Academic journal article International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship

Martial Arts Participation: Consumer Motivation

Academic journal article International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship

Martial Arts Participation: Consumer Motivation

Article excerpt

Executive summary

Today, martial arts have become an integral part of sports and physical activity culture that convey lifestyles and values of education and entertainment. The increased number of martial arts practitioners, products, organisations and events reflects that martial arts have become global cultural products (Ko & Yang, 2008). As the martial arts industry has evolved into a mature and highly competitive business segment, more research is needed to improve our understanding of martial arts consumers (Ko, 2003).

Although an increased interest in motivational factors has drawn scholars to conduct research on dominant sports participants, there is very little information in the literature regarding the motivation of martial arts participants and their consumption behaviour (Ko, 2003). It is important for practitioners to identify the fundamental needs of consumers because motivation is a significant determinant of sports participation (McDonald et al, 2002). Accordingly, the purpose of this study is to analyse motivation of martial arts participants.

The researchers collected the data at the 2004 Battle of Columbus Martial Arts World Games IV held in Columbus, Ohio. In order to measure motivation of action sports participants, the researchers modified and used McDonald et al's (2002) sports consumption motivation scale. Descriptive statistics were calculated by using SPSS 15.0 for the variables related to demographics, martial arts participation and motivation. A confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was performed through AMOS 7.0 to confirm the existence of the specified factor structure. We ran three separate one-way between subjects multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA) on martial arts motives using the general linear model procedure in SPSS 15.0. Independent variables were past experience, discipline (i.e. types of martial arts) and competition orientation.

The results of data analysis revealed that in general martial arts participants (N = 307) are highly motivated by fun, aesthetics and growth-related factors (i.e. achievement, self-esteem and value development). Results of CFA suggest that the measurement scale showed good psychometric properties, and we used them in the following MANOVA procedures. Martial arts participants' motivation varies across experience levels, types of martial arts and competition orientation. More specifically, results showed that more experienced martial arts participants were more motivated by value development; and beginners were more motivated by self-defence than others. Competitors are more highly motivated by achievement and competition than semi-competitors and non-competitors, but less motivated by cultural awareness; and competitors and non competitors are more motivated by cultural awareness than semi-competitors. Judo/Jujitsu participants are more motivated by aggression than other disciplines; Taekwondo, Judo/Jujitsu and Karate participants were more motivated by self-defence; and Akido/Hapkido and Kungfu/Wushu participants were more motivated by social facilitation and affiliation than other disciplines.

This study will benefit the martial arts industry and the field of sports marketing by contributing to the development of a knowledge base regarding the motivation of martial arts consumers. The findings of this study can be used as valuable information for market segmentation within the martial arts industry and for developing targeted market strategies.

Introduction

In many eastern Asian countries, martial arts have long been major forms of physical activities and pedagogical contents. Martial arts include such disciplines as Aikido, Hapkido, Judo, Jujitsu, Karate, Kendo, Kungfu, Sanshou, Tai Chi, Taekwondo, Tang Su Do and Wushu, among many. Today, as a result of tremendous growth of this industry, martial arts have become an integral part of sports and physical activity culture that convey lifestyles and values of education and entertainment in many western countries (Ko, 2007; Yang, 2000). …

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