Title: Beyond touchdowns, homeruns, and three-pointers: an examination of fantasy sport participation motivation

Authors: Brody J. Ruihley; Robin L. Hardin

Addresses: School of Human Services, University of Cincinnati, P.O. Box 210068, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0068, USA. ' Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies, University of Tennessee, 1914 Andy Holt Ave., Room 335, Knoxville, TN, 37996, USA

Abstract: This research examined the motivation aspects of a large and growing phenomenon that is fantasy sport. Through the lens of the uses and gratifications approach and using mixed methods research, motivations of the fantasy sport user were analysed. Qualitative online focus groups and a quantitative survey were administered to develop, validate, and explore fantasy sport motivations. The results revealed the top three motivating factors as fanship, competition, and social sport and the bottom three as fan expression, ownership, and escape. The factors of competition, achievement, and surveillance had significant positive correlations with overall satisfaction while the factors of competition and camaraderie had significant positive correlations with future intentions. This research provides more information and insight into the burgeoning field of fantasy sport. The results of this study provide practitioners a more comprehensive view into the attitudes, feelings, and motives of the fantasy sport user. Both academic and practical implications are highlighted.

Keywords: fantasy sport; uses; gratifications; mixed methods research; online focus groups; motivation; virtual focus groups; web based focus groups; internet; world wide web; sport participation; motivating factors; fanship; competition; social sport; fan expression; ownership; escape; achievement; surveillance; positive correlations; overall satisfaction; camaraderie; future intentions; United States; USA; Florida; Indiana; Kentucky; Maryland; Ohio; Tennessee; sport management; sport marketing; emerging technologies.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2011.044792

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2011 Vol.10 No.3/4, pp.232 - 256

Received: 22 Feb 2011
Accepted: 04 Aug 2011

Published online: 09 Jan 2012 *

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