Title: Motives of United States and Japanese professional baseball consumers and level of team identification

Authors: Jeffrey D. James, Junya Fujimoto, Stephen D. Ross, Hirotaka Matsuoka

Addresses: Department of Sport Management, Recreation Management and Physical Education, Florida State University, 110 Tully Tallahassee, FL 32306-4280, USA. ' Department of Health and Sport Management, Osaka University of Health and Sport Sciences, 1558-1 Osaka, Japan. ' School of Kinesiology, University of Minnesota, 218 Cooke Hall, 1900 University Avenue SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA. ' Biwako Seikei Sport College, 1204 Odokoro, Shiga, 520-0503, Japan

Abstract: Consumer motives and level of identification with professional baseball teams in the United States and Japan were measured and compared. Significant differences were found on nine of the ten motives measured. Entertainment and motives associated with the core product (game aesthetics, players| skills, and the drama of games) were rated the highest by consumers in the United States. Entertainment and the opportunity to enjoy games with family and friends were rated highest by Japanese consumers. A significant difference was found relative to team identification; the highest percentage of Japanese baseball consumers had low team identification, while the largest percentage of United States baseball consumers reported high levels of team identification. Sport organisations seeking to reach a global audience are advised to better understand the motives influencing consumption of a sport product across cultures, and the degree to which a consumer may identify with a particular product.

Keywords: consumer motives; professional baseball; team identification; Japan; United States; USA; baseball fans; sport marketing; sports consumption.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2009.029299

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2009 Vol.6 No.4, pp.351 - 366

Published online: 18 Nov 2009 *

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