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Norm O’Reilly, Denyse Lafrance Horning, and Ghazal Bandeh-Bahman

This case study presents seven challenges regarding the implementation of a National Sport Organization (NSO) loyalty program. Drawing on relationship marketing and sponsorship, the case traces the evolution of the Club Hockey Canada loyalty program, managed by Hockey Canada, a large and successful NSO. The case describes the following seven challenges for managers: resource allocation, process management, branding, rules and regulations for a key element of the program (i.e., Puck Bucks), risk management, sponsorship, and cost recovery. Targeted to upper year undergraduate and graduate students in sport finance or sport marketing, the case is based on information provided by Hockey Canada and secondary research. In completing the case, students will be able to learn about the seven challenges in building a successful loyalty program.

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Adam Karg, Ali Tamaddoni, Heath McDonald, and Michael Ewing

quality, and the “co-creation” of products, high churn rates are still common in many markets ( Lemmens & Gupta, 2013 ). Sport organizations are not exempt from churn. Even among professional sport teams, where high levels of fan loyalty are often assumed ( Smith & Stewart, 2010 ), churn rates of 20% and

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Bob Heere and Geoff Dickson

Current marketing research on attitudinal constructs such as commitment and loyalty is characterized by conceptual confusion and overlap. This study aims to improve the clarity of these terms by separating the commitment and loyalty constructs. It also provides a new scale for measurement of team loyalty. Commitment is a construct that is cross-sectional in nature and is internal to the individual. Alternatively, loyalty is longitudinal in nature and should be regarded as the result of interaction between negative external changes in the environment and the individual’s internal level of commitment. The proposed scale has its origins with the Psychological Commitment to Team scale. Our revisions to the scale provide the needed longitudinal dimension. The new Attitudinal Loyalty to Team Scale (ALTS), which has resistance to change as a central feature, demonstrates both reliability and validity.

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Brendan Dwyer

Fantasy football participation is an extremely-popular, yet unique online activity that combines traditional sport fandom with interactive components to enhance a fan’s overall sport experience. The player-specific concentration of the game, however, has the potential to alter traditional team-focused loyalties that have driven sport consumer behavior inquiry for decades. Due to this intriguing circumstance, this study investigated the relationship between fantasy football involvement and traditional NFL fan loyalty. In addition, given the varying levels of fantasy participation, this study examined factors that predict differing levels of involvement among fantasy owners. The results suggest a positive relationship between involvement and attitudinal loyalty and a nonstandard relationship between a highly-involved fantasy football participant’s attitudes and behaviors, especially with regard to team loyalty. Discussed are the theoretical repercussions of this conceptual disconnect, the potential for future research, and practical implications for the future marketing of individual teams, leagues, and fantasy-related applications.

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Michelle Harrolle, Galen Trail, Ariel Rodriguez, and Jeremy Jordan

The sport marketing field has neglected to study the Latino population despite escalating amounts of consumer research within the marketing literature focusing on this market segment. Therefore, the purpose of our study was to examine the potential predictors of conative loyalty (i.e., purchase intentions) of the Latino fan by testing the Model of Sport Spectator Conative Loyalty (Model B) on a Latino sample. In addition, we wanted to compare the relationships within the model between Latinos and Non-Latinos to study the potential differences between the two market segments. The participants were Latino (n = 127) and Non-Latino (n = 186) attendees of a professional Major League Baseball game in the Southeastern United States. Even though the model results were very similar for both groups, differences do exist between Latinos and Non-Latinos in terms of specific sport consumer behavior relationships (e.g., BIRGing and CORFing on Conative Loyalty).

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Se-Hyuk Park and Yong-Man Kim

This paper describes the development of a 20-item instrument for assessing participants' attitudinal loyalty in the contexts of recreational sport activities. Out of 211 participants, 189 provided usable responses to the questionnaire regarding demographics, attitudes toward recreational sport participation, and intention to renew membership. An analysis revealed three factors that formed the subscales for attitudinal loyalty construct: normative, affective, and investment loyalty. All scales had coefficient alpha values of .70 or above. Thus, the analyses confirmed the validity and the reliability of the questionnaire after translation of the items from English into Korean and their adaptation to recreational sport contexts. The matrix of correlations among attitudinal loyalty dimensions indicates that one dimension cannot fully predict another, and that all dimensions must be simultaneously taken into account in describing the attitudinal loyalty construct. The multifaceted nature of attitudinal loyalty construct may prove useful for segmenting the recreational sport market.

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Guillaume Bodet

This study aimed to increase the understanding of loyalty’s formative processes in fitness organizations. Building upon recent conceptualizations, the purpose of this study was to test the mediating role of psychological commitment in the relationships between consumers’ satisfaction, perceived value, involvement, identification, informational, and volitional processes and their attitudinal and behavioral loyalty toward a fitness organization. We conducted a questionnaire-based study in a French health and fitness club context with a sample of 252 club members, of which we were able to collect data in regard to repurchasing behavior for 110. This allowed us to confirm the relevance of the research model in regard to behavioral intentions, although including the behavioral-loyalty dimensions of the length of the relationship, frequency of participation, and repurchasing behavior failed to validate it. These findings have managerial implications for sustaining club membership levels.

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Sukjoon Yoon, James F. Petrick, and Sheila J. Backman

Sport fans who have formed strong connections to their favorite team may be termed loyal fans. One popular communication tool for such fans is Twitter, which has been found to be an important medium for sharing news and events, yet few studies have examined the moderating of Twitter use in a sport context. Adopting the relational approach examining the determinants of sport-fan loyalty, this study examined how Twitter use moderates the building of fan loyalty. Findings revealed that team attraction, team trust, and team involvement are positively related to team attachment. While team attachment was found to positively influence fan loyalty, sport fans’ Twitter use was found to significantly reinforce their loyalty. Specific implications for both theory and practice are discussed.

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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.

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Rui Biscaia, Abel Correia, Antonio Fernando Rosado, Stephen D. Ross, and João Maroco

Sponsorship studies have generally been focused on attitudinal measures of fan loyalty to understand the reactions to abstract sponsors. This study examines the relationships between both attitudinal and behavioral loyalty with sponsorship awareness, attitude toward two actual sponsors, and purchase intentions. Data were collected among fans of a professional soccer team, and the results of a structural equation model provide evidence that attitudinal loyalty impacts the attitude toward both sponsors and purchase intentions. Behavioral loyalty influences sponsorship awareness, and impacts differently the attitude and purchase intentions toward each sponsor. Sponsorship awareness influences significantly the attitude toward both sponsors, while the attitude toward the sponsor was the strongest predictor of purchase intentions. These findings highlight the importance of examining actual sponsors and suggest managerial implications, such as the need for sponsors to help attract fans to the stadium and to design additional activation strategies to improve sponsorship value.