Thilo Kunkel, Ph.D.

The attractiveness of national and international football leagues–the perspective of fans of “underdogs” and “star clubs”

The attractiveness of national and international football leagues – the perspective of fans of “underdogs” and “star clubs” (Koenigstorfer, Groeppel-Klein, & Kunkel, 2010) European Sport Management Quarterly (ERA ranked: B)

The goal of this study is to determine what factors affect the attractiveness of both national football leagues and the Champions League from the perspective of fans, and how these factors are viewed by fans of clubs at the top and bottom of the league table.

This is of interest as there are differences between the financial resources available to the clubs and leagues. Based on the literature on sport consumer behaviour, we propose that four determinants are relevant to the league’s attractiveness: stadium atmosphere, international success of the clubs, uniqueness of dominating clubs and perceived competitive balance.

A total of 1,404 committed fans of 12 selected football teams from the UK Premier League and German Bundesliga participated in the study. The research model was tested using PLS.

The results show that the determinants significantly impact perceived attractiveness, and that even fans of financially privileged and successful clubs concede that perceived competitive balance is necessary for the attractiveness to be maintained.

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