Academic journal article International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship

Using an Extended Technology Acceptance Model in Exploring Antecedents to Adopting Fantasy Sports League Websites

Academic journal article International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship

Using an Extended Technology Acceptance Model in Exploring Antecedents to Adopting Fantasy Sports League Websites

Article excerpt

Executive summary

The fantasy sports industry continues to expand, and fans who participate in fantasy sport are a potentially lucrative target for advertisers. It is therefore imperative for marketers to better understand fantasy sports consumers. In particular, it seems prudent to investigate what determines participation in this computer-mediated form of sports spectatorship (Farquhar & Meeds, 2007).

Similar to the diffusion of other forms of technology, the adoption of fantasy sports league websites involves the use of interactive media, and consumer acceptance of these systems demands context-specific attitudes, knowledge of and familiarity with such computer applications.

This study employed the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM; Davis, 1989) as a theoretical framework with which to investigate fantasy sports league consumption. An extensive body of literature has documented the significant effects of consumers' perceived ease of use (PEU) and perceived usefulness (PU) of various information systems as important factors in explaining their adoption. Although the TAM is a well documented model for explaining technology acceptance by users, some scholars have criticised its inability to better account for the factors that explain users' acceptance of technology systems (cf. Park, Lee & Cheong, 2007). According to Davis (1989), research in this domain should incorporate variables, in addition to the above, that could affect intentions and actual use. Furthermore, the majority of TAM research has focused largely on utilitarian technology (e.g. Chau, 1996; Davis, 1993, 1997; Park et al, 2008), with relatively few studies on factors influencing adoption of systems that are purely for entertainment purposes. Therefore, this investigation utilised an extended TAM to investigate the additive effects of attitudes towards a popular televised sport (American Football), perceived ease of use of related fantasy sports websites, perceived knowledge of the above sport, and subjective norms in explaining attitudes and behavioural intentions toward playing NFL fantasy football. Furthermore, the potential moderating role of gender was examined, based on earlier work on the adoption of video gaming systems (Ha, Yoon & Choi, 2007).

Based upon data from a convenience sample of American college students (n = 244), a set of moderated multiple regression (MMR) analyses showed that the presented antecedents explained a total of 49% of variance in hedonic attitudes toward fantasy football and 63% of variance in behavioural intentions to use NFL fantasy football websites. While gender was found to have significant main effects in both models, no significant moderating effects were detected. These findings suggest that domain-specific knowledge, ease of use, social support and gender positively influence favourable beliefs and behavioural intentions towards a particular technology system, which is in line with previous TAM research (Alshare, Grandon & Miller, 2005; Ha et al, 2007; Zhang & Mao, 2008). Interestingly, while respondents' attitudes toward the televised sport (NFL football) were positively related to their attitudes to fantasy football, the former did not significantly impact their intentions to participate in the latter. These results suggest that when it comes to making decisions on the use of mediated sports platforms, positive hedonic attitudes toward a more traditional (and passive) form of sports media (television) are necessary but not sufficient in adopting an interactive technology that offers a different type of fan experience.

Introduction

Increased participation in online fantasy sport has resulted in this becoming an increasingly lucrative area of sports marketing and media. The industry has grown to nearly 29 million participants in the United States and Canada, accounting for more than $2 billion in e-commerce (Fantasy Sport Trade Association, 2009). …

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