Push and Pull Factors in E-Sports Livestreaming: A Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling Approach

in International Journal of Sport Communication
View More View Less
  • 1 Louisiana State University
  • 2 Miami University
  • 3 University of Georgia
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year online subscription

USD  $64.00

1 year online subscription

USD  $86.00

Student 2 year online subscription

USD  $122.00

2 year online subscription

USD  $162.00

Shifting from a player-oriented approach, e-sports has increasingly positioned itself as emerging spectator entertainment. In the wake of the growing online viewer market, the industry has made tremendous efforts to innovate marketing strategies and build up a base of passionate fans across the globe. To augment this endeavor, the current study investigated push and pull factors that influence e-sports online viewers’ consumption behaviors (N = 1,309) using partial least squares structural equation modeling. The authors proposed a new way to operationalize push and pull factors that have been relatively overlooked in the literature. The findings indicated that, while push and pull factors had different effects on e-sports consumption behaviors, they should be considered equally important in e-sports livestreaming. The study expanded our understanding of the attractiveness and desirability of e-sports and shed some critical light on management and marketing issues within and beyond the e-sports space.

Qian is with the School of Kinesiology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA. Wang is with the Dept. of Kinesiology and Health, Miami University, Oxford, OH, USA. Zhang is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA.

Qian (yqian@lsu.edu) is corresponding author.
  • Alexandris, K., Zahariadis, P., Tsorbatzoudis, C., & Grouios, G. (2002). Testing the sport commitment model in the context of exercise and fitness participation. Journal of Sport Behavior, 25(3), 217230.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Anderson, E.W. (1998). Customer satisfaction and word of mouth. Journal of Service Research, 1(1), 517. doi:

  • Brown, K.A., Billings, A.C., Murphy, B., & Puesan, L. (2018). Intersections of fandom in the age of interactive media: e-sports fandom as a predictor of traditional sport fandom. Communication & Sport, 6(4), 418435. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Byon, K.K., & Zhang, J.J. (2010). Development of a scale measuring destination image. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 28(4), 508532. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Byon, K.K., Zhang, J.J., & Connaughton, D.P. (2010). Dimensions of general market demand associated with professional team sports: Development of a scale. Sport Management Review, 13(2), 142157. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Byrne, S. (2019). Twitch’s head of e-sports on the trends driving viewer engagement. The Esports Observer. Retrieved from https://esportsobserver.com/twitch-hive-berlin-interview/?mc_cid=f1b80613e4&mc_eid=05989a0870

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Caber, M., & Albayrak, T. (2016). Push or pull? Identifying rock climbing tourists’ motivations. Tourism Management, 55, 7484. doi:

  • Cha, M., Kwak, H., Rodriguez, P., Ahn, Y.-Y., & Moon, S. (2007). I tube, you tube, everybody tubes: Analyzing the world’s largest user generated content video system. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 7th ACM SIGCOMM Conference on Internet Measurement. San Diego, CA.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chen, L.-J., & Chen, W.-P. (2015). Push-pull factors in international birders’ travel. Tourism Management, 48, 416425. doi:

  • Chin, W.W. (1998). The partial least squares approach to structural equation modeling. In G.A. Marcoulides (Ed.), Modern methods for business research (pp. 295336). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cianfrone, B.A., Zhang, J., Pitts, B., & Byon, K.K. (2015). Identifying key market demand factors associated with high school basketball tournaments. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 24(2), 91104.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Crompton, J.L. (1979). Motivations for pleasure vacation. Annals of Tourism Research, 6(4), 408424. doi:

  • Dann, G.M. (1977). Anomie, ego-enhancement and tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 4(4), 184194. doi:

  • Dann, G.M. (1981). Tourist motivation an appraisal. Annals of Tourism Research, 8(2), 187219. doi:

  • Deloitte. (2017). e-sports: Bigger and smaller than you think. Deloitte. Retrieved from https://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/technology-media-and-telecommunications/articles/tmt-pred16-media-e-sports-bigger-smaller-than-you-think.html#full-report

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Diamantopoulos, A., Riefler, P., & Roth, K.P. (2008). Advancing formative measurement models. Journal of Business Research, 61(12), 12031218. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Diamantopoulos, A., & Winklhofer, H.M. (2001). Index construction with formative indicators: An alternative to scale development. Journal of Marketing Research, 38(2), 269277. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Erzberger, T. (2016). The 2016 top 10 e-sports draft. ESPN. Retrieved from http://www.espn.com/e-sports/story/_/id/16454680/the-2016-top-10-e-sports-draft

