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Sport team loyalty: integrating relationship marketing and a hierarchy of effects

Rodoula H. Tsiotsou (Department of Marketing & Operations Management, University of Macedonia, Edessa, Greece)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Article publication date: 9 September 2013

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Abstract

Purpose

Given its importance in the brand management of sport teams, the present research initiative primarily concerns the investigation of the formation process of sport team loyalty. By integrating a hierarchy of effects model into a relational perspective, the study aims to investigate the role of sport consumers' involvement, self-expression, trust and attachment with a sport team in building loyal relationships. A conceptual model is proposed and tested in the context of professional soccer teams.

Design/methodology/approach

The data of the study comes from 287 consumers of a South East European country. The fit of the model is tested using structural equation modeling and the statistical program LISREL.

Findings

The results confirm that: all the hypothesized constructs constitute either direct or indirect determinants of sport team loyalty; a hierarchy of effects approach, cognition-affect-conation, can explain how strong consumers-team relationships can be developed; and team attachment acts as a partial mediator in the relationship between the cognitive components of the model (team involvement, trust and self-expression) and team loyalty.

Practical implications

The findings provide several implications to marketing managers of sport teams in how to go about and develop loyal sport fans.

Originality/value

No previous investigation has integrated relationship marketing with a hierarchy of effects in order to explain loyalty to a sport team.

Keywords

Citation

H. Tsiotsou, R. (2013), "Sport team loyalty: integrating relationship marketing and a hierarchy of effects", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 27 No. 6, pp. 458-471. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSM-01-2012-0002

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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