Award Date

Spring 2012

Degree Type

Professional Paper

Degree Name

Master of Science in Sport and Leisure Service Management

Department

Hotel Administration

First Committee Member

Cynthia Carruthers, Chair

Number of Pages

36

Abstract

Purpose Statement: The purpose of this professional paper is to review psychological and marketing theory and research to explain what motivates an individual to become a highly identified loyal fan of a sports team. Implications for professional practice and future research will be presented.

Justification: Understanding what motivates a fan to become a highly identified fan is important to a team manager because fans are the primary revenue source of a team. The fundamental goal of marketing managers is to create repeat customers (brand loyalty) (Fortunato, 2006) and loyal fans represent most repeat customers. An organization’s brand is critical in creating a constant revenue stream from its consumers. Reaching the consumer is at the heart of most, if not all, branding principles. A great strategy for managers is to “Drive sports consumers’ preferences and loyalty [by building] strong, positive, and unique consumer beliefs about [their organization], in other words, [constructing] a strong brand image” (Bauer, Stokburger-Sauer, & Exler, 2008, p.206). A strong brand image has a considerable impact on consumer’s brand loyalty. Having a consistent brand management strategy allows organizations to create an increase in their overall value (Fortunato, 2006). That value is turned into revenue for the team or institution.

Keywords

Branding (Marketing); Customer loyalty; Fans (Persons); Sports spectators – Psychological aspects; Sports teams – Marketing

Disciplines

Advertising and Promotion Management | Leisure Studies | Marketing | Sports Studies

Language

English


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