The purpose of the International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship has always been to bring together top-quality writing from both academics and practitioners. In the last issue, we decided to follow this mandate more explicitly by offering a greater balance between contributions from academics and practitioners. This issue follows a similar format.
We start with an interview with Timo Lumme, Managing Director of Quokka Sports in London. Quokka is at the forefront of technological developments in the sports programming area, particularly the enhancement of sports coverage through electronic media such as the Internet. The marketing opportunities are clearly immense and form a focal point of what is an enlightening discussion between Lumme and SRi Executive Director Adrian Hitchen.
In the first article, two American scholars, Rick Kolbe from Kent State University and Jeffrey James from the University of Illinois, present a piece of original research on the factors that contribute to a person becoming a fan of a particular team. In identifying the key influences that determine allegiance, Kolbe and James offer some insights that will undoubtedly be of interest to those managing and marketing professional sports teams, and those who use such teams as marketing vehicles.
The second article, by Laurence Chalip and Christine Green from Griffith University in Australia and Lee Vander Velden from the University of Maryland, focuses on ways in which sport promoters can increase the interest and effort that viewers put into watching sporting events. Using empirical data collected after two Olympic Games, Chalip, Green and Vander Velden suggest that sports marketers can increase the size and commitment of their audiences by carefully constructing multiple story lines, using festivals and ceremonies, and introducing multi-layered symbols such as logos, mascots and flags.
The second two articles are diverse in their subject matter. In the first, Andy Korman, a lawyer at one of Europe’s leading sports law practices, Townleys, critically appraises some of the legal issues involved in sponsoring high profile sports people, in this case professional soccer players. In a far-ranging and non-technical discussion, Korman looks at a variety of issues that have direct relevance for marketing executives, athletes and player agents.
The final article is by Michael Holmes, Managing Director of Holmes PR & Marketing Communications Consultancy. Using four case studies of firms that have sponsored the Special Olympics, Holmes suggests a variety of strategies that sponsors of charities can employ to maximise the return on their investments.
I trust that you will find these articles informative and stimulating. Please let me know what you think about the format of the Journal or the articles that we publish. While the Journal has been well received, any suggestions of how we can improve it will be most welcome.
John Amis, PhD Editor February 2000