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Elizabeth B. Delia, E. Nicole Melton, Katherine Sveinson, George B. Cunningham, and Daniel Lock

Recognizing the important implications of sport spectating 1 for organizations and everyday people, researchers have studied sport consumer behavior extensively since the 1980s. Key topics include (but are not limited to) consumption motives, psychological connection, brand equity, image transfer

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Daniel Funk, Daniel Lock, Adam Karg, and Mark Pritchard

Sport consumer behavior (SCB) research continues to grow in both popularity and sophistication. A guiding principle in much of this research has focused on the nature of sport-related experiences and the benefits sport consumers derive from these experiences. This emphasis has generated new knowledge and insights into the needs and wants of sport consumers. Although these efforts have contributed to the field’s understanding of SCB, the vast majority of this research has centered on psychological phenomena and the evaluative and affective components of these sport experiences. Approaches to this work have also narrowed, with SCB research predominately relying on cross-sectional studies and attitudinal surveys to collect information. This has resulted in limited findings that seldom account for how various situational or environmental factors might influence attitudinal data patterns at the individual and group level. This special issues seeks to deepen our understanding of SCB by providing seven papers that demonstrate or validate findings using multiple studies or data collections.

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Matthew Katz, Thomas A. Baker III, and Hui Du

( Tyler, 2013 ). We posited that both identification with the supporter club and interpersonal relationships with other supporter club members drive consumer behavior toward the focal sport team. In addition, one’s level of superordinate identification with the team itself also theoretically drives

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Jun Woo Kim, Marshall Magnusen, and Hyun-Woo Lee

emotion research is presently limited in two main ways. The first limitation pertains to the general absence of mixed emotion research in sport contexts. The second limitation pertains to how emotions have been measured in sport contexts. The role of emotions is an important subject in consumer behavior

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Xiaochen Zhou, Daniel C. Funk, Lu Lu, and Thilo Kunkel

essential goal of marketing is to help consumers fulfill these needs through consuming the product ( Homer & Kahle, 1988 ). While sport marketing research has utilized values to explain consumer behavior (e.g.,  Lee & Kahle, 2016 ; Lee & Trail, 2011 ), this body of literature has mostly neglected to

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Hunter Fujak, Stephen Frawley, Heath McDonald, and Stephen Bush

fan behavior within individual sports rather than the consumer markets in which teams compete ( Pelnar, 2009 ). Through this research, we begin to remedy this shortcoming by undertaking an analysis of sport consumer behavior within sport markets that feature a high degree of consumption choice

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Aaron C. Mansfield, E. Nicole Melton, and Matthew Katz

incongruence) between fan identity and health consciousness and (b) to examine whether health-conscious sport fans experience identity conflict, given evidence suggesting discrepancies between these two identities. Lock and Heere ( 2017 ) noted role identity as an area of sport consumer behavior research ripe

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Lindsey Darvin and Michael Sagas

Gendered processes in the sport industry often perpetuate male dominance and female inferiority. While these gendered occurrences have been well documented, the outcomes of such processes are underexplored. Under the guidance of objectification theory and the production–reception relationship, the authors investigated the influence of objectification in sports-media outlets’ coverage of a female sporting event for a national sample of U.S. consumers (N = 225). In addition, given the lack of coverage directed toward female sporting events, the current study investigated the influence of previous viewership on consumer behaviors for a future women’s sporting event. Findings suggest that processes of objectification influence both men’s and women’s consumer behaviors and that previous viewership influences future consumer-behavior motives. Furthermore, objectified images and language did not adversely affect future consumer behaviors for those who had previously viewed a similar women’s sporting event. Sport-media and communications professionals alike can leverage these relationships.

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Nicholas M. Watanabe, Grace Yan, and Brian P. Soebbing

Understanding how consumers interact with sport brands on digital platforms is of increasing importance to the sport industry. In this study, through a nexus of consumer behavior and economic literatures, the examination focuses on consumer interest in major league baseball teams on social media platforms from July 2013 to June 2014. Specifically, two generalized least squares regression models were used that considered a variety of factors, including market characteristics, scheduling, and social media use and management. The findings display varying results of short- and long-term consumer interest in teams on Twitter. From this, important theoretical and practical understanding can be derived by considering consumer behavior in the automated “like economy” of social media.

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Thomas A. Baker, Kevin K. Byon, Beth A. Cianfrone, and John Grady

The purpose of the study was twofold: a) to conceptualize and measure student-athlete “likeness” in the NCAA Football sport video games (SVGs) and b) to examine the impact of use of likeness on SVG consumption (i.e., purchase intention and word-of-mouth). Data (N = 621) were collected from NCAA Football SVGs users with experience in purchasing and playing the game. Descriptive statistics, t test, factor analysis, and hierarchical regression analyses showed that student-athlete likeness featured in NCAA Football SVGs were well perceived by gamers. The results indicated that dimensions of the student-athlete likeness were empirically supported in that the factors (i.e., identity value and identity use) were found to be positively related to purchase intention and word-of-mouth. Results were discussed with regards to theoretical and practical implications for sport managers in the legal and consumer behavior perspective.