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Understanding demonstration effects among youth sport spectators: cognitive and affective explanations

Luke R. Potwarka (Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada)
Ryan Snelgrove (Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada)
Laura Wood (Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada)
Georgia Teare (School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada)
Daniel Wigfield (Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada)

Sport, Business and Management

ISSN: 2042-678X

Article publication date: 6 April 2020

Issue publication date: 16 April 2020

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to examine whether watching a live track cycling event could increase youths' intention to participate in the sport, and to identify cognitive and affective mechanisms associated with post-event intentions.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of youth spectators (n = 362) who experienced the 2016 Milton International Track Cycling Challenge completed pre- and post-event questionnaires to assess intention to participate and cognitive and affective components of their spectator experience.

Findings

Respondents' intentions to participate post-event were significantly higher than pre-event. Results also indicated that state inspiration mediated relationships between three cognitive dimensions of sport spectator experiences (i.e. fantasy, flow, evaluation) and intention to participate.

Practical implications

Sport managers should design youth day events to engage with youth prior to the event to increase their knowledge of the sport. This prior engagement may help youth to evaluate performances effectively. Moreover, event experience should be designed to incorporate vicarious and immersive experiences tailored to youth spectators.

Originality/value

The present study is one of the first to assess intentions to participate among youth spectators at multiple time points (i.e. before and after an event) and identifies specific mechanism within the spectator experience that may lead to a demonstration effect.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

Citation

Potwarka, L.R., Snelgrove, R., Wood, L., Teare, G. and Wigfield, D. (2020), "Understanding demonstration effects among youth sport spectators: cognitive and affective explanations", Sport, Business and Management, Vol. 10 No. 2, pp. 187-206. https://doi.org/10.1108/SBM-11-2019-0106

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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