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Abstract Details

Abstract Title

Understanding Motivations Associated with Spectator Attendance of Professional Sports: Implications for the CTTSL

Abstract Theme

Sport sociology

Type Presentation


Abstract Authors

Presenter Mandy Yi Zhang - Shanghai University (College of Physical Education) - CN
Kevin K. Byon - Indiana University (School of Public Health) - US
James J. Zhang - University of Georgia (International Sport Management Research Center) - US

Presentation Details

Poster Exhibition Site (Local): Green - 18        Date: 1 September        Time: 8am to 7pm        Presenter: Yi Zhang

Abstract Resume

Background: To a great extent, advancement of professional sports helps promote Olympic sports, particularly in the areas of elevating high-level sport performance and improving
spectator interests. The Chinese Table Tennis Super League (CTTSL) was formed in 1999. Despite being the top level table tennis competition in China, even in the world, its management and marketing
are lagged behind. A majority of CTTSL teams are facing challenges in attracting consumers, finding sponsorships, obtaining broadcasting rights, and earning a profit. By conducting a comprehensive
review of literature as the focal research protocol, the purpose of this study was to illustrate the importance and relevance of studying fan loyalty and motivations (i.e., push and pull factors)
associated with consuming professional sports, and extrapolating implications for enhancing the management and marketing of CTTSL. Because there is a general lack of studies into the table tennis
marketplace in China, in particular the CTTSL setting, it appears necessary to review related theories and research findings generated in Western countries. Learning from the empirical evidence
derived in Western settings is of a strong intention to shed light on improving CTTSL operations.

Method: Following the procedures suggested by Thomas, Nelson, and Silverman (2014), a comprehensive review of literature was conducted in this study. Through utilizing various electronic search
engines such as the Sport Discus and Google Scholar, a total of 168 research journal articles or scholarly books on the theories and research findings of fan loyalty and motivations associated with
consumption of professional sports were identified, categorized, synthesized, and interpreted.

Results: Fan loyalty encompasses both attitudinal loyalty and behavioral loyalty. Attitudinal loyalty as an emotional attachment toward a sport event could lead to increased
behavioral loyalty or its consumption. A loyal fan exhibits strong psychological attachment to his/her identified team, along with behavioral supports. Social motivations are push factors that work as
internal motives for spectators to attend sport events. There are five categories of push factors affecting sport game attendance, including salubrious effect, stress and stimulation, catharsis and
aggression, entertainment, and achievement seeking. On the other hand, pull variables, such as game attractiveness and event operations, are functional product features offered by sport organizations
to attract consumers to the game events, which are comparatively more tangible, more directly associated with the core product operations, and more interpretable for management implications.

Conclusion: The synthesized information derived in the current study can be very useful for CTTSL; nevertheless, future studies are needed to specifically address issues in CTTSL and
accordingly develop effective management and marketing strategies.

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