Title: Mobile communication and pro sports: motivation and fan loyalty

Authors: Seok Kang

Addresses: Department of Communication, University of Texas at San Antonio, 1 UTSA Circle, San Antonio, TX 78249-0643, USA

Abstract: The main focus of the current study is on professional (pro) sport fans' loyalty development through mobile phone use. The mobile phone offers a spatiotemporal interface where sport fans present individual and collective responses to teams and players. Guided by uses and gratifications theory, the study assumes that motive types of mobile phone use for pro sports to be potential predictors of attitudinal/behavioural loyalty and sport fandom. Mobile competence and size of strong-tie networks are also taken into account as interactive components in the examination. From a national panel survey of 405 respondents, the results found that mobile phone use was classified into either instrumental or ritualistic motives. The instrumental motives predicted behavioural loyalty and sport fandom. The ritualistic motives were associated with attitudinal loyalty. Mobile competence was interactive with the instrumental motives to predict behavioural loyalty and sport fandom. Instrumental mobile phone users in a large strong-tie network had high behavioural loyalty. Implications and suggestions are discussed.

Keywords: attitudinal fan loyalty; behavioural fan loyalty; mobile competence; mobile phone; mobile phone motives; spatiotemporal interface; sport fandom; strong-tie network; uses and gratifications; wireless communication.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMC.2017.086879

International Journal of Mobile Communications, 2017 Vol.15 No.6, pp.604 - 627

Received: 30 Oct 2015
Accepted: 28 Jul 2016

Published online: 02 Oct 2017 *

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