Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

1-1-2021

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D. in Health and Kinesiology

First Advisor

Minjung Kim

Second Advisor

Kim Beason

Third Advisor

KoFan Lee

Relational Format

dissertation/thesis

Abstract

Fan engagement, the substantial psychological connectedness to a specific club, team, or sport itself, is in a state of rapid transformation due to the growth of digital media. For sport organizations, managing fan engagement throughout the year is important to maximizing team revenues and sponsors’ interests. While fans consume sports differently depending on the season, the focus has been primarily on fan behavior during the in-season in the sport management literature. Thus, the purposes of this study were to (1) provide a conceptual framework of year-round fan engagement by applying the season distinction approach, (2) establish the scale of off-season fan engagement, and (3) examine the effects of various influences on off-season fan engagement and its outcomes related to sport consumption. Based on the literature review, the conceptual framework was developed that comprises two major parts—the antecedents and the outcomes of off-season fan engagement. In a pilot study, a scale of off-season fan engagement was developed through a multi-stage methodology that combines two qualitative, including online focus group (n = 28) and online expert survey (n = 10) and quantitative studies, including a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA; n = 244) and model comparison. In the main study, an online survey questionnaire was developed and collected data from 490 research participants. After evaluating the measurement model through a CFA, the direct relationships among seven constructs (i.e., informativeness value, entertainment value, source credibility, attitude, off-season fan engagement, intention to attend games, intention to consume sports media) were examined using a structural equation modeling approach. The moderating effects of type of social media use and team identification in the hypothesized model were examined. The first-order scale of off-season fan engagement consisting of 12-item was developed in the pilot study. In the main study, the measurement model showed an acceptable model fit (?2(df) = 1696.713 (815), p < .001, TLI = .93, CFI = .93, RMSEA = .05), and all values regarding average variance extracted and composite reliability were above the threshold. The results of the hypothesized model (?2(df) = 1921.528 (576), p < .001, TLI = .90, CFI = .90, RMSEA = .06) indicated that a total of 12 direct paths were statistically significant. Regarding the moderating effects, there were significant interaction effects of type of social media use between source credibility and attitude as well as team identification between attitude and off-season fan engagement. The findings further advance knowledge of fan behavior through the empirical evidence related to year-round fan engagement and the newly developed scale. For the sport industry, this study helps practitioners in sport organizations by providing guidelines on how to manage their fan engagement throughout the year.

Available for download on Thursday, December 14, 2023

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