Effects of Relative Size and Homogeneity of Sports Fan Community on Potential Fans’ Support Intentions

in Journal of Sport Management
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year subscription

USD  $84.00

1 year subscription

USD  $111.00

Student 2 year subscription

USD  $159.00

2 year subscription

USD  $208.00

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.

Asada (akira.asada@ttu.edu) is corresponding author.
  • Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50, 179–211. doi:

  • Alter, A.L., & Darley, J.M. (2009). When the association between appearance and outcome contaminates social judgment: A bidirectional model linking group homogeneity and collective treatment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97, 776–795. PubMed ID: 19857001 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Asada, A., & Ko, Y.J. (2016). Determinants of word-of-mouth influence in sport viewership. Journal of Sport Management, 30, 192–206. doi:

  • Bachleda, C., Fakhar, A., & Elouazzani, Z. (2016). Quantifying the effect of sponsor awareness and image on the sports involvement–purchase intention relationship. Sport Management Review, 19, 293–305. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84, 191–215. PubMed ID: 847061 doi:

  • Bollen, K.A., & Stine, R. (1990). Direct and indirect effects: Classical and bootstrap estimates of variability. Sociological Methodology, 20, 115–140. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Brehm, S.S., & Brehm, J.W. (1981). Psychological reactance: A theory of freedom and control. New York, NY: Academic Press.

  • Brown, M. (2018, October 4). 2018 MLB regional TV ratings in prime time shows continued strong popularity. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/maurybrown/2018/10/04/2018-mlb-regional-tv-ratings-in-primetime-shows-continued-strong-popularity/#4f0688206257

    • Export Citation
  • Buhrmester, M., Kwang, T., & Gosling, S.D. (2011). Amazon’s Mechanical Turk: A new source of inexpensive, yet high-quality, data? Perspectives on Psychological Science, 6, 3–5. PubMed ID: 26162106 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cheung, G.W., & Lau, R.S. (2017). Accuracy of parameter estimates and confidence intervals in moderated mediation models: A comparison of regression and latent moderated structural equations. Organizational Research Methods, 20, 746–769. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Clee, M.A., & Wicklund, R.A. (1980). Consumer behavior and psychological reactance. Journal of Consumer Research, 6, 389–405. doi:

  • Collins, D.R., Heere, B., Shapiro, S., Ridinger, L., & Wear, H. (2016). The displaced fan: The importance of new media and community identification for maintaining team identity with your hometown team. European Sport Management Quarterly, 16, 655–674. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Courneya, K.S., & McAuley, E. (1995). Reliability and discriminant validity of subjective norm, social support, and cohesion in an exercise setting. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 17, 325–337. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cunningham, G.B., & Kwon, H. (2003). The theory of planned behaviour and intentions to attend a sport event. Sport Management Review, 6, 127–145. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • De Bruyn, A., & Lilien, G.L. (2008). A multi-stage model of word-of-mouth influence through viral marketing. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 25, 151–163. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ESPN. (n.d.). MLB attendance report—2018. Retrieved from http://www.espn.com/mlb/attendance

    • Export Citation
  • Festinger, L. (1954). A theory of social comparison processes. Human Relations, 7, 117–140. doi:

  • Fiske, S.T., & Neuberg, S.L. (1990). A continuum of impression formation, from category-based to individuating processes: Influences of information and motivation on attention and interpretation. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 23, 1–74.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fornell, C., & Larcker, D.F. (1981). Structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error: Algebra and statistics. Journal of Marketing Research, 18, 382–388. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Foster, W.M., & Hyatt, C.G. (2008). Inventing team tradition: A conceptual model for the strategic development of fan nations. European Sport Management Quarterly, 8(3), 265–287. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fried, L.S., & Holyoak, K.J. (1984). Induction of category distributions: A framework for classification learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 10, 234–257. PubMed ID: 6242740

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Funk, D.C., & James, J.D. (2001). The psychological continuum model: A conceptual framework for understanding an individual’s psychological connection to sport. Sport Management Review, 4, 119–150. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Funk, D.C., & James, J.D. (2004). The fan attitude network (FAN) model: Exploring attitude formation and change among sport consumers. Sport Management Review, 7, 1–26. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gilly, M.C., Graham, J.L., Wolfinbarger, M.F., & Yale, L.J. (1998). A dyadic study of interpersonal information search. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 26, 83–100. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Goldstone, R.L. (1994). The role of similarity in categorization: Providing a groundwork. Cognition, 52, 125–157. PubMed ID: 7924201 doi:

