Prior research has demonstrated a direct relationship between loyalty and reasons for liking a particular sport team. The current study replicates and extends this line of inquiry by examining the mediating role of attachment, a process by which an individual moves from merely liking a team (attraction) to becoming loyal to a team (allegiance). Data (Collegiate N = 194; Collegiate and Professional N = 402, Favorite Sport Team N = 808) were collected to examine 13 benefits and attributes associated with liking a sport team, 3 attitude formation properties, and allegiance. A three-stage test of mediation using MLR revealed that attachment mediated the relationship between allegiance and Vicarious Achievement, Nostalgia, Star Player, Escape, Success, and Peer Group Acceptance. Results demonstrate that allegiance is the outcome of a process by which individuals develop stronger emotional reactions to, more functional knowledge about, and greater symbolic value for benefits and attributes associated with a sport team.
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Daniel C. Funk and Jeffrey D. James
Daniel Funk, Daniel Lock, Adam Karg, and Mark Pritchard
Sport consumer behavior (SCB) research continues to grow in both popularity and sophistication. A guiding principle in much of this research has focused on the nature of sport-related experiences and the benefits sport consumers derive from these experiences. This emphasis has generated new knowledge and insights into the needs and wants of sport consumers. Although these efforts have contributed to the field’s understanding of SCB, the vast majority of this research has centered on psychological phenomena and the evaluative and affective components of these sport experiences. Approaches to this work have also narrowed, with SCB research predominately relying on cross-sectional studies and attitudinal surveys to collect information. This has resulted in limited findings that seldom account for how various situational or environmental factors might influence attitudinal data patterns at the individual and group level. This special issues seeks to deepen our understanding of SCB by providing seven papers that demonstrate or validate findings using multiple studies or data collections.
Daniel Lock, Tracy Taylor, Daniel Funk, and Simon Darcy
Daniel Lock, Daniel C. Funk, Jason P. Doyle, and Heath McDonald
The propensity of strongly identified fans to contribute positive organizational outcomes for sport teams underpins why team identification maintains a central position in sport management. In the current study we examine the multidimensional structure, stability, and interrelationships between the dimensions of team identification, using longitudinal data (April 2011–April 2012) collected from fans of a new Australian Rules football team (N = 602). A Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) of the team identification items included (measured using the Team*ID scale), supported a five-dimensional model structure. This model was subsequently computed as a longitudinal CFA to test the configural and metric invariance of the Team*ID scale. We used a cross-lagged panel model to examine the longitudinal stability of, and interrelationships between, the dimensions: affect, behavioral involvement, cognitive awareness, private evaluation, and public evaluation. Each dimension displayed relative stability over time. In addition, public evaluation and private evaluation in April 2011 displayed a positive relationship with behavioral involvement in April 2012. Similarly, cognitive awareness in April 2011 predicted increases in public evaluation in April 2012. We conclude with implications for theory and practice.
Kevin R. Filo, Daniel C. Funk, and Danny O’Brien
Participatory sport events have emerged as viable fundraising mechanisms for charitable organizations. This article examines the impact that motives for charitable giving and sport event participation have on charity sport events. The authors examine the factors that attract participants to a charity sport event, while the role of charity in fostering attachment to the event is explored. Focus groups were conducted with charity sport event participants to discuss what motivated their participation. Results revealed that intellectual, social, and competency motives along with the motives of reciprocity, self-esteem, need to help others, and desire to improve the charity contribute to attraction. In addition, the results suggest that the charitable component influences social and competency motives and contributes to the development of attachment to the event. The authors recommend event managers work to foster and leverage the sense of community created through these events.
