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Washington State University
College of Education

Sport Management Research Meetings

More than just fun and games

Sports is fun! But our sport management faculty do some serious research. And they’re openly sharing it.

Introducing our Sport Management Research Meetings

These meetings are an initiative launched by the Sport Management program. They occur monthly and feature faculty and student presentations of ongoing and completed research projects. All are welcome to attend.

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Fall 2019

Henry Evans — Nov. 13 — 4:00-5:00 p.m. — Cleveland 255

“Esports Immigration Alternatives for International Gamers”

Professional video gaming has become increasingly popular over the last decade. Video games have become more than just a source of entertainment and are now a source of livelihood for many professional gamers. Many of them are not residents of the United States but still wish to enter the country to compete in major tournaments in the country. Entry has proven difficult due to unreliable and inconsistent visa options, forcing these professional gamers to either be left behind or enter the country without appropriate documentation.

This presentation will discuss the options esports competitors have to temporarily visit the United States until the P-1A visa (grants to athletes and performers) becomes a more stable options for professional gamers.

Simon Ličen — Oct. 09

Medium shot of Simon Licen over a generic sports/recreation background

“Sustainability in Sport Management Education at American Universities”

The world has never been changing at such a rapid pace, and many changes are not for the better. To manage a world in turmoil, the United Nations published in 2015 17 Sustainable Development Goals. These goals reflect the global consensus on what the world should look like in 2030. For these goals to be achieved, it is critical for stakeholders in all fields to adjust their practices. Although relatively few goals are directly related to sport and recreation, most can be adapted to fit the field.

This presentation will illustrate the ways in which educators in the United States endorse—or fail to engage with—the global consensus on what the world should look like in 2030. The findings will suggest the extent to which the sport leaders of tomorrow are prepared to take on the challenges of an uncertain future. The discussion will include a consideration of where Washington State University’s program fits in this picture.

Sport Management Student Team — Sept. 18

“MLB Pitching Strategies: 2019 SABR Diamond Dollars Case Competition”

This spring, Washington State University had its first-ever team of students compete in the Diamond Dollars Case Competition at the Society for American Baseball Research Analytics Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Undergraduate students Dante Ludlow, Matthew Cho, Alex Yano, and Reagan Stubb were tasked with developing a strategy for MLB teams to most effectively distribute innings within a pitching staff. The team will be presenting their findings and projected results for every MLB team, as well as discussing the experience of travelling to the conference, a trip that was partially funded by the Sport Management program.

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Spring 2019

Melissa Dominy — April 10
Melissa Dominy playing on the U20 Puerto Rico National Team. Melissa is wearing No. 6.

“FIFA: Red Card in Human Rights”

In recent years, news organizations have provided extensive coverage to FIFA, the international governing body of soccer, and some controversies that tarnished its image. These controversies included issues related to human rights. Depending on the type and tone of coverage and the organization’s response to it, controversies can be detrimental, neutral, or even advantageous to the organization and its image. This study will employ media framing analysis to determine how mass media discussed these issues and how effective were FIFA’s image repair strategies.

John Wong — March 6


“Cultural Transmission in Seattle: The First American City to Hoist the Stanley Cup”

Located in the scenic Puget Sound, Seattle emerged as a major West Coast city of the United States in the first two decades of the twentieth century. Although a transcontinental railway chose Portland, Oregon as its terminal, Seattle grew both in population and prosperity nonetheless as an extended track linked both cities. Certainly, the railroad fostered a closer link between Seattle and the rest of the country politically, economically, and culturally. As a popular culture endeavor, sporting activities in the city, however, remained very much regional in scope. In 1915, the city joined the Pacific Coast Hockey Association, a major professional hockey league that included franchises in both Canada and the United States. Only two seasons later, the Seattle team captured the Stanley Cup – the first American city to win the prestigious trophy which originated as a championship award for the Dominion of Canada.

Drawing on both primary and secondary sources, this paper argues that Seattle provides a useful case study on cultural transmission running vertically rather than horizontally despite the presence of an international border in North America at the turn of the twentieth century. Moreover, cultural transmission was not necessarily a south-to-north phenomenon as many in Canada, to this day, are so apprehensive about the possibility of being slowly but surely absorbed as the fifty-first state in the American republic as American popular culture seemingly crossing the border unimpeded.

