The Effect of Sport Setting on Fan Attendance Motivation: The Case of Minor League vs. Collegiate Baseball

By Bernthal, Matthew J.; Graham, Peter J. | Journal of Sport Behavior, September 2003 | Go to article overview

The Effect of Sport Setting on Fan Attendance Motivation: The Case of Minor League vs. Collegiate Baseball


Bernthal, Matthew J., Graham, Peter J., Journal of Sport Behavior


A significant amount of prior research in sport marketing has explored the area of fan motivation. This research has addressed topics such as self-esteem as a motivator of fanship (Branscombe & Wann, 1991). Cialdini's seminal work on self-esteem as a fan motivator, for example, found that fans tend to "bask in reflected glory" (BIRGing) when their team wins, and "cut off reflected failure" (CORFing) when they lose (Cialdini et al., 1976; Cialdini & Richardson, 1980). Other research has explored gender differences in fan motivation (e.g., Dietz-Uhler, Harrick, End, & Jacquemotte, 2000; Gantz & Wenner, 1995;) with the general finding that women tend to be relatively more motivated to be a sport fan for social reasons such as watching a game with family/friends, while men tend to be relatively more motivated by the competitive aspects of sport. Further research on fan motivation has examined motivations underlying the preference for certain sports or certain types of sports over others (Warm, Schrader, & Wilson, 1999; Wenner & Gantz, 1989). Sport and entertainment has also been used as a context for examining motivations underlying general consumption (e.g., Arnould & Price, 1993; Holt, 1995).

While existing fan motivation research has provided considerable insight, one area that remains unexplored is fans' motivation behind attending different settings of the same sport. The current study examines, using minor league baseball and collegiate baseball as the settings, the extent to which fans of different settings of the same sport can be differentially motivated in terms of attendance at the events. This study was largely motivated by Wenner and Gantz's (1989) study which compared fan motivation factors by sport and by Wann et al.'s (1999) study which compared fan motivation factors by sport type, and seeks to expand upon these studies and their significant contributions. Wenner and Gantz (1989) found differences among sports in fans' motivation for watching sports on television. For example, fans of collegiate basketball were the most motivated to watch in order to see how their favorite team does, and also the most motivated to learn more about the players and the sport. Baseball fans were the least likely to watch their sport to get "psyched up", particularly compared to pro football fans, who rated this as a relatively stronger motive to watch.

Wann et al. (1999) examined differences in fan motivation on a more aggregate level than Wenner and Gantz (1989) by utilizing sport type as the independent variable as opposed to simply different sports. They identified eight common fan motivation factors that have been identified in prior literature, and which comprise the Sport Fan Motivation Scale (Wann, 1995). These eight motives include eustress (a positive, stimulative, energizing stress), self-esteem enhancement (BIRGing), escape, entertainment, economic motivation (gambling opportunity), aesthetic value (in essence, the "beauty" of the sport), group affiliation/need for belongingness, and desire for family socialization. The authors examined differences in these eight motivations in fans of different sport types, specifically between fans of team (e.g., hockey, football) versus individual (e.g., figure skating, tennis) sports, and between aggressive versus nonaggressive sports. Results indicated that fans of individual sports had higher levels of aesthetic motivation than fans with a preference for team sports, while fans of team sports were relatively more motivated by eustress and self-esteem enhancement than fans who preferred individual sports. Further, they found that fans of aggressive sports were relatively more motivated by economic concerns than fans of nonaggressive sports, while fans of nonaggressive sports were relatively more motivated by aesthetics.

In reflecting on these studies and the body of fan motivation literature, we contend that as fans can be differentially motivated depending on both the specific sport under consideration as well as the sport type (aggressive versus nonaggressive, individual versus team) under consideration, so too can they be differentially motivated within one particular sport depending on the setting of that sport.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Effect of Sport Setting on Fan Attendance Motivation: The Case of Minor League vs. Collegiate Baseball
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.