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Joon Sung Lee, Dae Hee Kwak and Jessica R. Braunstein-Minkove

Athlete endorsers’ transgressions pose a dilemma for loyal fans who have established emotional attachments toward the individual. However, little is known regarding how fans maintain their support for the wrongdoer. Drawing on moral psychology and social identity theory, the current study proposes and examines a conceptual model incorporating athlete identification, moral emotions, moral reasoning strategies, and consumer evaluations. By using an actual scandal involving an NFL player (i.e., Ray Rice), the results show that fan identification suppresses the experience of negative moral emotions but facilitates fans’ moral disengagement processes, which enables fans to support the wrongdoer. Moreover, negative moral emotions motivate the moral coupling process. Findings contribute to the sport consumer behavior literature that highly identified fans seem to regulate negative emotions but deliberately select moral disengagement reasoning strategies to maintain their positive stance toward the wrongdoer and associated brands.

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Nicole T. Gabana, Aaron D’Addario, Matteo Luzzeri, Stinne Soendergaard and Y. Joel Wong

.g., spiritual identification, religious practice) would inform the body of knowledge in both the positive psychology and sport psychology literature. Recent research has demonstrated initial support for the use of gratitude interventions in sport, as Gabana, Steinfeldt, Wong, Chung, and Svetina ( 2019 ) found increases in

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Matthew Katz and Bob Heere

The authors examined the longitudinal development of team identification among stakeholders of a newly formed intercollegiate football team to empirically measure the impact of a new football team on university identification. Using a multidimensional approach to identification, data were collected over a 3-year period and analyzed using growth curve analysis to determine the changes and trajectories of the individual dimensions of identification related to both the new football team and the larger university. Conditional growth models were used to determine the percentage of change in university identification explained by changes in team identification—to test whether new team identification drives identification with the larger university. The presented findings allow for an improved understanding of the psychological impact of a new football team for the university community by using growth curve analysis, which provides a more detailed and accurate empirical examination of identification, rather than traditional two-wave cross-lagged designs. Implications of the longitudinal nature of identification and the psychological value of a new football team for the university are discussed.

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Yonghwan Chang, Daniel L. Wann and Yuhei Inoue

identification with a specific team or team identification (team ID). In other words, those who have a stronger team ID (i.e., individuals perceive themselves as fans of the team and view the team as a representation of themselves; Branscombe & Wann, 1992 ) are more likely to experience the state of being in

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Brad D. Carlson and D. Todd Donavan

By integrating social identity theory with brand personality, the authors test a model of how perceptions of human brands affect consumer’s level of cognitive identification. The findings suggest that consumers view athletes as human brands with unique personalities. Additional findings demonstrate that athlete prestige and distinctiveness leads to the evaluation of athlete identification. Once consumers identified with the athlete, they were more likely to feel an emotional attachment to the athlete, identify with the athlete’s team, purchase team-related paraphernalia and increase their team-related viewership habits. The findings extend previous research on human brands and brand personalities in sports. Marketers can use the information gleaned from this study to better promote products that are closely associated with well-recognized and attractive athletes, thereby increasing consumer retail spending. In addition, the findings offer new insights to sports marketers seeking to increase team-related spectatorship by promoting the image of easily recognizable athletes.

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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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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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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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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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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.