Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 1
This is an important issue of Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, for several reasons. First, as we move into our fifth volume the number of issues per volume has been increased to five (from the previous four). The fifth issue of this volume will be our now regular special edition comprised of papers drawn from the European Academy of Management’s (EURAM) annual conference in June 2014. The journal greatly values its relationship with EURAM’s Managing Sport Special Interest Group, and we look forward to working with them again at its coming 2015 conference in Poland.
Volume 5, No. 1 is also important as it marks the appearance of our first book review. The number of academic books about sport has grown dramatically in recent years, many of them written by editorial board members and contributors to this journal. Moreover, the diversity and sophistication of these texts has developed too, with the result that sport management and the business of sport can now claim to have an established literature base upon which it future development can be founded. At the same time, the broader literature on sport is growing healthily, and many of these publications provide useful insights into the industry for academic researchers. I am therefore very grateful to Dr Christos Anagnostopoulos for agreeing to take-on the role of Books Editor in order to help us capture the wealth of resources now available to us.
Finally, the issue is for me the “final straight” of a challenge that began in 2009, as at the end of this volume I shall be step-down from my role as Editor. For nearly 20 years, I have been teaching, writing, researching, publishing and editing in the area of sport, business and management. During this time, I believe the field has truly established itself as being a legitimate and credible focus for academic researchers. We are now beginning to see a growing body of literature, which is the work of an increasing number of talented academics (some of whom have contributed to this journal or else are members of its editorial board). I hope that in years to come, Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal will remain at the forefront of further developments in the field. It has been a pleasure contributing to the journal and to the body of work, and I thank my friends, colleagues and fellow researchers for working with me.
Notes on papers in this issue
In the first paper, Yildiz examines the relationship between bullying and burnout in an empirical investigation of Turkish professional football players. To measure bullying, Yildiz uses a modified version of the Negative Acts Questionnaire-Revised (NAQ-R) adapted to the professional football environment. To measure burnout, Raedeke and Smith’s “Athlete Burnout Questionnaire” is used. Data for the study (n=102) were collected from the professional football players in the Turkish Secondary Football League. Explatory and confirmatory analysis were performed for validity and reliability of the questionnaires. Correlations and hierarchical regression analysis were performed for data. Study results show significant positive relationship between bullying and burnout among football players. The findings show that bullying influenced all three dimensions of burnout (reduced sense of accomplishment, emotional/physical exhaustion and devaluation) with the highest level of impact on the emotional/physical exhaustion. The high levels of burnout that might be experienced as a result of bullying may lead a team to lose a good player prematurely, which could have a significant impact on teams overall performance and competitiveness. Therefore, to prevent such negative consequences of potential bullying behavior, high performing professional football clubs should develop social networks and mechanism to minimize such behavior and/or provide the needed support to the victims as needed.
In the second paper, Leng, Kuo, Baysa-Pee and Tay investigate the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games and national pride, examining differences between spectators and non-spectators. Singapore hosted the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010. Prior studies have shown that a country hosting a major sports event can raise the level of national pride among its citizens. The purpose of this paper is to examine the change in national pride among spectators and non-spectators following the hosting of the Youth Olympic Games. A longitudinal research design was employed in this study. Surveys using the General National Pride scale to measure the level of national pride were conducted two months before and after the Youth Olympic Games. Using paired t-tests, the results showed that there was a significant increase in the level of national pride among non-spectators. The research concurs with earlier research that hosting a major sports event can increase the level of national pride in the population. From an application standpoint, this research suggests that in planning major sports events, the government should recognize that such events can increase the level of national pride even among those who have expressed no interest in the sports events. This study demonstrates that in hosting a major sports event, there is an increase in national pride even among non-spectators and those who have no interest in the event.
In the third paper, Ford looks at co-evolutionary processes and positive feedbacks in the growth of the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC). In the late 2000s, the UFC emerged to become the dominant mixed martial arts organization, bringing the sport to mainstream acceptance. This paper draws on theories of co-evolution and positive feedbacks to provide insights into how the UFC has assumed this dominant position. A single historical case study is compiled drawing on data from a number of sources, including the UFC, US State Athletic Commissions, mixed martial arts web sites and prior UFC-related academic literature. A number of significant growth dynamics are identified, including interconnections between the increase in free-to-air events and the generation of new UFC fans and revenues; the increased financial rewards to successful fighters that allows them to improve the quality of their training and the improved quality of UFC content; and the accumulation of a critical mass of high-level fighters that increases the reputation of the UFC and the increased attraction of new fighters to the organization. The emergence of new sports and sports organizations such as the UFC with global appeal and significant commercial returns is infrequent. This study contributes to the need for understanding of how new sports enter the mainstream and the role that governing organizations such as the UFC play in achieving this transition.
