Predicting Behavioral Loyalty through Community: Why Other Fans Are More Important Than Our Own Intentions, Our Satisfaction, and the Team Itself

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Masayuki Yoshida Biwako Seikei Sport College

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Bob Heere University of South Carolina

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Brian Gordon University of Kansas

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A consumer’s loyalty to a specific sport team is longitudinal in nature. This longitudinal study examines the effects of consumers’ attitudinal constructs (team identification, associated attachment points, consumer satisfaction, and behavioral intentions) on behavioral loyalty in the context of a professional soccer event. To test the proposed relationships, the authors assess the impact of consumers’ self-reported measures (Time 1) on actual attendance frequency in the first half (Time 2) and the second half (Time 3) of the season. The results indicate that fan community attachment is the only construct that can predict attendance frequency over a longer period of time while team identification, satisfaction and behavioral intentions are not significant predictors of attendance frequency throughout the season. The theoretical model and results reinforce the importance of fan community attachment toward longitudinal attendance frequency and add new insights into the predictive validity of some of the attitudinal marketing measures in the field of sport management.

Masayuki Yoshida is with the Department of Sport Science, Biwako Seikei Sport College, Otsu, Shiga, Japan. Bob Heere is with the Department of Sport and Entertainment Management, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina. Brian Gordon is with the Department of Health, Sport, and Exercise Science, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas.

Address author correspondence to Masayuki Yoshida at yoshida-m@bss.ac.jp.
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