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The purpose of the current study was to examine how two key characteristics of sports fan communities—relative size and homogeneity (behavioral similarity among fans)—influence potential fans’ perceptions and intentions to support the team. Study 1 showed that relative size and homogeneity created a two-way interaction effect on potential fans’ support intentions, such that the low-homogeneity fan community resulted in greater support intentions in the minority condition, whereas the high-homogeneity fan community resulted in greater support intentions in the majority condition. Study 2 revealed a boundary condition of this interaction effect: The interaction effect disappeared when potential fans had extremely low levels of involvement with watching the sport. Study 3 showed that potential fans’ perceptions regarding similarity to fans and social pressure mediated the effect of relative size on their support intentions.
Asada is with the Department of Kinesiology & Sport Management, College of Arts & Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, USA. Ko is with the Department of Sport Management, College of Health and Human Performance, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA. Jang is with the Sport Communication, College of Sport Science, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon-si, Republic of Korea.