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Title: Perceived fan associations with MLB teams: bask inspite of reflected failure versus cut off reflected success

Authors: DongHun Lee; Michael Cottingham; Shannon Powers; Leeseob Maeng

Addresses: Sport and Fitness Administration, Department of Health and Human Performance, University of Houston, USA ' Sport and Fitness Administration, Department of Health and Human Performance, University of Houston, USA ' School of Kinesiology, Ball State University, USA ' Sport and Fitness Administration, Department of Health and Human Performance, University of Houston, USA

Abstract: While Campbell et al.'s (2004) quadruple grid of team identification has received substantial attention in sport literature (Jensen et al., 2016), only a few empirical-based studies looked at deviant fan tendencies, such as basking in spite of reflected failure (BIRF) and cutting off reflected success (CORS). This study fills the gap by empirically examining two components of team identification perceived by 1,419 MLB fans. Visual maps exhibited a broad pendulum of how fans associate themselves and their orderly relationships compared to BIRFers and CORSers empirical samples. The 16 fan association types can be interpreted as a behavioural gauge sports fans regularly use in their consumption of Major League Baseball (MLB). Regression results suggest marketing insights for MLB operators who target BIRFers or CORSers: focus on non-performance interests of fans including starter players, levels of competition, on-field management and decision-making, concessions, and retelling team history as an antecedent to fan's psychological connection with teams.

Keywords: basking in spite of reflected failure; BIRF; cutting off reflected success; CORS; team associations.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2020.109767

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2020 Vol.20 No.1/2, pp.9 - 28

Received: 01 Aug 2017
Accepted: 04 Sep 2018

Published online: 14 Sep 2020 *

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