Relationships as Strategic Assets: Sport Fan Equity
Kim, Young Do (author)
Kim, Yukyoum (professor directing dissertation)
Kim, Daekwan (university representative)
James, Jeffrey D. (Jeffrey Dalton) (committee member)
Paek, Insu (committee member)
Florida State University (degree granting institution)
College of Education (degree granting college)
Department of Sport Management (degree granting department)
Given the impressive growth and soaring popularity of watching live sporting events, sport organizations continue to search for ways to maintain or even improve this trend. Indeed, one significant and increasingly advocated approach--that of ensuring that sport organizations remain competitive and can sufficiently meet the demands of the sport marketplace--is a consumer-oriented paradigm. In the growing shift toward such a consumer-oriented paradigm, consumers are viewed as the most valuable assets for an organization. However, in the valuation of sport franchises, very little research has focused on or evaluated the asset value of sport consumers. Therefore, through this dissertation I conceptualize and endeavor to measure sport fan equity (SFE) in order to provide a better understanding of the evaluation of sport consumers. A three-fold study was undertaken to validate the measurement of SFE, generate the overall SFE index, and examine the hypothesized relationships between key marketing drivers and SFE. In the first study, a first-order confirmatory factor analysis was employed to assess the overall factor structure and validity of the SFE model. Based on the results of the study, which was based on a sample of FSU Seminoles Baseball fans (119 = pilot test; 314 = main study), a seven-factor model consisting of (1) Customer Lifetime Value, (2) Positive Word of Mouth, (3) Learning, (4) Display of Team Affiliation, (5) Trust, (6) Commitment, and (7) Self-Connection was developed by the author. These seven factors were represented by financial, behavioral, and relationship-based components of SFE. In the second study, a Simple Additive Weighting (SAW) method was implemented to obtain a comprehensive index to evaluate the asset value of a sport consumer. Prior to the use of the SAW method, a Customer Lifetime Valuation (CLV) estimation method was employed to calculate the projected financial contribution of individual sport consumers. The average SFE of the FSU Seminole Baseball fans was estimated as 43.2 out of 100. The average SFE is the sum of the average scores of individual SFE components: financial value (8.5 out of 55.25), behavioral value (15.3 out of 22.37), and relationship value (19.4 out of 22.37). In the third study, a structural regression model, a two-step approach, was employed to examine the hypothesized relationships between key marketing drivers and SFE. The results from an empirical examination of the hypothesized model confirmed a positive and significant relationship between Value Equity and SFE, as well as between Relationship Equity and SFE, as reported in previous studies. However, Brand Equity was found to have a non-significant impact on SFE. The asset value of sport consumers surveyed as part of this dissertation provided essential criteria for estimating overall sport franchise value from the consumer's perspective. In particular, the study provides a comprehensive/simultaneous measurement of customer profitability, behavioral contributions, and psychological commitment, all of which are vital to sport practitioners' more complete and applied understanding of how to better estimate the true value of sport consumers. The results of this dissertation further advance our knowledge of the overall mechanism of SFE and also provide more research opportunities to extend the SFE literature, thereby undergirding the knowledge of SFE in the field of sport management.
Fan Equity, Relationships, Sport Fan
July 30, 2014.
A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Sport Management in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Yukyoum Kim, Professor Directing Dissertation; Jeffrey D. James, Committee Member; Insu Paek, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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