The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of superstars (and other factors) on football fans’ attraction to competition (i.e. disloyal behavior).
A proprietary data set including archival data on professional German football players and clubs as well as survey data of more than 900 football fans is used. The hypotheses are tested with two-sample mean-comparison t-tests and multivariate probit models.
This study provides evidence that superstars both attract new fans and contribute to the retention of existing fans. While the presence of superstars, team loyalty and team identification prevent football fans from being attracted to competition, the team's recent performance seems to have no effect. Fans who select their favorite player from a competing team rather choose superstars, young players, players who are known for exemplary behavior and defenders.
This paper contributes to existing research by expanding the list of antecedents of disloyalty and by being the first to employ independent, quantitative data for the assessment of superstar characteristics in the context of team loyalty.
Hoegele, D., L. Schmidt, S. and Torgler, B. (2014), "Superstars and disloyal football fans: factors influencing attraction to competition", Sport, Business and Management, Vol. 4 No. 4, pp. 298-316. https://doi.org/10.1108/SBM-12-2013-0047
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