Attendance Still Matters in MLB: The Relationship with Winning Percentage

Authors: Mitchell T. Woltring, University of South Alabama

Corresponding Author:
Mitchell T. Woltring, Ph.D.
171 Jaguar Drive
HKS 1016
mitchellwoltring@southalabama.edu
251-461-1925

Dr. Mitchell Woltring is an assistant professor of Sport Management at the University of South Alabama. He teaches undergraduate classes in the Leisure Studies program which serves both sport management and therapeutic recreation students. He received his Ph.D. in Human Performance from Middle Tennessee State University, an M.S. in Sport Management from Middle Tennessee State University, and a B.S. in Sport Management from Minnesota State University, Mankato. He has worked in the sport industry with several baseball teams at the MLB, college, and amateur levels, as well as coaching at the high school level.

Attendance Still Matters in MLB: The Relationship with Winning Percentage

ABSTRACT
The relationship between average attendance and winning percentage for Major League Baseball (MLB) teams across a 16-year period, from 1998-2013 was investigated. Attendance in baseball is an important topic because with a schedule at least twice as long as any other major North American league, MLB has the potential to gain a competitive advantage by maximizing attendance.

The relationship between attendance and winning percentage has been researched by looking at how winning percentage affects future attendance (3, 7). However, there is also evidence of a bidirectional relationship between attendance and winning percentage which suggests that attendance could be acting on winning percentage (3, 6). The excitement caused by a capacity crowd has the potential to influence the home team to perform better, which is exhibited by Baade and Tiehen’s postulation that attendance of at least 75% of stadium capacity can, “generate a different sense of excitement” (1).

An innovative method to examine attendance was used; rather than relying on aggregate attendance numbers, average attendance was recorded as a proportion of total stadium capacity. MLB stadiums range in capacity from 34,078 to 56,000, so aggregate numbers do not accurately reflect the potential differences in attendance between teams.

Four different statistical analyses were run which controlled for year, stadium capacity, and team payroll to determine the relationship between average attendance measured as a proportion of stadium capacity and winning percentage. Analyses of crosstabs, ANOVA, regression, and logistic regression all found a significant relationship between average attendance as a proportion of stadium capacity and winning percentage. Based on the research question, regression analysis proved to be the most applicable of the results. Regression results showed that average attendance as a proportion of stadium capacity was positively related to winning percentage, R2 = .242, p <.001.

The results indicate that attendance has the potential to increase winning percentage, which should be of interest to any MLB team. It should especially be of interest considering that over the course of the present study, MLB stadiums were only filled to 67% capacity.

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2018-11-06T10:01:57-05:00November 22nd, 2018|Research, Sports Management|Comments Off on Attendance Still Matters in MLB: The Relationship with Winning Percentage

Church & Sport in Alabama

Authors: Joseph C. Spears, Jr., Erica Hernandez, Ph.D.

Corresponding Author:
Joseph C. Spears, Jr., Ed. D
Assistant Professor Sport Management
Faculty Athletic Representative
Bowie State University
15402 General Lafayette Blvd
Brandywine, MD 20613
Phone: (301) 860-3778
jcspears@bowiestate.edu

Dr. Joseph C. Spears, Jr. is an assistant professor of Sport Management at both Bowie State and Liberty Universities. At Bowie State, he also serves as faculty athletic rep and chaplain of the football team. Dr. Spears has an Ed.D in sports management from the United States Sports Academy and has completed a masters in higher education from Morgan State, a masters in divinity from Virginia Union and a B.A degree in Christian education from Logos Christian. College. Dr. Spears understands the need and importance of developing families and communities spiritually, socially and economically. To that end, Dr. Spears utilizes sports as a framework to partner with other community organizations and leaders to provide educational and informational programs that promote the well-being of the entire community. His sports background is long-distance road, trail running, and mountain biking and boxing.

Dr. Erica Hernandez is an assistant professor of psychology at Bowie State University. She earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. Hernandez has been teaching psychology for over 10 years and has research interests in a variety of areas spanning psychology, education, and finance.

Church & Sport in Alabama

ABSTRACT
Can a Sports Ministry program positively impact the church’s mission among its members? Previous research with commitment theory in psychology as it relates to sports and religious activity (2, 19) indicates that what benefits that church members get out of attending church activities will impact their frequency of attendance and commitment to their church. Sports activities have long been used as a tool to bring people into the church and increase fellowship and evangelism (11). To date, there has been little empirical research into the specific benefits of a sports ministry in the opinion of the church leaders who have sports activities in their church.
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2018-10-22T15:25:56-05:00September 20th, 2018|Research, Sports Management|Comments Off on Church & Sport in Alabama

Sports Marketing & Publicity Efforts in Division II Intercollegiate Athletics

Authors: Robert Zullo

Corresponding Author:
Robert Zullo, PhD
Westminster College
319 South Market Street
New Wilmington, PA 16172
zullorh@westminster.edu
724-946-6835

Dr. Robert Zullo is an Associate Professor of Business and Sports Management at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, located between Pittsburgh and Cleveland. He is also Program Coordinator for the Sports Management program within the School of Business and previously worked in intercollegiate athletics at the Division I level.

