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The business of fantasy football is a multibillion dollar-per-year industry. However, academic inquiry into the distinct attitudes and intentions of fantasy football participants is underdeveloped. Therefore, following Fazio, Powell, and Herr’s proposed attitude–behavior framework, this study examined the relationship between sport fans’ attitudes, fantasy football involvement level, and intentions to watch the televised broadcast of National Football League (NFL) games. The results suggest that fantasy football is a noteworthy connection point for NFL fans. Specifically, fantasy participation appears to duplicate the positive and negative attitudes of traditional team fandom, and this replication ultimately increases television viewership throughout the league. Thus, instead of competing with traditional team-focused professional-football viewership, fantasy football appears to be a complementary or value-adding activity. Discussed are theoretical outcomes, as well as the practical implications for sport marketers and media providers looking to capitalize on this highly popular and lucrative online activity.
The author is with the Center for Sport Leadership, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA.