The purpose of this study is to provide a critical review of how consumer satisfaction research in the sport management and the nonsport literatures has developed over the past several decades, and, with that information, to propose a new comparison standard in the formation of sport consumer satisfaction. Though several alternative explanations of consumer satisfaction have been developed, expectancy-disconfirmation framework is the theoretical foundation most used in consumer satisfaction research. However, expectancy-disconfirmation theory does not allow researchers to fully assess the potential complexity of sport consumer satisfaction. Therefore, in addition to recommendations for improving the application of expectancy-disconfirmation, we also propose counterfactual thinking as an alternative comparison standard in determining sport consumer satisfaction. The proposed framework contributes to the literature on sport consumer behavior by illustrating how sport consumers use a “what might have been” rather than “what was” heuristic to explain satisfaction judgments with their sport consumption experiences.
Jun Woo Kim is with the State University of New York at Brockport in Brockport, NY. Marshall Magnusen is with Baylor University in Waco, TX. Yu Kyoum Kim is with Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL. Address author correspondence to Jun Woo Kim at email@example.com.