When sport fans gather in stadiums, bars, pubs, or parking lots, they do so not merely as individuals, but as members of a larger collective ( Fairley & Tyler, 2012 ). As fans cheer for their favorite teams—rejoicing after wins and sulking after losses—they do so not in isolation, but alongside
Matthew Katz, Bob Heere and E. Nicole Melton
Yongjae Kim, Soojin Kim and Elizabeth Rogol
an outlet to bring in new sources of revenues. As such, sport teams have quickly adopted the technology to offer their team’s official application to their fans. In a study conducted by Flurry Analytics, sport fans were found to use mobile apps to follow live sports, keep up with team scores, trade
Brendan Dwyer, Greg Greenhalgh and Carrie LeCrom
The sport marketplace is overcrowded, and contemporary sport fans have more choices than ever. This makes it difficult for new teams, leagues, and sports to enter the marketplace. In addition, a cultural oligarchy of mainstream sport leagues currently dominates media coverage. As a result, marketers and managers of emerging sports need to understand the attributes for which sport fans connect with entities. Little is known, however, about the differences between fans of niche (emerging or nonmainstream) sports and their mainstream-sport counterparts. Guided by social-identity theory, this study explored the dispositional and behavioral differences between niche- and mainstream-sport fans as a means of psychometric and behavioral segmentation. In particular, an individual’s need for uniqueness and communication behaviors were compared. The results suggest that dispositional differences between the segments were minimal. However, potentially important behavioral differences were uncovered related to how sport fans assimilate with others and advertise their sport affiliations.
Shannon Kerwin and Larena Hoeber
The main goal of our article is to encourage personal reflection within the field of sport management as a tool to strengthen methodological approaches in our research. We explore and discuss the utility of collaborative self-ethnography as one way to acknowledge personal identities through a reflexive account of our experiences as sport fans and sport researchers with this methodology. We draw on a previous study of our experiences as sport fans to illustrate techniques, downfalls, and benefits of studying one’s experiences in a collaborative methodological approach. We have two objectives: First, we hope to encourage sport management researchers to acknowledge and reflect on their personal identities related to sport, such as being a fan, coach, volunteer, or former participant, in their research. Second, we aim to demonstrate the utility of collaborative self-ethnography as one way to incorporate reflexivity in sport management research and theory development.
Brendan Dwyer and Yongjae Kim
The contemporary sport fan has the ability to consume spectator sport through several means including event attendance, television and radio broadcasts, print publications, and Internet applications. Recently, an ancillary sport service, termed fantasy sports, has become one of the most popular activities among sport fans. As a result, the business of fantasy sports is booming. This study examined motivational dimensions underlying fantasy football participation from a Uses and Gratifications perspective. Utilizing Churchill’s (1979) five-step method for developing quality marketing measures, this study identified and validated three motivational dimensions: entertainment/escape, competition, and social interaction. The results suggest a pattern of fantasy football participation that is more purposeful and active than traditional media use. Discussed are the gambling associations, future research opportunities, and suggestions for developing fantasy football participation into a more creative and interactive marketing communication tool.
Jeffrey D. James
The current study was a measurement of whether or not females and males were equally likely to report being sport fans, and to identify whether the motives influencing the consumption of women’s college basketball were different than the motives influencing the consumption of men’s college basketball. Fans of women’s basketball and fans of men’s basketball were compared on nine sport consumption motives. Data for the project came from 318 fans attending women’s basketball games and 316 fans attending men’s basketball games. Based upon the results, men had significantly higher sport fan ratings than women. There were significant differences between females and males on two of the sport consumption motives, Aesthetics and Knowledge. Men reported a greater appreciation for the natural beauty in the game of basketball, and greater enjoyment of games because of their knowledge of basketball. There was no significant difference between the two motives rated highest by women and men, the Action in games and the opportunity to Escape from one’s daily routine. The reasons for watching and following a specific sport were similar for females and males, regardless of the sex of the athletes.
Marci D. Cottingham
The study of sport spectatorship has an increasing focus on the importance of fandom beyond fan violence. Fundamental to understanding fan behavior are the meaningful rituals and emotions experienced by fans. In this paper, I use the theoretical work of Randall Collins to examine the ritualistic outcomes of collective effervescence, emotional energy, and group symbols and solidarity among sport fans. I illustrate these concepts using case study data from participant observation of fans of a U.S. football team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and content analysis of news articles. I extend Collins’ interaction ritual (IR) theory by taking the group as the unit of analysis and analyzing group solidarity beyond situational interactions and typical sport settings, including the significant life events of weddings and funerals. While critiquing Collins’ (2004) a priori portrayal of sports fans, the analysis advances IR theory, improving its utility for understanding sports fan behavior.
Sun J. Kang, Jae-Pil Ha and Marion E. Hambrick
The popularity of smartphones has led to the creation of sport-related mobile applications in the areas of games, fitness, information, and events for sport consumers. The main purpose of this study was to examine why college students use sport-related mobile applications and what benefits they received from their usage. The study employed the Motivation Scale for Sport Online Consumption and the Technology Acceptance Model to understand this usage in more detail. Using a mixed-method approach, the study revealed that college students identified fanship, convenience, and information as primary motives for using their sport-related mobile applications. For college students who are sport fans, supporting their fanship through these applications represents an important aspect of their lifestyle. Sport managers and sport application developers will benefit from understanding users’ intentions and motives as the market for sport-related applications continues to grow.
Youngjin Hur, Yong Jae Ko and Joseph Valacich
The purpose of this study was to propose and test a conceptual model of online sport consumption motivation and concerns when using the Internet for sport information and shopping. The proposed model is based on current conceptualization of motivation and concerns when using the Internet. The proposed model consists of five types of motivation (i.e., convenience, information, diversion, socialization, and economic) and four types of concern (i.e., security and privacy, delivery, product quality, and customer service). To test this model, the scale of motivation for online sport consumption was developed. A structural equation model test with a convenience sample of 222 sports participants supported the conceptualization of motivation and concerns. Motivation positively influenced sport fans’ actual usage of sport-related Web sites, but no significant path coefficient was found from concerns to motivation and actual usage. Given these results, implications for future research and practice are discussed.
Youngjin Hur, Yong Jae Ko and Joseph Valacich
The Internet website has become an effective marketing vehicle for sport organizations. The purpose of this study was to examine theoretical relationships between key variables of online sport consumption behavior such as sport consumers’ perceptions of sport website quality, satisfaction, and behavioral loyalty to the websites. In addition, the mediating effect of e-satisfaction between website quality and e-loyalty was examined. The results of data analyses using structural equation model tests revealed that loyalty to a sport team’s website was more likely to occur as sport fans developed positive perceptions and satisfaction with the website. The results also suggested that consumer e-satisfaction is an important mediating variable between sport website quality and e-loyalty.