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

42

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the factors which create continuous and permanent commitment to a specific professional sports team.

Statement of Objectives: There is no denying that the current economic standing of the United States does not promote spending large sums of money on entertainment and leisure. Since taking a family to a professional sports game gets rather expensive, families are lead to pursue other alternatives while deciding how to spend free time. The costs of game attendance, including tickets, parking, food, beverages and souvenirs, can easily surpass one hundred dollars, which is undoable for many individuals and families at this time. Long enduring fandom can still be achieved through television viewership, however it is more difficult to accomplish and measure. Without enduring fans, the business of professional sports would be unable to maintain its status as a multi-billion dollar industry. While discounted and lower cost tickets can be offered, the problem of how to offset an economic recession continuously arises.

Justifications: One cannot refute the massive impact professional sports have on the economy. It is therefore imperative to do everything one can to maintain the revenue generated by the sports industry, and this is done by creating and maintaining a withstanding fan base. Without these enduring fans attending games and purchasing team merchandise, the sports industry would flounder and perhaps not be able to survive, creating an even greater economic deficit which may not be offset by other industries. This paper will evaluate different factors which induce emotional responses in individuals that lead to lifelong fandom while accounting for varying levels of attachment one feels for a chosen team. This is done in order to present implications of the best practices to increase fan loyalty and incite future research throughout the professional sports industry.

Keywords

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

Disciplines

Civic and Community Engagement | Marketing | Sports Management | Sports Studies

Language

English


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