Title: Sport fans' responses to the end of the season

Authors: Frederick G. Grieve, Daniel L. Wann, Ryan K. Zapalac

Addresses: Department of Psychology, Western Kentucky University, 1906 College Heights Boulevard, #21030, Bowling Green, KY 4201-1030, USA. ' Department of Psychology, Murray State University, 201 Wells Hall, Murray, KY 42071-3318, USA. ' Department of Kinesiology, Sam Houston State University, Box 2176, Huntsville, TX 77341, USA

Abstract: While the benefits of identification with a sport team have been described (Wann, 2006a), the conditions under which fans will change or switch identification have not been investigated. The present study was designed to address this gap. Participants (154 college students) indicated how likely they were to engage in various acts following a basketball loss in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championship tournament by the University of Kentucky (UK) men|s basketball team. Half of the vignettes described a loss early in the tournament, while half of the vignettes described a loss in the Final Four. Results indicated that the timing of the loss, level of team identification, level of basketball fandom and level of maladaptive fan beliefs all influenced the likelihood that participants partook in certain activities. The results are discussed in terms of the influences that affect such decisions.

Keywords: team identification; basketball; sport fandom; BIRGing; CORFing; NCAA; National Collegiate Athletic Association; tournament; March Madness; end of season; sports season; switch of allegiance; sports fans; supporter allegiance; self-identity; self-esteem; defeats; losses.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2008.022377

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2008 Vol.4 No.4, pp.375 - 389

Published online: 02 Jan 2009 *

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