Does Spectatorship Increase Happiness? The Energy Perspective

in Journal of Sport Management
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  • 1 Texas Tech University
  • 2 University of Florida
  • 3 Murray State University
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Based on self-determination theory, the current research examined the effect of team identification on spectators’ energy and happiness. Most importantly, this research attempted to identify a key underlying mechanism of why and when sport spectatorship enhances spectators’ happiness by adapting energy, a new concept to the sport management literature. The results indicate that spectators with high team identification reported a greater level of happiness than those with low team identification only when their team won the game. When the supported team lost the game, spectators with both high and low team identification experienced similar levels of happiness. Furthermore, this study proposed a moderated mediation effect of vitality to provide evidence for the anticipated underlying mechanism. The results of the moderated mediation test indicated that a feeling of vitality mediated the effect of team identification on happiness, but only in the winning game condition. In contrast, in the losing game condition, a feeling of vitality did not mediate the effect of team identification on happiness. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Wonseok Jang is with Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX. Yong Jae Ko and Daehwan Kim are with the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Daniel L. Wann is with Murray State University, Murray, KY.

Address author correspondence to Daniel L. Wann at dan.wann@murraystate.edu.
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