Academic journal article Sport Marketing Quarterly

Testing Models of Motives and Points of Attachment among Spectators in College Football

Academic journal article Sport Marketing Quarterly

Testing Models of Motives and Points of Attachment among Spectators in College Football

Article excerpt

Abstract

As the spectator sport market has become large and competition for consumers has increased, the need for understanding spectators' motives and points of attachment has become important for developing effective marketing strategies. The purpose of the study was to examine four different models that explain the relationships among motives and points of attachment and determine a model that explains the most variance in the referent variables. A total of 501 college students responded to the Motivation Scale for Sport Consumption (MSSC) and the Points of Attachment Index (PAI). The results showed that motives can be divided into fan motives and spectator motives, and these motives were related to different sets of points of attachment: organizational identification and sport identification.

Testing Models of Motives and Points of Attachment among Spectators in College Football

Sport spectating is a popular leisure activity in the United States. In fact, attendance and revenues for spectator sports have steadily increased for the past decade. According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2008), in 2005, it was estimated that revenue from spectator sports was approximately $24 billion, which is 3.5% higher than the previous year and 26.6% more than in 2000 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2008). It was also estimated that people spent approximately $15.9 billion in 2005 for admission to professional and amateur athletic events. Attending college football games is certainly a substantial part of spectating at amateur athletic events activity as it was estimated that over 48 million people attended college football games in 2007 (NCAA, 2008). This is a 30% increase from 1990 and a 10% increase compared with 2005.

As the spectator sport market has become large and competition for consumers has increased, sport marketers' interests in searching for more effective marketing strategies to increase attendance have also increased. In general, dividing the market into different segmentations and applying different strategies for each segment based on their characteristics and needs is crucial in order to come up with effective marketing plans. Traditionally, researchers have examined different demographic factors, such as gender, age, education level, and household income to determine whether segmenting the market based on these characteristics is beneficial (e.g., Dietz-Uhler, Harrick, End, & Jacquemotte, 2002; Fink, Trail, & Anderson, 2002b; Kahle, Kambara, & Rose, 1996; Robinson, Trail, & Kwon, 2004; Swanson, Gwinner, Larson, & Janda, 2003; Zhang et al., 2001). However, recently, researchers have studied other factors, such as social values (Kahle, Duncan, Vassilis, & Aiken, 2001), motivations (Kahle et al., 1996; Swanson et al., 2003), and brand associations (Ross, 2007) as ways to segment markets.

Yet, the areas of spectators' motives and points of attachment need more attention as potential variables with which to segment consumers. Some researchers have investigated various motives as important factors that influence people's decisions to spectate at sports events (Trail, Anderson, & Fink, 2000; Trail, Fink, & Anderson, 2003; Trail & James, 2001; Wann, 1996; Won & Kitamura, 2007). Other researchers have suggested that there may be other factors that influence people's decisions concerning sport consumer behaviors. Kwon, Trail, and Anderson (2005) suggested that some people watch sports events because they have a strong social-psychological connection with a team, coach, player, university, community, level of sport, and/or type of sport. They call these connections points of attachment. As the concepts of motives and points of attachment have become popular, researchers have been examining relationships among motives and points of attachment (Fink, Trail, & Anderson, 2002a; Robinson & Trail, 2005; Robinson, Trail, & Kwon, 2004; Trail, Robinson, Dick, & Gillentine, 2003). …

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