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Tammy Crawford — Feb. 13

“Female international student-athletes at American universities: Reasons to attend and experiences that followed”

The number of international female student-athletes who compete at the Division-I level has increased by 58 percent from 2010 to 2017. This study examines their experiences from the time they begin to investigate American universities, through the acclimation process of life as an intercollegiate student and athlete. Qualitative, in-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted in small-group settings with participants (n = 22) from five public Division-I institutions, representing four athletic conferences and eight different NCAA-sponsored sports. International student-athletes show independence and determination, but also a lack of information regarding the breadth of opportunities available across NCAA institutions. They identify areas of adjustment associated with social, athletic, linguistic, and cultural differences, and a sense of gratitude for both academic and athletic opportunities.

Fall 2018

Henry Evans — Nov. 7, 2018

“Esport Viewership and Participation Motivations”

In 2017, over 80 million unique viewers tuned into the SKT-RNG Semi-final match during the League of Legends World Championship. Even more impressive are the more than 100 million players who log on to play League of Legends on a monthly basis. When these numbers are compared to traditional sport viewership and participation, it seems that eSports is beginning to dominate the market. Why? What makes eSports so exciting? This study investigated and compared the motivations for eSport consumption through the lens of the ERG theory of motivation in order to determine why eSport viewership and participation has grown and how eSports should be marketed to both viewers and participants.

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Yong Chae Rhee — Oct. 17, 2018

Yong Chae Rhee

“Effect of NASCAR’s Corporate Social Responsibility approach on potential stakeholders’ perception change toward NASCAR”

To perform a successful CSR activity, understanding the target audience and choosing carefully the CSR message is vital. The result of the current quasi-experimental study provides the evidence of such statement. Two different CSR approaches by NASCAR were exposed to potential stakeholders to examine the changes in the perception of the organization. Environmental approach showed positive changes in potential stakeholders’ perception toward NASCAR. A Nationalistic CSR approach had no significant impact on potential stakeholders’ perception of the organization. Additionally, an RADP analysis was performed to see the potential stakeholders’ perception on CSR performance. The potential stakeholders showed significant positive changes in both approaches in their perception toward NASCAR CSR performance.

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Jordan Hunter — Sept. 26, 2018

Jordan Hunter

“Trust the Process: Training Initiatives for Officials”

This presentation will examine how Washington State University Recreation adjusted its officials’ development techniques to better serve the students who need more attention while being trained as sports officials. The format of the clinics was changed to focus more on long-term officiating benefits and developing the whole official. University Recreation wants to put officials in a position where they feel empowered to do a good job while officiating and ultimately retain them as an official and allowing them to advance within its programs.

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Spring 2018

Graduate Student Symposium — April 11, 2018

Chris Lebens — March 7, 2018

Chris Lebens at Martin Stadium.

“Foul Ball: Spectators Distracted from Their Own Safety in Ballparks”

The “Baseball Rule” restricts tort liability of stadium owners with regard to spectators’ injury from objects inherent to the game. This doctrine of law has existed since 1926, a time when an outing to the ballpark meant donning one’s Sunday best and paying close attention to the action on the field. As we move into the digital age, fans are invited to the stadium not only to watch a professional sporting event, but to take part in a digital experience that provides countless opportunities for distraction. This research considers the question of whether the Baseball Rule should still apply to the sport today and proposes a change in legal doctrine to keep pace with societal advancements.

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Tammy Crawford — Feb. 14, 2018

Tammy Crawford

“The adjustment of international student-athletes to intercollegiate sport and higher education in America”

During the 2016/17 academic year, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) reported that 16,765 international student athletes represented U.S. colleges and universities in intercollegiate competition; 5.3% of all Division-I athletes were international students. This presentation will outline a proposed study intended to examine the experiences and perceptions of international student-athletes as they adjust to intercollegiate sport and the environment of U.S. higher education.

