A Note from the Editor Dr. Bri Newland
As the new editor of Sport & Entertainment Review (SER), I would like to thank all the authors and reviewers who have already contributed to the journal and influenced its initial growth. As many of you know, we have decided to move forward publishing your fantastic contributions to this journal on our own website. We would not have gotten here without the support of the University of South Carolina and the leaders who started this journal. Therefore, I would also like to thank Dr. Bob Heere for creating and implementing a vision for the journal to help bridge the gap between theory and practice. When the first issue launched in February 2015, Drs. Bob Heere and Chad Seifried envisioned the journal encompassing the following three pillars:
1. Sport is not always entertainment, and entertainment is not always sport, yet they can be symbiotic.
This pillar recognized that sport and entertainment are quite similar in that they provided outlets for leisurely activity that are unessential to survival but enrich our lives by participating. Through passive (spectating) or active (participating) engagement, individuals seek such activities for the entertainment value that provides not only individual, but also community benefits. Rarely do we see sporting events without ancillary entertainment, like musicians or dance troupes. For example, the NCAA Final Four now includes a three-day music fest in the lead up to the final game. The Super Bowl has a long history of spectacular half-time shows, but in recent years has extended its entertainment offerings to include concerts, VIP events, and more such as the Super Bowl Experience. As the journal continues to grow, we continue to seek contributions exploring the relationships between sport and entertainment and how they continue to evolve.
It is still our hope that many of the scholars who are publishing in the entertainment and hospitality journals will find their way to this journal, as well. Hence, we will endeavor to continue to put out strong calls for publications from contributors from other fields, such as music management, art management, and leisure, parks, recreation, and tourism.
2. “If we are not serving practitioners, we are not serving anyone.”
Made by Jim Weese in 1995, this statement was a call to scholars that in order to validate an academic field, we must produce research that is valuable to the industry. While some have argued this view has led to a monoistic and commodified view of sport, as Heere and Seifried (2015) noted in their inaugural editorial note, others argued that Weese (1995) never called for such commodification. What Weese did note, however, was that there was a need to communicate the utility of scholarly activity to influence the sport industry. Sport management scholars continue to be successful in working with the industry, which is evidenced by the last three years of contributions to SER. From analytics to environmental sustainability to adult participation to ambush marketing, authors continue to demonstrate their diversity in working with professional sport teams, universities, governments, non-profit organizations, and advocacy groups throughout the world. These publications continue to illustrate that sport management scholars have taken up the challenge of Weese and are working closely with practitioners. As demonstrated from the last three years, SER can serve as an outlet to communicate our research efforts with the industry to the outside world, and in a style and language that is open and inviting for practitioners to read. Furthermore, SER articles are used in the classroom to help prepare future industry leaders in sport and entertainment. Over the next three to five years, we hope to continue to provide a strong link for academics, students, and practitioners.
3. Don’t discuss how you planted your tree, but show us how you grew your forest.
It is no secret that one clear barrier for communicating academic expertise to the outside world is how our academic articles are packaged. Technical jargon, long literature reviews, and statistical analyses that are often too complex for industry practitioners only serves to distance academics from industry, which severely limits the dissemination of very important results. Practitioners might lack the expertise to understand what the academician did to “plant their tree” and the “tree” itself does not help the practitioner in his/her daily business dealings. This is the key challenge of communicating our research efforts to the industry. What SER strives to do is provide a platform for academics to share their forest (i.e., the essence of their research) of planted trees (i.e., years of research projects) in a way that practitioners can understand. In this way, the review does not explain how the trees were planted, but rather, how the forest came to be and how it can benefit or relate to real-world industry problems.
As before, the journal endeavors to not only inspire practitioners, but also scholars and their students inside and outside the classroom. In order to strengthen our relationship with the Sport and Entertainment Venues of Tomorrow (SEVT) conference, we will introduce a conference section of the journal dedicated to documenting the guest speakers and industry panels. In doing so, we aim to provide another avenue for linking theory to practice through sharing of knowledge. Panels and keynotes will be transcribed and shared with the readership. We also intend to expand our social media presence to better engage our readership and grow the reach of our authors and contributors. Most importantly, we want to enhance the relationships with our networks in order to provide the readership access to exceptional contributions that can make a difference in the classroom to the boardroom.
Heere, B., & Seifried, C. (2015). Editors’ note. Sport & Entertainment Review, 1, 3-6.
Weese, W.J. (1995). If we’re not serving practitioners, then we’re not serving sport management. Journal of Sport Management, 9, 237-243.