The purpose of this study was to identify key characteristics of word-of-mouth (WOM) communication and examine their impact on sport consumers’ perceived influence in sport viewership. Through an extensive literature review, we identified the characteristics of the message sender (i.e., expertise and trustworthiness) and the message (i.e., richness of message content and strength of message delivery) as determinants of perceived influence of WOM. We also examined the moderating effects of homophily (interpersonal factors) and involvement (the message receiver characteristics). Data were collected from sport consumers who had received a recommendation to watch a sporting event in the preceding 3 months and actually watched the event. The results indicate the positive effects of trustworthiness, richness of message content, and strength of message delivery on WOM influence. Homophily and involvement were found to have moderating effects. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.
Akira Asada and Yong Jae Ko
Akira Asada and Yong Jae Ko
Sport socialization research has revealed that a community is one of the most influential socializing agents. However, little is known about which aspects of a community promote sport socialization and how it occurs. In the current research, we identified and conceptualized two key factors characterizing sports teams’ fan communities, relative size and entitativity, and discussed how these factors influence sport socialization and its outcomes. First, we developed the model of community influence on sport socialization to depict the effects of relative size and entitativity on people’s perceptions and behaviors at the initial stage of their sport socialization. Second, we proposed the model of community influence on the outcomes of sport socialization, which explains how relative size and entitativity contribute to the outcomes of sport socialization.
Akira Asada, Yuhei Inoue, and Yonghwan Chang
The #TakeAKnee movement initiated by Colin Kaepernick and the measures taken by the National Football League (NFL) to handle the situation received mixed reactions from the public. The authors developed and tested a structural model using survey data collected from 698 residents of a Super Bowl host city. The results indicated a positive relationship between attitudes toward the movement and attitudes toward the league’s responses, which in turn influenced league credibility. However, after taking the indirect effect into account, attitudes toward the movement had a direct negative relationship with league credibility. In addition, people who viewed the NFL as a credible organization tended to perceive the Super Bowl as relevant to them and as impactful for the host city. Therefore, sport organizations should develop consistent, comprehensive communication strategies that enable them to maximize a positive synergy between their approach to crisis communication and their approach to other types of communication.
Akira Asada, Yong Jae Ko, and Wonseok (Eric) Jang
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.