Title: Sport fandom as an occupation: understanding the sport consumer through the lens of occupational science

Authors: Clare E. Humphries, Aaron C.T. Smith

Addresses: The Victoria Clinic, Psychiatric Hospital, Melbourne, Australia. ' La Trobe University, School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management, Faculty of Law and Management, Melbourne, Australia

Abstract: Recently, criticisms have been levelled at the status of research into sport fan and sport consumer behaviour. It has been suggested that research must move beyond the description of sport fan motivations and segmentation typologies, and instead examine deeper aspects of behaviour culminating in the evaluation of alternative conceptual frameworks (Funk et al., 2003). This paper introduces an interdisciplinary approach to understanding sport consumer behaviour through the application of the Model of Human Occupation, a stalwart theory of occupational science. From this perspective the term occupation is not used as a proxy for vocation or work, but describes the groups of activities and tasks (such as work, leisure or daily living tasks) that are given order, value and meaning by individuals and culture. This viewpoint might aid in highlighting aspects of sport fandom that remain poorly understood, and is suggestive of new approaches to researching sport consumer behaviour, understanding fans and harnessing their loyalty.

Keywords: sport fans; sport consumer; fan behaviour; occupation; model of human occupation; occupational science; fandom; consumer behaviour; loyalty; sport management; sport marketing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2006.010565

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2006 Vol.1 No.4, pp.331 - 348

Available online: 01 Aug 2006 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article