Title: Examining emergent niche sports' YouTube exposure through the lens of the psychological continuum model

Authors: Tara Q. Mahoney; Marion E. Hambrick; Per G. Svensson; Matthew H. Zimmerman

Addresses: Department of Sport Management, State University of New York at Cortland, Professional Studies Building, Room 1111, P.O. Box 2000, Cortland, NY 13045-0900, USA ' University of Louisville, 104 Studio Arts/HPES, Louisville, KY 40292, USA ' University of Louisville, 104 Studio Arts/HPES, Louisville, KY 40292, USA ' School of Physical Education, Sport, and Exercise Science, Ball State University, Health and Physical Activity Building (HP), Room 360, Muncie, IN 47306, USA

Abstract: The Funk and James (2001, 2006) psychological continuum model (PCM) suggests that sport consumers move from awareness and attraction to attachment and allegiance, and that most sport consumers first learn about sports via reference groups and the media. However, niche sports typically receive less media coverage than mainstream sports (Greenhalgh et al., 2011; Puchan, 2004). These sports must thus seek other avenues of promotion, including the internet and social media, to attract and retain consumers. This study explored the promotional use of online video aggregation site YouTube among five emergent niche sports - slacklining, adventure racing, longboarding, cyclocross and parkour - using the PCM as the theoretical framework. The majority of videos were categorised as awareness and attraction. The findings of this study showed the importance of online videos among niche sport organisations as a tool for providing information about their sports while building and cultivating relationships with consumers.

Keywords: niche sports; social media; YouTube; psychological continuum model; PCM; social media exposure; internet; online videos; slacklining; adventure racing; longboarding; cyclocross; parkour; sport consumers; consumer awareness; consumer attraction; consumer relationships.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2013.059717

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2013 Vol.13 No.3/4, pp.218 - 238

Available online: 07 Mar 2014 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article