Examining the relationship between sport spectator motivation, involvement, and loyalty: a structural model in the context of Australian Rules football

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Sport in Society, 2021, 24, (6), pp. 1006-1032
Issue Date:
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© 2020, © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This study examines the relationships between sport spectator motivation, involvement, and loyalty. It sought to validate a comprehensive motivation scale and test the interrelationships among these three concepts using a partial least squares structural equation model (PLS-SEM) analysis. Data were analysed from 585 surveys collected from match day attendees of Australian Rules football in South Australia. The findings suggest that a strong positive relationship was found between sport spectators’ motivation and both socio-psychological involvement and behavioural involvement. Spectators’ motivation displays a mediating (indirect) effect on their loyalty through both involvement constructs. However, non-significant relationships between motivation and loyalty were found. One of the strongest motivations we found for attending a football game was vicarious achievement, whereas behavioural involvement has the strongest effect on spectators’ loyalty. This paper advances sport spectatorship scholarship and provides broader practical implications for practitioners, assisting in developing club’s long-term community engagement and growth plans.
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