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Sport content and virtual reality technology acceptance

Reinhard E. Kunz (Department of Media and Technology Management, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany)
James P. Santomier (Department of Marketing and Sport Management, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA)

Sport, Business and Management

ISSN: 2042-678X

Article publication date: 4 October 2019

Issue publication date: 6 April 2020




Notwithstanding the dynamics of digital transformation and its relevance for revenue generation in the entertainment industry, empirical research that focused on consumer behavior at the intersection of sport content and media technology acceptance is limited. Virtual reality (VR) is a re-emerging and nowadays commercially available technology that impacts sport consumed through media. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the consumer acceptance of VR technology and highlight the effects of content quality and flow experience as influencing factors of behavioral intention.


Based on a literature review, the authors constructed and empirically tested a model that extends the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT2) by considering additional antecedent factors. Participants (N=570) in the empirical study viewed sport content via VR technology (Sport VR) and completed a survey before and after viewing. The authors conducted factor analysis and structural equation modeling.


Three UTAUT2 influencing factors, i.e., performance expectancy, social influence and hedonic motivation, showed significant effects. Furthermore, flow and content quality had positive indirect effects. Thus, the quality of sport content and the state of flow that users experience when immersed in a VR environment are relevant factors that determine the performance expectations of consumers and their Sport VR usage intention.


This empirical study contributes to knowledge on consumer acceptance of a hedonic technology in a sport media context. Moreover, two factors extended the established UTAUT2 model.



The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers from the 2018 EURAM Conference and Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal. Their constructive suggestions contributed significantly to improving the quality of this paper. Also, the authors would like to thank Guest Editors Anna Gerke and Mathieu Winand for their valuable comments and support during the review process. Further, the authors would like to acknowledge the contributions of Martin Bauhofer, Sebastian Kreuels and Joschka Mütterlein during the early stages of this project as well as students in the Seminar on Marketing Management in Sport Media for their assistance with data collection.


Kunz, R.E. and Santomier, J.P. (2020), "Sport content and virtual reality technology acceptance", Sport, Business and Management, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 83-103.



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Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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