This article reports the findings of an investigation into the atmosphere in stadiums during live team sports. Experiencing this special atmosphere represents an essential part of the total service provided by the organizers of sport events. However, existing research into the concept of atmosphere focuses on the retail environment. Our first step was therefore to define sport stadium atmosphere as a theoretical construct, drawing on theories from environmental psychology. We then developed a mimic (multiple indicator-multiple cause) model to measure the construct. To specify the mimic model, we generated and selected formative measures by means of a delphi study (N = 20), qualitative expert interviews (N = 44), and an indicator sort task (N = 34). The results indicate that various physical and social aspects of the stadium environment are causal indicators of sport stadium atmosphere. Following this, we conducted phenomenological interviews with spectators at sport events (N = 5) to identify typical affective responses to stadium environment (representing the reflective indicators of the mimic model). These interviews revealed that fans’ experience of stadium environment is characterized by high levels of arousal and pleasure. In addition to our findings, the mimic model developed in this study represents a useful tool for future research into sport stadium atmosphere.
Sebastian Uhrich and Martin Benkenstein
Anton Behrens, Yanxiang Yang, and Sebastian Uhrich
Professional team sport brands are increasingly striving to conquer markets abroad. However, little is known about promising brand positioning strategies in international markets. In the context of U.S. team sport brands’ efforts to attract satellite fans in two different target markets (i.e., Germany and China), this research uses three experimental online studies to test the relative effects of two foreign brand positioning strategies (purely foreign vs. locally integrated foreign) on satellite fans’ attitudes toward the strategy and brand interaction intentions. Findings suggest that fans’ responses depend on the target market. While German fans respond more favorably to purely foreign brand positioning, Chinese fans prefer local adaptations of the U.S. brands to Chinese customs. These diverse effects can be explained by different underlying mechanisms: purely foreign brand positioning increases perceptions of authenticity among German fans, while locally integrated foreign brand positioning increases perceived customer orientation and pride among Chinese fans.