Sports Marketing & Publicity Efforts in Division II Intercollegiate Athletics

ABSTRACT
While much research has been conducted on sports marketing efforts within Division I intercollegiate athletics and outsourcing sports marketing within Division I intercollegiate athletics, there are limited studies examining sports marketing within Division II athletics beyond factors impacting Division II football attendance or basketball attendance. Previous Division II scholarship has also focused on burnout, compliance, gambling, risk management, sports information work-family conflict and student-athlete development. This research examined what resources were allocated towards marketing within Division II athletic departments to foster publicity efforts, revenue generation and community relations. It also examined which sports are prioritized as well as the preferred inventory for sponsors given that the Division II athletic programs are traditionally not afforded the same media opportunities as their Division I counterparts. Collected data was analyzed along with qualitative responses. The findings and recommendations are valuable to Division II athletic directors, administrators, presidents and conference commissioners to help discern best practices as well as those in academia to afford them a focused Division II perspective given the emphasis continuously placed on Division I sports marketing operations.
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2018-08-27T11:58:46-05:00September 13th, 2018|Research, Sports Management|Comments Off on Sports Marketing & Publicity Efforts in Division II Intercollegiate Athletics

Athletic Training in Popular Sports Films: More than khakis, a polo, and a roll of tape?

Authors: Dr. Lindsey H. Schroeder, Dr. Alana N. Seaman

Corresponding Author:
Lindsey H. Schroeder Ed.D., LAT, ATC, CES
601 S. College Rd.
Wilmington NC, 28403-5956
schroederl@uncw.edu
910-962-7188

Dr. Lindsey Schroeder is an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington in the Athletic Training Program. She is a licensed and certified athletic trainer and is also an alumnus of the United States Sports Academy. Dr. Alana Seaman, Ph.D. is an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington in the Recreation, Sport Leadership & Tourism Management Program.

Athletic Training in Popular Sports Films: More than khakis, a polo, and a roll of tape?

ABSTRACT
Athletic trainers are vital to sport in the United States. These licensed, highly qualified, multi-skilled healthcare professionals provide essential medical care, emergency response, and advocacy for athletes in a myriad of sport settings. Their services are crucial to athlete health. However, all bachelor level athletic training programs in the United States will be replaced with a master’s curriculum by 2022, and in turn, the field will be forced to compete for students with other health care professions requiring the same prerequisites and level of training. Evidence suggests that a majority of athletic training students are drawn to the field because of its links to sports, yet public misconceptions about and a lack of respect for the field have been identified as factors keeping potential students from pursuing the profession. Given that film and television are widely recognized as powerful influencers of popular conceptions about professions, and as a result, career choice, particularly within other healthcare fields, a thorough understanding of how athletic trainers and the field of athletic training are depicted across these popular mediums is essential in working towards correcting misconceptions about the field and revealing how future professionals may be recruited into newly developed master’s degree programs. In order to provide a clear picture of how the profession is portrayed in on screen, a content analysis approach was employed in the examination of 20 of the most popular sport-themed films of the last 60 years. While a number of themes emerged, overall findings suggest that athletic trainers and the profession of athletic training were narrowly depicted on screen in turn perpetuating misconceptions, and inaccurate and outdated stereotypes about the profession, and minimizing the importance of athletic trainers in a sport setting.
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2018-08-27T11:18:58-05:00September 6th, 2018|Research, Sports Management|Comments Off on Athletic Training in Popular Sports Films: More than khakis, a polo, and a roll of tape?

Competitive Balance in NCAA “Power Conferences:” The Case of Men’s and Women’s Basketball

Authors: Martin M. Perline, Jeffrey S. Noble, G. Clayton Stoldt; Wichita State University

Corresponding Author:
Jeff Noble, Ed.D
Department of Sport Management
Wichita State University
1845 Fairmount
Wichita, KS 67260-0127
jeffrey.noble@wichita.edu
(316)978-5442

Competitive Balance in the NCAA “Power Conferences:” The Case of Men’s and Women’s Basketball

ABSTRACT
The uncertainty of outcome hypothesis as well as past research has suggested that unless there is competitive balance among teams fans lose interest and revenue declines. It follows that the greater the sources of revenue the more likely one would find competitive balance. Using the standard deviation, as well as the range of winning percentages, the authors of this study compared over a seven year period the competitive balance of the NCAA “Power 5” conferences’ men’s basketball teams, a high revenue sport, to the competitive balance of the NCAA “Power 5” conferences’ women’s basketball teams, a lower revenue sport. The results of this study indicated considerably more competitive balance among the men’s teams than among the women’s teams, thus supporting the uncertainty of outcome hypothesis, as well as past research on the topic. The fact that women’s basketball is a lower source of athletic revenue when compared to men’s basketball suggests competitive balance in that sport has historically been a lower priority than in the highest level sports. This becomes an important issue as efforts are continually being made to enhance intercollegiate women’s sports.
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2018-07-12T16:13:54-05:00August 16th, 2018|Sports Management|Comments Off on Competitive Balance in NCAA “Power Conferences:” The Case of Men’s and Women’s Basketball