SMQ Issue 26:4

Contents for SMQ Issue 26:4

SMQ 26:4
Authors: Mark Nagel, Cody T. Havard and Vassilis Dalakas, B. David Tyler, Craig A. Morehead, Joe Cobbs and Timothy D. DeSchriver, Scott C. Ambrose and Nathan Schnitzlein, Joe Cobbs, Daniel Sparks and B. David Tyler, Lamar Reams and Terry Eddy
Abstract: Sport Marketing Quarterly, Volume 26, No. 4, December 2017.

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Industry Insider: Spencer McAnally
Authors: Mark Nagel
Abstract: An interview with Spencer McAnally. Director of Marketing, Clemson University Althletics

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Understanding the Marketing Implications of Sport Rivalry: What We Know and Where We Are Headed

Authors: Cody T. Havard and Vassilis Dalakas
Abstract: The topic of rivalry is a favorite in sport popular culture. Fans, media members, and participants frequently discuss who is a rival team, what constitutes a rivalry, and what rivalries are most relevant in sport. For example, if one turns the television to a sport channel or visits popular sport media websites, they will almost certainly be exposed to a story, highlights, or discussion about rivalry. The phenomenon is so popular among sport fans that major television and media outlets have labeled portions of seasons accordingly (e.g., college football’s Rivalry Week typically runs the last regular season week when most traditional rival teams play and Major League Soccer has recently started to promote Rivalry Week two times during its season). However, given the attention the topic receives from fans and the popular media, academic research only recently began to focus on understanding and explaining this topic. The purpose of this special issue is to highlight the phenomenon, and present empirically driven ideas that can help academicians and practitioners better understand the marketing implications of rivalry in sport.

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What is Rivalry? Old and New Approaches to Specifying Rivalry in Demand Estimations of Spectator Sports
Authors: B. David Tyler, Craig A. Morehead, Joe Cobbs and Timothy D. DeSchriver
Abstract: Although the concept of rivalry is widely recognized as a contributing factor to consumer demand for sporting events, who constitutes a rival and to what degree rivalry influences attendance remains vague. Previous demand models consistently included rivalry as an explanatory variable but represented rivalry in inconsistent ways that often violated rivalry’s core properties (i.e., non-exclusive, continuous in scale, and bidirectional). This study reviews past specifications for rivalry and tests multiple rivalry variables, including a 100-point allocation measure that conforms to rivalry’s core properties, in attendance demand models for both Major League Soccer and the National Hockey League. Results across models generally favor the 100-point measure to represent the special attention fans give to certain opponents. This fan-derived rivalry representation offers researchers, marketers, event managers, and sponsors a more complete picture of rivalry as related to demand estimation for purposes such as promotional planning, game scheduling, and event security protocol.

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What Makes For the Best Rivalries in Individual Sports and How Can Marketers Capitalize on Them?
Authors: Scott C. Ambrose and Nathan Schnitzlein
Abstract: Rivalries in sports give fans a unique connection with their team, school, or favorite athlete. The game or match may also draw more attention because of geographical considerations, cultural aspects, and team disposition. Furthermore, rivalries in single-player sports expose the intimacy and personalities of the opposing competitors. Understanding rivalries, particularly in individual sports, can give marketers an upper hand in identifying areas to promote their brand. This study analyzes 11 elements of team rivalry defined by Tyler and Cobbs (2015) and applies a similar methodology for individual sports. The results suggest that parity, defining moments, and frequency of competition are key pillars of an individual-sport rivalry. Star power of individual players along with contrast between competitors also enhance rivalries. By identifying these main elements of an individual-sport rivalry, marketers can design and execute strategies that more effectively capitalize on rivalry.

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Comparing Rivalry Effects Across Professional Sports: National Football League Fans Exhibit Most Animosity

Authors: Joe Cobbs, Daniel Sparks and B. David Tyler
Abstract: Previous research on sports rivalry has emphasized fans’ social identity and the threat posed by rivals. Much of this scholarship is based on intercollegiate sports, where many fans, such as students and alumni, have a formally defined identity with the university. In this study, fans (N = 4,828) across five major professional leagues—Major League Baseball (MLB), Major League Soccer (MLS), National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), and National Hockey League (NHL)—are surveyed to compare their animosity toward rivals based on four variables: schadenfreude, disidentification, prejudice, and relationship discrimination against rivals. The results consistently demonstrate that NFL fans harbor significantly greater animosity toward rivals than their counterparts in other leagues. Apart from the NFL, fans of NHL teams generally exhibit more animosity compared to other leagues, and NBA fans exhibit the least. While fan identification is relatively consistent across leagues, highly identified fans react more adversely to rivals. These differences in rivalry reactions have implications for promotional planning and event security protocol.

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The Impact of Rivalry Antecedents on Mediated Demand for an Individual Sport
Authors: Lamar Reams and Terry Eddy
Abstract: In contrast to research examining the social-psychological aspects of how sport fans perceive rivalry games in team sports, far less is known regarding the impact rivalries have on mediated consumer demand, a marketing outcome of interest to sport researchers and practitioners. Guided by economic demand theory, the current study developed a model to empirically examine the impact of Tyler and Cobbs’ (2015) rivalry antecedents (conflict, peer, bias) on fan interest for an individual sport. The three-dimensional framework provided the foundation for the selection of thirteen rivalry-related variables, in addition to control determinants established from prior literature. Results from the estimation indicate rivalry conflict is the primary driver of demand for Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-view buys, while peer and bias are less influential dimensions. Short-term performance similarities (recent winning percentage) and long-term performance dissimilarities (historical winning percentage) among the main and co-main event fighters are significant to generating increased buyrates. Organizational marketing activities (i.e., event poster – defining moment) were the strongest overall predictor of pay-per-view buys. Conceptual discussion and practical implications are provided, including recommendations for future research.

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