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Steve Swanson and Aubrey Kent

Team identification has been researched extensively from the perspective of the consumer. The current study proposes that employees working in professional sport may also be fans of their respective teams, and provides insight on the role of team identification in the workplace environment. Over 1100 business operations employees from the top profession sports leagues in North America participated, and results indicate that dual targets of identification exist simultaneously in this setting. Strong support is provided for the discriminant validity between organizational and team identification. Beyond the more established effects of organizational identification, the results provide evidence that team identification independently predicts key outcomes such as commitment, satisfaction, and motivation. The results add to the literature by introducing the concept of a sports team as an additional target of identification in the organizational context.

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Sean R. Sadri

The current study examined how article source, medium, and fan identification can all affect the credibility of sports articles. An online experiment was conducted, and participants read an article that was indicated to have originated from a mainstream sports Web site, a sports blog, a social-networking site, or a wire service. Analysis revealed that fan-identification level was an important factor in credibility ratings in which highly identified fans found sports articles to be significantly more credible than fans with low identification. Highly identified fans also rated the article as equally credible on all 3 Web sites. However, low-identification fans rated the mainstream sports Web site article as significantly more credible than the other 2. Article medium was not shown to have a significant influence on perceived credibility for either identification group. The implications of fan-identification level on the discrepancies in ratings of perceived credibility are explored.

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Daniel L. Wann, Thomas J. Dolan, Kimberly K. MeGeorge and Julie A. Allison

Previous research has indicated that spectators can influence the outcomes of athletic competitions. In Study 1, spectators' perceptions of their ability to influence the contests were examined. Results indicated that high levels of identification with sports teams were related to greater perceptions of influence. It was further predicted that high-identification fans would exhibit the most intense affective reactions to competition outcome. In Study 2 this proposition was tested and supported. High-identification fans reported an increase in pre- to postgame positive emotions following a win and an increase in negative emotions following a loss. Emotional changes were minimal for fans low in team identification. Finally, a third study was used to examine possible changes in team identification as a result of competition outcome for historically successful and marginally successful teams. The results indicated that although past team success was an important predictor of identification level, levels were not affected by game outcome.

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Shih-Hao Wu, Ching-Yi Daphne Tsai and Chung-Chieh Hung

This study extends literature on the effects of fan identification on fan loyalty, and antecedents that trigger such effects. This study incorporates trust, a key relationship marketing construct, in the sport industry. The relationship between trust and two other critical antecedents of sport fan loyalty, identification and vicarious achievement motive, is examined from the perspectives of both fan-player and fan-team. The results show that antecedents from distinct perspectives influence loyalty differently. Team identification (fan-team level) is the major determinant of fans’ repatronage intention, with trust in the team as the key driver. However, player identification (fan-player level) has an indirect effect, which must go through team identification to repatronage intention. Therefore, sport organizations are recommended to invest a substantial part of their resources on activities that generate long-term effects, such as trust in the team and team identification, rather than on short-term strategies such as attracting star players.

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Ryan W. Guenter, John G.H. Dunn and Nicholas L. Holt

Talent identification (TID) is the process of identifying individuals with the potential to excel in a given domain ( Williams & Reilly, 2000 ). A feature of the TID process in many North American sports is the draft system, a player-selection process designed to equitably allocate the playing

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William M. Foster and Craig Hyatt

When it comes to fans of professional sport teams who are left behind when their favorite team relocates to a new city, the authors argue that there are a variety of ways in which these fans can identify with the relocated team. This runs against the traditional conception of how left-behind fans view the franchise in its new home. Fans are thought to follow two paths: They either cheer for the team in the new city, or they stop cheering for the team altogether. The authors have found that this conception of fans is inadequate. Using the expanded model of organizational identification (EMOI), the authors find that after a team relocates there are at least five different ways a fan can identify with the relocated team: identification, disidentification, schizoidentification, neutral identification, and nonidentification. These are illustrated by fitting the stories of 23 Hartford Whalers fans into the model.

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Joe J. Phua

Research on sports fans has demonstrated a positive relationship between fan identification and self-esteem. The current investigation extended previous research by testing media use as a moderator. The author hypothesized that media use would be positively associated with measures of fan identification and collective self-esteem and also moderate the relationship between these 2 variables. This is because media use enhances positive distinctiveness for fans of sports teams, leading to higher collective self-esteem levels because of the ability to get up-to-date information about the team or player they support. Data gathered from student fans (N = 203) of a major U.S. west coast university football team confirmed the author’s expectations that sports fans’ use of 4 types of media—print, broadcast, online, and mobile phones—moderated the relationship between fan identification and collective self-esteem, with online media having the greatest impact on this relationship.

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Stefan Lund and Tor Söderström

The purpose of this article is to explore whether context and coaching cultures influence coaches’ practical experience and their unarticulated and embodied knowledge, and thus their different ways of seeing and defining talent. Using a cultural sociological perspective, we challenge the commonly held assumption that talent identification is, or can be made into, a rational and objective process. Our interpretations and analyses are based upon interviews with 15 soccer coaches in four districts within the Swedish Football Association’s talent organization program. The results imply that coaches’ talent identification is guided by what feels “right in the heart and stomach”; but what feels right is greatly influenced by their experience of previous identifications, interpretations of what elite soccer entails, and the coaching culture in which they find themselves.

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Harry H. Kwon, Galen Trail and Jeffrey D. James

The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential mediating effect of perceived value in the relationship between team identification and intent to purchase collegiate team-licensed apparel. Direct effect, partially mediated, and fully mediated models were compared. The respondents were students (N = 110) attending a large university in the southeastern United States. Participants first completed the Team Identification Scale and then viewed a slide depicting an article of licensed merchandise (t-shirt). Participants next completed the Perceived Value and Purchase Intention Scales. Goodness-of-fit statistics indicated that the direct effect model did not fit the data. The partially mediated and the fully mediated models fit equally well; the latter was more parsimonious and thus was chosen for further analysis. Team identification explained 13.2% of the variance in perceived value; perceived value explained 42.6% of the variance in purchase intentions. The findings indicate that team identification alone did not drive the purchase intentions in this study; it is important to take into account the perceived value of the team-licensed merchandise.

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Seok Kang

The purpose of this study was to examine how fans of professional sports use mobile content to develop fan support. Mobile-content dimensions were evaluated and their relationships with attitudinal and behavioral loyalty, team identification, and sport fandom were tested. A total of 665 young professional sport fans were surveyed in the southwest region of the United States. Three mobile-content dimensions—information, service, and interaction—were identified. The results indicate that the information dimension was positively associated with attitudinal loyalty, team identification, and sport fandom. The service dimension was positively linked to behavioral loyalty. The findings suggest that young professional sports fans’ selective use of mobile content accounts for different types of fan support.