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Elite athletes require the most advanced sports equipment to maintain their competitive edge, but manufacturers cannot always satisfy these athletes’ specific equipment needs. Sport involvement can influence sports-equipment selections and is described as the process by which individuals rely on attitudes and belief systems to make sports-related consumption decisions. This study involved semistructured interviews with 5 elite Parasport athletes to identify and analyze the role of sport involvement in their selection of sports equipment. The results revealed that the athletes identified product limitations, created a collaborative environment, and promoted a culture of innovation to develop new sports products and address existing limitations. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Hambrick and Hums are with the Dept. of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY. Bower is with the Kinesiology and Sport Dept., University of Southern Indiana, Evansville, IN. Wolff is with the Sport and Development Project, Brown University, Providence, RI.