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Dong Hyuk Shin — Jan. 14, 2018

Donghyuk Shin

“Okay, Seminoles, take over from here: Native American mascot and nickname as organization builders at Florida State University”

This presentation will explore the roles of the Native American nickname and mascot at Florida State University as organization builders for the university.

The following research questions will frame this study: (a) What organizational roles have the Seminoles nickname and Chief Osceola mascot played at Florida State University and what can these roles tell us about the organizational trajectories of the university? (b) Do the nickname and mascot and their use correspond to the conceptual framework of “invented tradition?”

Qualitative data sources for this study were collected from informal observations, documents, and semi-structured in-depth interviews. The author will discuss how FSU grew from a small regional women’s college to a research-oriented, flagship state university.

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Fall 2017

Scott Jedlicka — Nov. 15, 2017

“A Compatibility Issue: International Sport Events and Domestic Polities, 1945-2016”

In the last decade, international sport and multi-sport events seem to be receiving a warm welcome from undemocratic regimes. This study attempts to empirically verify whether the ostensible shift toward autocratic host destinations is actually taking place. As international sport organizations struggle to reclaim the moral authority eroded by scandal, the association of sport with autocratic regimes may bring further unwanted scrutiny and undermine these organizations’ pursuit of public redemption.

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Simon Ličen — Oct. 25, 2017

“Impact and Legacy of Majors Sports Events: Findings From the 2013 EuroBasket”

Major sports events, such as continental championships get a fraction of the attention devoted to mega-events even though they are much more frequent and impact many more host nations and communities. This presentation will report findings on perceptions and expectations, media coverage, support for public funding, and patriotic attitudes in connection with the men’s European Basketball Championship hosted by Slovenia in 2013. The discussion will touch on how the findings are applicable to U.S.-based events and outline the author’s future research plans.

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Tae Ho Kim — Oct. 4, 2017

Tae Ho Kim

“Service Quality Perception and Revisit Intention”

Prior research has indicated that event quality is an important factor in overcoming the severe competitive market environment. However, recent research reports have claimed that merely providing high quality service to customers is not sufficient to attract customers to sport events. To make up for current service quality research limitations, this study examined the moderating effects of commitment on the relationship between event quality factors and revisit intention. Therefore, the purposes of the research are (a) the relationship between perception of each event quality factor and revisit intentions and (b) the difference in event quality perceptions between a highly committed group and a less committed group in both men’s and women’s college basketball events.

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John Wong — Sept. 14, 2017


“Physical Prowess, Body, and National Identity: The Bruce Lee Story”

In 1971, little-known Chinese-American actor Bruce Lee appeared in the low-budget film The Big Boss. The film captured the imagination of many Chinese who had long felt humiliated under semi-colonial rule by various western imperial powers up until the Second World War.

Until his death in 1973, Lee had spread his philosophy of martial arts and physical prowess in writings, interviews, and four films. This lecture will present how Lee’s movies portrayed a new conception of the body and physical prowess, and national pride based on the body and physicality.

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Spring 2017


Graduate Student Symposium — April 12, 2017

Thabiti Lewis — March 8, 2017

“When Athletes Speak Out…”

Is the activism of millennial athletes being ignored? Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks believes, “players that are trying to take a stand and trying to be aware of social issues and try to make a stand and increase peoples’ awareness and put a spotlight on it, and they’re being ignored.”

Dr. Thabiti Lewis argues that the protests of contemporary athletes are certainly not the first in sports to take a huge risk to speak out against racial injustice and inequality. They follow a long line of past sports stars to do so. Countless others before them have shown that sports can raise spirits or cultivate jingoism, as well as raise the populace’s consciousness around issues of human rights and inequity. He will examine how contemporary sports activism has politicized the public—good and bad.

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Scott Jedlicka — Feb. 8, 2017

“Sport Governance as Global Governance: Theoretical Perspectives on Sport in the International System”

A recently-declassified U.S. intelligence report suggests that Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election was a retaliation to (among other things) this summer’s Olympic doping scandal involving Russian athletes. This is just the most recent prominent example of how international sport can matter to international politics.

In his lecture, Dr. Scott Jedlicka will argue that understanding sport’s political impacts requires us to think about international sport not just as a series of competitioans, but as a legitimate political institution.