  • Gorsuch, R.L., & Ortberg, J. (1983). Moral obligation and attitudes: Their relation to behavioral intentions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44, 1025–1028. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hair, J.F., Black, W.C., Babin, B.J., & Anderson, R.E. (2009). Multivariate data analysis. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

  • Hamilton, D.L., & Sherman, S.J. (1996). Perceiving persons and groups. Psychological Review, 103, 336–355. PubMed ID: 8637962 doi:

  • Hayes, A.F. (2013). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: A regression-based approach. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hayes, A.F., Montoya, A.K., & Rockwood, N.J. (2017). The analysis of mechanisms and their contingencies: PROCESS versus structural equation modeling. Australasian Marketing Journal, 25, 76–81. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hedlund, D.P. (2014). Creating value through membership and participation in sport fan consumption communities. European Sport Management Quarterly, 14, 50–71. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hogg, M.A., & Reid, S.A. (2006). Social identity, self-categorization, and the communication of group norms. Communication Theory, 16, 7–30. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Holtz, R., & Miller, N. (2001). Intergroup competition, attitudinal projection, and opinion certainty: Capitalizing on conflict. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 4, 61–73. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hornsey, M.J. (2008). Social identity theory and self-categorization theory: A historical review. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 2, 204–222. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • James, J.D. (2001). The role of cognitive development and socialisation in the initial development of team loyalty. Leisure Sciences, 23, 233–261. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jang, W., Ko, Y.J., Wann, D.L., & Kim, D. (2017). Does spectatorship increase happiness? The energy perspective. Journal of Sport Management, 31, 333–344. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ji, J.L., Heyes, S.B., MacLeod, C., & Holmes, E.A. (2016). Emotional mental imagery as simulation of reality: Fear and beyond—A tribute to Peter Lang. Behavior Therapy, 47, 702–719. PubMed ID: 27816082 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kaplan, D. (2017, October 2). For NFL, which way forward? Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal. Retrieved from https://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2017/10/02/Leagues-and-Governing-Bodies/Unity-NFL.aspx

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Katz, M., & Heere, B. (2015). Empowerment within brand communities: Overcoming the Achilles’ Heel of scale-free networks. Sport Management Review, 18, 370–383. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kenyon, G.S., & McPherson, B.D. (1974). An approach to the study of sport socialisation. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 9, 127–139. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kline, R.B. (2015). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

  • Ko, Y.J., Chang, Y., Jang, W., Sagas, M., & Spengler, J.O. (2017). A hierarchical approach for predicting sport consumption behavior: A personality and needs perspective. Journal of Sport Management, 31, 213–228. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Larkin, B.A., & Fink, J.S. (2016). Fantasy sport, FoMO, and traditional fandom: How second-screen use of social media allows fans to accommodate multiple identities. Journal of Sport Management, 30, 643–655. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Leach, C.W., Van Zomeren, M., Zebel, S., Vliek, M.L., Pennekamp, S.F., Doosje, B., … Spears, R. (2008). Group-level self-definition and self-investment: A hierarchical (multicomponent) model of in-group identification. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 144–165. PubMed ID: 18605857 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lee, D.J., Pae, J.H., & Wong, Y.H. (2001). A model of close business relationships in China (guanxi). European Journal of Marketing, 35(1/2), 51–69. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Levay, K.E., Freese, J., & Druckman, J.N. (2016). The demographic and political composition of Mechanical Turk samples Sage Open, 6, 1–17.

  • Lewis, M. (2001). Franchise relocation and fan allegiance. Journal of Sport & Social Issues, 25, 6–19. doi:

  • Litman, L., Robinson, J., & Rosenzweig, C. (2015). The relationship between motivation, monetary compensation, and data quality among US-and India-based workers on Mechanical Turk. Behavior Research Methods, 47, 519–528. PubMed ID: 24907001 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McPherson, B.D. (1976). Socialization into the role of sport consumer: A theory and causal model. Canadian Review of Sociology, 13, 165–177. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Melnick, M.J., & Wann, D.L. (2004). Sport fandom influences, interests, and behaviors among Norwegian university students. International Sports Journal, 8, 1–13.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Melnick, M.J., & Wann, D.L. (2011). An examination of sport fandom in Australia: Socialisation, team identification, and fan behavior. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 46, 456–470. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Moulton, S.T., & Kosslyn, S.M. (2009). Imagining predictions: Mental imagery as mental emulation. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 364(1521), 1273–1280. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mullen, B. (1991). Group composition, salience, and cognitive representations: The phenomenology of being in a group. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 27, 297–323. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Murphy, G.L., & Lassaline, M.E. (1997). Hierarchical structure in concepts and the basic level of categorization. In K. Lamberts & D.R. Shanks (Eds.), Knowledge, concepts, and categories (pp. 93–131). Cambridge, MA: MIT.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Muthén, L.K. & Muthén, B.O. (1998–2012). Mplus user’s guide (7th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Muthén & Muthén.

