Title: How people raised and living in Ontario became fans of non-local National Hockey League teams

Authors: Craig G. Hyatt, Andre M. Andrijiw

Addresses: Department of Sport Management, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 3A1, Canada. ' Department of Sport Management, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario L2S 3A1, Canada

Abstract: Much of the research on how people come to support their favourite sport teams focuses on fans who attend games in person, thereby creating a local bias. Little is known about the process of how people raised in the vicinity of a team reject the local option in favour of supporting a distant team. In order to learn about this phenomenon, 20 Canadian ice hockey fans of non-local National Hockey League (NHL) teams raised and living in Ontario were interviewed. Six reasons for supporting their specific distant team were given by at least a quarter of the fans: an attraction to a specific player, the team|s colours/uniform, the team|s logo, meeting the team|s players in person, seeing the team play in person and the team|s status as an underdog. The findings provide further insight into why fans support the teams they do.

Keywords: professional sport; sport fans; sport teams; ice hockey; sport consumer behaviour; sport fan loyalty; NHL; National Hockey League; Ontario; Canada; non-local teams; non-local support; support rationale; team supporters.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2008.022375

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2008 Vol.4 No.4, pp.338 - 355

Published online: 02 Jan 2009 *

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