In the fourth paper, Richelieu and Desbordes address the strategic leverage of co-branding as sports teams and equipment manufacturers go international. They dedicate this paper to the analysis of co-branding as leverage for both teams and equipment manufacturers in their internationalization endeavors. In other words, how can teams and equipment manufacturers benefit from their association in order to expand internationally? They study four football cases for the 2009-2010 season: Paris Saint-Germain and Nike; Olympique de Marseille and Adidas; Olympique Lyonnais and Umbro; and the French national football team and Adidas. We engaged in semi-structured interviews with managers involved with the four teams and their respective equipment manufacturers. The managers were marketing directors, VPs of marketing, sales managers or presidents of their respective organization. We also interviewed sponsors, university professors and journalists who interact closely with the teams and equipment manufacturers. It seems as if the team and its equipment manufacturer do not have a formal strategy to jointly benefit from their association. That would be very important for a successful collaboration and for joint internationalization. Currently, the actions appear a little too ad hoc and opportunistic, with some exceptions (i.e. PSG and Emirates Cup). In other words, the commitment does not really perspire yet in the co-branding partnerships that we have studied. Other teams in other sports and other countries should be studied in the next stage of our research. All the more so since we focussed on a convenience sample, comprised of only French teams. Furthermore, we should pay special attention to the differences between North America and Europe. Indeed, in North America, the league is very much involved and controlling in the international expansion of its teams to the point that the league dictates the internationalization of its teams, brands and merchandising offering; whereas in Europe, teams have much more freedom to expand abroad. The authors believe that the global brand strategy, which refers to a new market and an existing co-brand name, would be the most appropriate for sports teams and equipment manufacturers. This would be especially true when both the equipment maker and the sports team benefit from a strong brand equity, which they could carry into international markets and use to trigger a strong synergy abroad. We could say that the global brand strategy bears some resemblance with the “Brand Conquistador” strategy, where partnership, either between two teams or between a team and an equipment maker, is used in order to expand internationally.
In the fifth paper, Cooper, Weight and Fulton investigate organizational core values in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) athletic departments. The purpose of the research was to survey NCAA Division I administrators (n=437) in the USA to identify the organizational values that are deemed as having the highest priority by administrators when carrying out the mission of their athletic department. The research utilized an online survey to examine the organizational values within NCAA athletic departments. The surveys were distributed during a one-month time period. The data demonstrated that academic excellence, student-athlete experience and health/safety were rated as the organizational values with the highest priority in athletic departments. In addition, the study also illustrated that that the priority level of the individual values varied when focusing on the different levels of administrators. With the challenges present in the entertainment industry, it is imperative that sport organizations develop strategies to enhance their efficiency at all levels. In particular, it is necessary for athletic Directors at the Division I level to implement a value system that is embraced by administrators and staff so that they are able to improve their productivity throughout the department. The understanding of value systems within sport organizations allows managers to make decisions to enhance the efficiency of their operations at all levels.
In the final paper, Soane, Butler and Stanton look at followers’ personality, transformational, leadership and performance. Effective leadership is important to performance in both organizational and sporting arenas. They theorize that follower personality would influence perceptions of leadership, and that perceived effective leadership would be associated with performance. They drew on Social Identity Theory, Transformational Leadership and personality theory to develop a research model designed to assess leadership effectiveness and performance. The current study tested the research model in a sporting context. The context of the research was a round the world sailing race, a ten-month competitive circumnavigation with ten identical boats. Quantitative data were gathered concerning participants’ personality, their perceptions of transformational leadership and boat performance. Qualitative data on transformational leadership and leadership effectiveness were gathered from a subsample of crew members. Results showed that transformational leadership was associated with leadership effectiveness and performance. Personality influenced perceptions of leadership and, for moderate performing boats there were associations between perceptions of leadership and performance. The data have implications for the extension of transformational leadership theory. Further consideration of follower personality could enhance leadership effectiveness. A limitation is the relatively small scale of the study. The main implication is that leaders should take follower personality into account, and adapt their leadership style accordingly. Doing so has consequences for performance. This novel study examined personality, leadership and performance and has implications for enhancing leadership and performance in sports and business.