Kyriaki Kaplanidou, Jeremy S. Jordan, Daniel Funk, and Lynn L. Ridinger
Hosting recurring sport events can be a solution for sustainable tourism development resulting in destination loyalty and higher place attachment levels. This study proposes active event sport tourists may include in their destination perceptions a number of destination and event attributes, given the direct association of the event with the place. The feasibility of the convergence of event and destination image attributes in one scale was explored and that scale’s influence on place attachment and on specific active sport tourists’ behaviors was examined. Data were collected from sport event tourist participants (n = 2,015) at a recurring marathon event via an online survey. Exploratory factor analysis confirmed the factor structure of destination image to include event characteristics. Regression analysis was used to test the impact of destination image factors on behavioral intentions and place attachment and supported the predictive validity of destination image factors. Implications for event and destination marketers are discussed.
Kevin Filo, Daniel C. Funk, and Danny O’Brien
Charity sport events have emerged as widespread and integral fundraising mechanisms for charitable organizations. This article explores the meaning that charity sport events hold in participants’ lives. Using the Psychological Continuum Model (PCM) as the theoretical framework, the authors examine participant attachment to charity sport events. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants in a charity sport event (N = 32) to discuss their perceptions of the event and their overall event experiences. Results revealed that camaraderie, cause, and competency reflect the enhanced meaning of the event and provide further explanation of attachment. Suggestions are made for charitable organizations and host communities to leverage these factors effectively and develop long-term sustainable events, and to assist in recruiting volunteers and facilitating social change in host communities.
Bradley J. Baker, Jeremy S. Jordan, and Daniel C. Funk
The authors investigated the influence of consumer characteristics (prior race experience, gender, age, education, family structure, and area of residence) on event satisfaction and the satisfaction–repeat participation link in the context of a long-distance running event. Based on a survey of runners (N = 3,295) combined with registration data from two races, results suggest characteristics that commonly influence satisfaction in nonsport contexts fail to demonstrate similar effects in participant sport events. Results provide evidence that first-time marathon participation and variety-seeking behavior specific to running represent meaningful predictors of decreased future event participation behavior. Evidence is provided of a linear satisfaction–behavior relationship. In addition, the impact of using behavioral intention as a proxy for behavior in academic research is examined, indicating that caution must be observed regarding inherent differences between the constructs. Results from the current study provide sport organizations with a better understanding of why consumers make repeat purchases of sport-related experience products.
Mikihiro Sato, Jeremy S. Jordan, and Daniel C. Funk
Limited research has examined psychological involvement change using a longitudinal design. This study explored stability and change in the three facets of psychological involvement—pleasure, centrality, and sign—that occurred over a 2-year period and examined key behavioral correlates of the observed change. Data were collected three times through online surveys from participants (N = 482) of an annual 10-mile running event in the United States. Latent growth modeling analyses revealed that, on average, the levels of pleasure, centrality, and sign in running slightly decreased over time. Growth mixture modeling analyses offer evidence that different patterns of change exist within each facet of psychological involvement. The findings further indicate that changes in the number of events participated in each year are the most important behavioral correlates of psychological involvement change. The results provide sport managers with implications for promoting long-term engagement with the activity through event participation and postevent phases.
James Du, Jeremy S. Jordan, and Daniel C. Funk
The current study was an investigation of the role of personal performance, an internal assessment of timegoal achievement, on participants’ event satisfaction that would contribute to positive outcomes. Multiattribute online surveys were distributed to participants at two distance participant sport events held in the Southeast and Northeast United States (N = 3,476 and 4,828). A multidimensional Participant Sport Event Attribute and Service Delivery (PSEASD) scale was developed to capture a spectrum of service touch points encountered during the event experience. Empirical results using covariance-based structural equation modeling was used to test and support a proposed model revealing that personal performance was a stronger positive determinant of event satisfaction than traditional service quality and perceived value. A significant negative interaction effect between service quality and personal performance was also revealed. Collectively, the model explained 41% of variance in event satisfaction, and 26% of behavioral intentions. Based on the findings, we suggest managing personal performance expectations is important to holistically manage and promote overall event satisfaction in a participant sport event setting.