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Hunter Fujak, Stephen Frawley, Heath McDonald and Stephen Bush

). Along with new consumption formats, commercialization has also led to an expansion in volume of teams and leagues competing for consumer hearts and wallets ( James, Kolbe, & Trail, 2002 ). As Byon, Zhang, and Connaughton ( 2010 ) noted, “with such a crowded sport marketplace, sport consumers have many

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Adam Karg, Heath McDonald and Civilai Leckie

-making process of sport consumers. Multichannel marketing is neither new nor unique. For example, the “bricks and clicks” (Internet vs. physical store) dichotomy is one many retailers and service businesses now face. Multichannel approaches have allowed the servicing of disparate customer touchpoints that have

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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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Yu Kyoum Kim and Galen Trail

Sport consumers are increasingly discontented and disconnected with sport organizations and researchers have advocated a fundamental shift in sport marketing from a traditional exchange paradigm to a relationship paradigm. Relationship quality is critical to understanding sport consumer-organization relationships because it can: (a) render a platform to organize wide-ranging relational constructs; (b) provide insight into evaluating relationship-marketing effectiveness; and (c) diagnose and address problems in relationships. Therefore, we propose a conceptual framework of sport consumer-organization relationship quality that consists of three main components. First, we specify that relationship quality consists of five distinct but related relational constructs (trust, commitment, intimacy, self-connection, and reciprocity). Second, we suggest that relationship quality influences word of mouth, media consumption, licensed-product consumption, and attendance behaviors. Finally, we argue that psychographic factors such as relationship styles, relationship drive, and general interpersonal orientation are moderators, as well as demographic factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, region, and income.

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Akira Asada and Yong Jae Ko

The purpose of this study was to identify key characteristics of word-of-mouth (WOM) communication and examine their impact on sport consumers’ perceived influence in sport viewership. Through an extensive literature review, we identified the characteristics of the message sender (i.e., expertise and trustworthiness) and the message (i.e., richness of message content and strength of message delivery) as determinants of perceived influence of WOM. We also examined the moderating effects of homophily (interpersonal factors) and involvement (the message receiver characteristics). Data were collected from sport consumers who had received a recommendation to watch a sporting event in the preceding 3 months and actually watched the event. The results indicate the positive effects of trustworthiness, richness of message content, and strength of message delivery on WOM influence. Homophily and involvement were found to have moderating effects. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.

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Julie Stevens, Anna Lathrop and Cheri Bradish

In response to the recent impact of Generation Y in the sport marketplace, this researach article examines the association between consumer behavior preferences and two segmentation variables, gender and physical activity level, for an adolescent segment (ages 14-17 years) of Canadian Generation Y youth. Questionnaire results from a sample of 1,127 respondents yielded data related to various consumer preferences for sporting goods purchases. These factors include purchase decision making, price, frequency, location, and product features. Results indicate an association among Generation Y, gender, and physical activity level with respect to a number of consumer preferences related to sport footwear, apparel, and equipment. Discussion and implications address how sport marketers might interpret the consumer profile results according to both age and cohort perspectives.

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Yu Kyoum Kim and Galen Trail

This study focused on developing a model to explain relationships among constraints, motivators, and attendance, and empirically test the proposed model within the spectator sport context. The proposed model explained 34% of variance in Attendance. Results showed that Attachment to the Team, an internal motivator, entered first and explained approximately 21% of the variance in attendance. Lack of Success, an internal constraint, entered next and explained almost 10% additional variance. Leisure Alternatives, an external constraint entered next and explained an additional 3%. The ability to properly evaluate constraints and motivators gives sport marketers the opportunity to more effectively serve existing fans, as well as attract new fans.

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Dae Hee Kwak, Yu Kyoum Kim and Matthew H. Zimmerman

Despite the growing interest in social media and user-generated content, both academics and practitioners are struggling to understand the value and consequences of social media (e.g., blogs). This study employed a 2 (media source: mainstream/ social media) × 2 (message valence: positive/negative) × 2 (team identification: high/low) between-subjects design on source credibility and attitude toward an article. Positive and negative messages about the university’s varsity men’s basketball team were presented in either the mainstream media (sport magazine) or a user-generated format (blog). The results revealed that message valence had a significant main impact on triggering biased source evaluation and attitude toward the message. In turn, media source had a significant main effect on source expertise, but no main effects were found for trustworthiness and attitude. Team identification moderated the effect of media source on cognitive processing, suggesting that highly identified fans evaluated mainstream content more favorably, whereas less identified fans preferred user-generated content.

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Shintaro Sato, Yong Jae Ko, Kyriaki (Kiki) Kaplanidou and Daniel P. Connaughton

The purpose of this study was to examine consumers’ comparative judgment of athlete endorsers in back-toback advertisement settings. Drawing on the inclusion/exclusion model (Schwarz & Bless, 2007), the authors argue that (a) a recently observed athlete endorser impacts consumer judgment of subsequently presented endorsers, and (b) the valence of the impact depends on brand category membership of the consecutively presented endorsers. A 2 (representative endorser activation: present vs. absent) × 2 (brand category membership: membership vs. nonmembership) between-subjects design was administered across three experiments. Results demonstrated that the presence of a representative endorser increased a subsequently presented endorser’s perceived expertise when that subsequent endorser represented the same brand category. Results also demonstrated that the presence of a representative endorser decreased a subsequently presented endorser’s perceived expertise when that subsequent endorser did not represent the same brand category. Overall, these findings support both assimilation and contrast effects. The authors argue how this outcome can assist advertising managers to strategically position appropriate endorsers in marketing platforms.

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Jun Woo Kim, Marshall Magnusen and Hyun-Woo Lee

experience emotions of opposite valence (e.g.,  Larsen & McGraw, 2011 ), insufficient scholarly attention has been directed to the study of whether sport consumers experience positive and negative emotions simultaneously or sequentially during game consumption. Indeed, the extant body of sport consumer