  • Nelson, L.J., & Miller, D.T. (1995). The distinctiveness effect in social categorization: You are what makes you unusual. Psychological Science, 6, 246–249. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Obst, P., Zinkiewicz, L., & Smith, S.G. (2002). Sense of community in science fiction fandom, Part 2: Comparing neighborhood and interest group sense of community. Journal of Community Psychology, 30, 105–117. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Oppenheimer, D.M., Meyvis, T., & Davidenko, N. (2009). Instructional manipulation checks: Detecting satisficing to increase statistical power. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 867–872. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ourand, J. (2014, November 17). Women staying tuned to NFL. Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal. Retrieved from http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2014/11/17/Media/NFL-women.aspx

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Paolacci, G., & Chandler, J. (2014). Inside the Turk: Understanding Mechanical Turk as a participant pool. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23, 184–188.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Paolacci, G., Chandler, J., & Ipeirotis, P.G. (2010). Running experiments on Amazon Mechanical Turk. Judgment and Decision Making, 5, 411–419.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Parry, K.D., Jones, I., & Wann, D.L. (2014). An examination of sport fandom in the United Kingdom: A comparative analysis of fan behaviors, socialisation processes, and team identification. Journal of Sport Behavior, 37, 251–267.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Peer, E., Vosgerau, J., & Acquisti, A. (2014). Reputation as a sufficient condition for data quality on Amazon Mechanical Turk. Behavior Research Methods, 46, 1023–1031. PubMed ID: 24356996 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Power, D.J., & Phillips-Wren, G. (2011). Impact of social media and Web 2.0 on decision-making. Journal of Decision Systems, 20, 249–261. doi:

  • Pu, H., & James, J. (2017). The distant fan segment: Exploring motives and psychological connection of International National Basketball Association fans. International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, 18, 418–438. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rosch, E. (1999). Principles of categorization. In E.E. Margolis & S. Laurence (Eds.), Concepts: Core readings (pp. 189–206). Cambridge, MA: MIT.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shank, M.D., & Beasley, F.M. (1998). Fan or fanatic: Refining a measure of sports involvement. Journal of Sport Behavior, 21, 435–443.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Simon, B., & Brown, R. (1987). Perceived intragroup homogeneity in minority–majority contexts. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53, 703–711. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Spencer-Rodgers, J., Hamilton, D.L., & Sherman, S.J. (2007). The central role of entitativity in stereotypes of social categories and task groups. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92, 369–388. PubMed ID: 17352598 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tajfel, H. (2010). Social identity and intergroup relations. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

  • Theodorakis, N.D., & Wann, D.L. (2008). An examination of sport fandom in Greece: Influences, interests and behaviours. International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 4, 356–374. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Travaglino, G.A., Abrams, D., Randsley de Moura, G., & Yetkili, O. (2016). Fewer but better: Proportionate size of the group affects evaluation of transgressive leaders. British Journal of Social Psychology, 55, 318–336. PubMed ID: 26334165 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Turner, J.C., Hogg, M.A., Oakes, P.J., Reicher, S.D., & Wetherell, M.S. (1987). Rediscovering the social group: A self-categorization theory. Cambridge, MA: Basil Blackwell.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Underwood, R., Bond, E., & Baer, R. (2001). Building service brands via social identity: Lessons from the sports marketplace. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 9, 1–13. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Vallerand, R.J., Deshaies, P., Cuerrier, J.P., Pelletier, L.G., & Mongeau, C. (1992). Ajzen and Fishbein’s theory of reasoned action as applied to moral behavior: A confirmatory analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62, 98–109. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wann, D.L., Melnick, M.J., Russell, G.W., & Pease, D.G. (2001). Sport fans: The psychology and social impact of spectators. New York, NY: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • White, K.M., Hogg, M.A., & Terry, D.J. (2002). Improving attitude–behavior correspondence through exposure to normative support from a salient ingroup. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 24, 91–103. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zaichkowsky, J.L. (1985). Measuring the involvement construct. Journal of Consumer Research, 12, 341–352. doi:

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 11 11 11
Full Text Views 3 3 3
PDF Downloads 2 2 2