The sport industry in a multibillion dollar industry, in which sport organizations
are consistently looking for ways to maximize revenue generation, as competition for the
sport consumer dollar continues to steadily increase. In an effort to maximize revenue
across sport organizations, there has been a shift in emphasis from traditionally accepted
product-oriented sales to consumer-oriented sales, accentuating the building of long-term
relationships with different groups of customers. One consumer segment that warrants
extensive attention in the marketing efforts of sport organizations is comprised of
interactive fans (iFans), or fans who, regardless of geographic barriers, consume the
products of the team through new media outlets.
Within this study, consideration was given to iFans, because of their capacity to
provide support for teams, through means such as merchandise and media consumption,
despite the fact that geographical barriers may impede them from being direct consumers
of game day experiences. The newly proposed Interactive Fan Attitude Network (iFan)
model was employed to examine the attitude processes of iFans with respect to the
consumption of new media in online sport brand communities. Through structural equation modeling, the iFan model was empirically tested to
advance the understanding of attitude formation and change in interactive sport settings.
The results from the current study point to two major conclusions. First, the results
provide evidence that the functional use of new media, measured in terms of what
consumers are using new media for, is more appropriate in terms of model fit than the
affective use of new media. Second, the team identification attitude is an appropriate
mediating variable between new media use and attitude consequences. The study is the
first to test the proposed iFan model, and provides practical and theoretical implications.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. May 2013. Major: Kinesiology. Advisor: Dr. Stephen Ross. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 205 pages, appendices A-F.
Shreffler, Megan Beth.
The use of new media to maintain team identification: an examination of interactive fans.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.