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ESL. (2017, August 21). Mercedes-Benz enters e-sports in partnership with ESL. ESL. Retrieved from https://www.eslgaming.com/press/mercedes-benz-enters-e-sports-partnership-esl

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fischer, B. (2018). Toyota sponsoring Overwatch league as “Launch Partner.” The e-sports Observer. Retrieved from https://e-sportsobserver.com/toyota-sponsoring-overwatch-league/

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ford, C., Gardner, D., Horgan, L.E., Liu, C., Nardi, B., & Rickman, J. (2017). Chat speed OP PogChamp: Practices of coherence in massive Twitch chat. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Denver, CO

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Formica, S., & Uysal, M. (2006). Destination attractiveness based on supply and demand evaluations: An analytical framework. Journal of Travel Research, 44(4), 418430. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fragen, J. (2018). Tyler “Ninja” Blevins teams up with Drake in Fortnite, smashes Twitch record. The e-sports Observer. Retrieved from https://e-sportsobserver.com/ninja-drake-fortnite-smashes-twitch-record/

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Funk, D., Filo, K., Beaton, A., & Pritchard, M. (2009). Measuring the motives of sport event attendance: Bridging the academic–practitioner divide to understanding behavior. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 18(3), 126138.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Giddy, J.K., & Webb, N.L. (2018). The influence of the environment on adventure tourism: From motivations to experiences. Current Issues in Tourism, 21(18), 21242138. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hair, J.F., Black, W.C., Babin, B.J., Anderson, R.E., & Tatham, R.L. (2010). Multivariate data analysis (Vol. 6). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice hall.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hair, J.F., Jr., Hult, G.T.M., Ringle, C., & Sarstedt, M. (2016). A primer on Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hamari, J., & Sjöblom, M. (2017). What is e-sports and why do people watch it? Internet Research, 27(2), 211232. doi:

  • Hamilton, W.A., Garretson, O., & Kerne, A. (2014). Streaming on Twitch: Fostering participatory communities of play within live mixed media. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Toronto, ON, Canada

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Harrison-Walker, L.J. (2001). The measurement of word-of-mouth communication and an investigation of service quality and customer commitment as potential antecedents. Journal of Service Research, 4(1), 6075. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hayward, A. (2019a). Cars, drinks, and clothes: Non-endemic sponsor recap for Q1 2019. The e-sports Observer. Retrieved from https://e-sportsobserver.com/non-endemic-sponsors-q12019/?mc_cid=503fe476b5&mc_eid=05989a0870

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hayward, A. (2019b). Samsung and super league gaming present Fortnite competition with Ninja. The e-sports Observer. Retrieved from https://e-sportsobserver.com/samsung-super-league-gaming-ninja/

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Heere, B. (2018). Embracing the sportification of society: Defining e-sports through a polymorphic view on sport. Sport Management Review, 21(1), 2124. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hilvert-Bruce, Z., Neill, J.T., Sjöblom, M., & Hamari, J. (2018). Social motivations of live-streaming viewer engagement on Twitch. Computers in Human Behavior, 84, 5867. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hsieh, C.-M., Park, S.H., & Hitchcock, M. (2015). Examining the relationships among motivation, service quality and loyalty: The case of the National Museum of Natural Science. Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, 20(Suppl. 1), 15051526. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hulland, J., Baumgartner, H., & Smith, K.M. (2018). Marketing survey research best practices: Evidence and recommendations from a review of JAMS articles. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 46(1), 92108. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Inoue, Y., Funk, D.C., & McDonald, H. (2017). Predicting behavioral loyalty through corporate social responsibility: The mediating role of involvement and commitment. Journal of Business Research, 75, 4656. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jang, S., & Cai, L.A. (2002). Travel motivations and destination choice: A study of British outbound market. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 13(3), 111133. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jarvis, C.B., MacKenzie, S.B., & Podsakoff, P.M. (2003). A critical review of construct indicators and measurement model misspecification in marketing and consumer research. Journal of Consumer Research, 30(2), 199218. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide. New York, NY: New York University Press.

