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The importance of relationship quality in relationship marketing has been well documented; however, very little attention has been paid to the issues of relationship quality in sport consumer behavior contexts. We investigated the cognitive structure of relationship quality (RQ) constructs (Trust, Commitment, Intimacy, Identification, Reciprocity) by comparing a general-specific model to a hierarchical model. In addition we empirically tested the link between RQ and three sport consumer behavioral intentions: attendance, media consumption, and licensed merchandise consumption. The model comparison revealed that individual constructs reflected both the distinct aspects of the specific dimensions of relationship quality and the holistic nature of relationship quality, supporting a general-specific model. Results from the simultaneous equation model indicated that for sport consumers, relationship quality with the team explained 56% of the variance in intention to attend games, 75% of intention to consume sport media, and 66% of intention to purchase licensed merchandise.
Kim is with Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL. Trail is with MSAL, Seattle University, Seattle, WA. Ko is with the Dept. of Tourism, Recreation, and Sport Management, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.