Title: Professional basketball fans in China: a comparison of National Basketball Association and Chinese Basketball Association team identification

Authors: W. Chadwick Menefee, Jonathan M. Casper

Addresses: North Carolina State University, Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, P.O. Box 8004, 3035 Biltmore Hall, Raleigh, NC 27695-8004, USA. ' North Carolina State University, Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, P.O. Box 8004, 3035 Biltmore Hall, Raleigh, NC 27695-8004, USA

Abstract: Professional basketball has developed into a major spectator sport in China during the past 20 years. Chinese basketball fans can now choose between watching the Chinese Basketball Association and the National Basketball Association. This study compared fans| team identification of teams within the two competing professional basketball leagues in China. The sample included spectators at four different CBA games (N = 549). Respondents completed measures of team identification (Wann and Branscombe, 1993) with their favourite NBA and CBA teams and behavioural involvement based on television and merchandise consumption for both leagues. Chinese fans| overall team identification and behavioural involvement were found to be significantly higher for favourite NBA teams. Team identification was also compared for segments grouped by age, gender, ticket type, and income. The study has implications for leagues, teams, sponsors, and other sport organisations interested in attempting to attract fans in China.

Keywords: China; team identification; sport marketing; basketball fans; professional basketball; Chinese Basketball Association; National Basketball Association; NBA; CBA; fan identification; television; merchandise consumption; behavioural involvement.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2011.041571

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2011 Vol.9 No.3/4, pp.185 - 200

Available online: 26 Jul 2011

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