  • Jenny, S.E., Manning, R.D., Keiper, M.C., & Olrich, T.W. (2017). Virtual (ly) athletes: Where e-sports fit within the definition of “sport.” Quest, 69(1), 118. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kim, M.K., Zhang, J.J., & Ko, Y.J. (2009). Dimensions of market demand associated with Taekwondo schools in North America: Development of a scale. Sport Management Review, 12(3), 149166. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kim, S.S., Lee, C.-K., & Klenosky, D.B. (2003). The influence of push and pull factors at Korean National Parks. Tourism Management, 24(2), 169180. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kim, Y.K., & Trail, G. (2010). Constraints and motivators: A new model to explain sport consumer behavior. Journal of Sport Management, 24(2), 190210. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lacey, R., & Kennett-Hensel, P.A. (2010). Longitudinal effects of corporate social responsibility on customer relationships. Journal of Business Ethics, 97(4), 581597. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lam, S.K., Ahearne, M., Hu, Y., & Schillewaert, N. (2010). Resistance to brand switching when a radically new brand is introduced: A social identity theory perspective. Journal of Marketing, 74(6), 128146. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lee, S., Seo, W.J., & Green, B.C. (2013). Understanding why people play fantasy sport: Development of the Fantasy Sport Motivation Inventory (FanSMI). European Sport Management Quarterly, 13(2), 166199. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Leong, A.M.W., Yeh, S.-S., Hsiao, Y.-C., & Huan, T.-C.T. (2015). Nostalgia as travel motivation and its impact on tourists’ loyalty. Journal of Business Research, 68(1), 8186. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MacKenzie, S.B., Podsakoff, P.M., & Jarvis, C.B. (2005). The problem of measurement model misspecification in behavioral and organizational research and some recommended solutions. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90(4), 710730. PubMed ID: 16060788 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MacKenzie, S.B., Podsakoff, P.M., & Podsakoff, N.P. (2011). Construct measurement and validation procedures in MIS and behavioral research: Integrating new and existing techniques. MIS Quarterly, 35(2), 293334. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Murray, K.B. (1991). A test of services marketing theory: Consumer information acquisition activities. Journal of Marketing, 55(1), 1025. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Murray, T. (2018a). Blizzard signs multiyear deal to bring Overwatch League to ESPN, ABC, and Disney channels. The Esports Observer. Retrieved from https://esportsobserver.com/disney-espn-overwatch-league-deal/

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Murray, T. (2018b). NBA 2K League announces Twitch as official livestreaming partner. The Esports Observer. Retrieved from https://esportsobserver.com/nba-2k-twitch-livestreaming-deal/

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Murray, T. (2019). Red Bull and Ninja launch line of headbands, exclusive to Walmart.com. The Esports Observer. Retrieved from https://esportsobserver.com/red-bull-ninja-headbands-walmart/?mc_cid=1205ded332&mc_eid=05989a0870

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Musabirov, I., Bulygin, D., Okopny, P., & Konstantinova, K. (2018). Between an Arena and a Sports Bar: Online chats of e-sports spectators. arXiv preprint arXiv:1801.02862.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Newzoo. (2017, February 14). 2017 Global e-sports market report. Retrieved from https://newzoo.com/insights/trend-reports/global-e-sports-market-report-2017-light/

    • Export Citation
  • Newzoo. (2018). Most watched games on Twitch & YouTube gaming. Retrieved from https://newzoo.com/insights/rankings/top-games-twitch-youtube/

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nielsen. (2019). e-sports playbook for brands 2019. Nielsen. Retrieved from https://www.nielsen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2019/05/e-sports-playbook-for-brands-2019

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Parsa, H., & Cobanoglu, C. (2011). Building a model of commitment for Generation Y: An empirical study on e-travel retailers. Tourism Management, 32(4), 833843. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pease, D., & Zhang, J. (2001). Socio-motivational factors affecting spectator attendance at professional basketball games. International Journal of Sport Management, 2(1), 3159.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pizzo, A.D., Sangwon, N., Baker, B.J., Mi Ae, L., Doohan, K., & Funk, D.C. (2018). eSport vs. Sport: A comparison of spectator motives. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 27(2), 108123.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Podsakoff, N. (2003). Common method biases in behavioral research: A critical review of the literature and recommended remedies. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(5), 879903. PubMed ID: 14516251 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Podsakoff, P.M., MacKenzie, S.B., & Podsakoff, N.P. (2012). Sources of method bias in social science research and recommendations on how to control it. Annual Review of Psychology, 63, 539569. PubMed ID: 21838546 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Prayag, G., & Hosany, S. (2014). When middle East meets West: Understanding the motives and perceptions of young tourists from United Arab Emirates. Tourism Management, 40, 3545. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Przybylski, A., Rigby, C.S., & Ryan, R. (2010). A motivational model of video game engagement. Review of General Psychology, 14(2), 154166. doi:

