Thilo Kunkel, Ph.D.

Sports spectator segmentation: Examining the differing psychological connections amongst spectators of leagues and teams

Sports spectator segmentation: Examining the differing psychological connections amongst spectators of leagues and teams (Doyle, J. P., Kunkel, T., & Funk, D. C., 2013). International Journal of Sport Marketing and Sponsorship. (ERA ranked: B) The results from this study extend previous research by empirically testing the involvement based Psychological Continuum Model (PCM) segmentation procedure on sports spectators. To date, the procedure has only been verified using sports participants, although the PCM was developed with a broader range of sports consumers in mind. The validity of the procedure is confirmed using two online surveys, which gather data from spectators at both the league (n=761) and team (n=623) level. A three-step segmentation procedure then places respondents into the PCM stages – awareness, attraction, attachment and allegiance. ANOVA tests indicate that the four groups significantly differ from one another on attitudinal and behavioural measures for both league and team spectators. Findings suggest that the PCM is an appropriate framework to investigate fan development at both league and team levels. Thus sports marketers are provided with a research segmentation tool capable of helping them to better understand their heterogeneous consumer bases and thus guide marketing decisions.

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