kim
Abstract: Despite the strong appeal of personalization (through creating personalized players, teams, and leagues) in sport video games (SVGs), little is known about its marketing implications. This study explores the effect of personalization on SVG gaming enjoyment, repurchase intention, and consumption level. Further, the predictive functions of perceived skill and past experience on participants’ intention to personalize their SVG experience were examined. Current users (N = 459) of a sport video game, “FIFA 06 Live”, participated in the study and the results revealed that users who utilize personalization options reported they enjoy the game more, are more satisfied with the product, and spend more time playing the game than users who do not use personalization options. In addition, past experience and perceived gaming skill played significant roles in predicting individuals’ intention to utilize personalization options.

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What’s in a Name? AFL Philadelphia LLC v. Krause Provides Legal Lessons for Sport Organizations on Use of Employee Names in Company Communications, p. 226-228
Authors: Steve McKelvey and David Heim
Abstract: The landscape of second-tier professional sports is littered with leagues and teams that have folded—a reality that has become even more prevalent due to the recent economic downturn. For instance, this past August, the National Lacrosse League’s (NLL) Orlando Titans announced that it would not field a team for the 2011 season … after having substantially completed its 2011 season ticket campaign (“Titans confirm,” 2010). In March 2010, the Los Angeles Sol, the most highly-publicized team in the newly formed Women’s Professional Soccer League (WPSL), folded after just one season (Tripp, 2010). Despite averaging over 12,000 fans a game, the Sacramento Monarchs of the WNBA closed shop after the 2009 season (Lombardo, 2009b). Last but not least, one of the most surprising failures occurred in December 2008 when the Arena Football League closed its doors after a 22-year run (Lombardo, 2009a). In addition to the folding of leagues and teams, it is not uncommon for minor league teams to move to new locations. When leagues and teams fold or relocate, one of the major yet often overlooked marketing challenges is how best to communicate this decision to the franchise’s existing fan base. The communications strategy is particularly important when fans have already made emotional and financial commitments to the league or team in terms of season ticket purchases, and thus are owed refunds for their ticket purchases. This article examines a novel case of AFL Philadelphia LLC v. Krause (2009) that, while ultimately resolved by the parties, provides numerous legal and business lessons for sport organizations faced with notifying their fan base of its demise or relocation.

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Positioning the New Orleans Hornets in the ‘Who Dat?’ City, p. 229-234
Authors: Artemis Apostolopoulou and Matt Biggers
Abstract: No other team in sports has had to endure the relocation odyssey that the New Orleans franchise has lived through. The Hornets were born when North Carolina businessman George Shinn was awarded one of four NBA expansion franchises on April 1, 1987, and began play in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1988. As the owner of the team from its inception and the subsequent 14 seasons in Charlotte, Shinn officially filed an application with the NBA on January 17, 2002, to move the Hornets to New Orleans, Louisiana, beginning with the 2002-03 season. Four months later, the NBA’s Board of Governors unanimously endorsed the Relocation Committee’s recommendation to move the team from Charlotte, and the New Orleans Hornets were born.

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