  • Qian, T.Y., Wang, J.J., Zhang, J.J., & Lu, L.Z. (2020). It is in the game: Dimensions of esports online spectator motivation and development of a scale. European Sport Management Quarterly, 20(4), 458479. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Qian, T.Y., Zhang, J.J., Wang, J.J., & Hulland, J. (2019). Beyond the game: Dimensions of e-sports online spectator demand. Communication & Sport. Advance online publication. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ryan, R., Rigby, C.S., & Przybylski, A. (2006). The motivational pull of video games: A self-determination theory approach. Motivation and Emotion, 30(4), 344360. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sarstedt, M., Wilczynski, P., & Melewar, T. (2013). Measuring reputation in global markets—A comparison of reputation measures’ convergent and criterion validities. Journal of World Business, 48(3), 329339.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Seo, Y. (2013). Electronic sports: A new marketing landscape of the experience economy. Journal of Marketing Management, 29(13–14), 15421560. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Seo, Y. (2015). Professionalized consumption and identity transformations in the field of Esports. Journal of Business Research, 69(1), 264272. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Seo, Y., & Jung, S.-U. (2016). Beyond solitary play in computer games: The social practices of Esports. Journal of Consumer Culture, 16(3), 635655. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shin, D.-H. (2013). Defining sociability and social presence in Social TV. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(3), 939947. doi:

  • Sjöblom, M., & Hamari, J. (2017). Why do people watch others play video games? An empirical study on the motivations of Twitch users. Computers in Human Behavior, 75, 985996. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sjöblom, M., Törhönen, M., Hamari, J., & Macey, J. (2017). Content structure is king: An empirical study on gratifications, game genres and content type on Twitch. Computers in Human Behavior, 73, 161171. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smith, T., Obrist, M., & Wright, P. (2013). Live-streaming changes the (video) game. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 11th European conference on Interactive TV and video, Como, Italy.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Spangler, T. (2018). Amazon, Twitch unveil enhanced features for NFL ‘Thursday Night Football’ live-streams. Variety. Retrieved from https://variety.com/2018/digital/news/amazon-twitch-nfl-thursday-night-football-live-streams-1202958962/

  • Steinkuehler, C. (2020). e-sports research: Critical, empirical, and historical studies of competitive videogame play. Games and Culture, 15(1), 38. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stubbs, M. (2017). Watch Valve’s ‘Dota 2’ documentary about the $10 million e-sports final. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikestubbs/2017/09/30/watch-valves-dota-2-documentary-about-the-10-million-e-sports-final/#62bcccaf6681

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Taylor, N. (2016). Now you’re playing with audience power: The work of watching games. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 33(4), 293307. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Taylor, T. (2018). Watch me play: Twitch and the rise of game live streaming. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

  • Trail, G.T., Fink, J.S., & Anderson, D.F. (2003). Sport spectator consumption behavior. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 12(1), 817.

  • Trowbridge, C. (2018). Twitch’s viewership now rivals CNN. The e-sports Observer. Retrieved from https://e-sportsobserver.com/twitch-viewership-rivals-cnn/

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Van der Merwe, P., Slabbert, E., & Saayman, M. (2011). Travel motivations of tourists to selected marine destinations. International Journal of Tourism Research, 13(5), 457467. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Verhoef, P.C., Franses, P.H., & Hoekstra, J.C. (2002). The effect of relational constructs on customer referrals and number of services purchased from a multiservice provider: Does age of relationship matter? Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 30(3), 202216. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wang, R.T., Zhang, J.J., & Tsuji, Y. (2011). Examining fan motives and loyalty for the Chinese Professional Baseball League of Taiwan. Sport Management Review, 14(4), 347360. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wann, D.L. (1995). Preliminary validation of the sport fan motivation scale. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 19(4), 377396. doi:

  • Wann, D.L., & Branscombe, N.R. (1990). Die-hard and fair-weather fans: Effects of identification on BIRGing and CORFing tendencies. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 14(2), 103117. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wulf, T., Schneider, F.M., & Beckert, S. (2019). Watching players: An exploration of media enjoyment on Twitch. Games and Culture. Advance online publication. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Xu, J.B., & Chan, S. (2016). A new nature-based tourism motivation model: Testing the moderating effects of the push motivation. Tourism Management Perspectives, 18, 107110. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zeithaml, V.A. (2000). Service quality, profitability, and the economic worth of customers: What we know and what we need to learn. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 28(1), 6785. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zhang, J.J. (2015). What to study? That is a question: A conscious thought analysis. Journal of Sport Management, 29(1), 110. doi:

  • Zhang, J.J., Lam, E.T., & Connaughton, D.P. (2003). General market demand variables associated with professional sport consumption. International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, 5(1), 2446. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zhang, J.J., Pease, D., Hui, S., & Michaud, T. (1995). Variables affecting the spectator decision to attend NBA games. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 4, 2940.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zhang, Y., & Byon, K.K. (2017). Push and pull factors associated with the CTTSL game events between on-site and online consumers. International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, 18(1), 4869. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 201 201 118
Full Text Views 7 7 5
PDF Downloads 5 5 3