Identifying the critical factors in sport consumption decision making process for the millennial sport fans
Yim, Hyong Il
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The Millennial generation, also referred to as Generation Y, is receiving more attention from marketers due to their population size, consumption power, and their ability to influence the decision making of other consumers (Fromm & Garton, 2013). Although the demand for sport practitioners and the organizations to get to know the Millennials is high (Rovell, 2014), this generational cohort has not received much focus from the sport marketing academic field. Understanding the needs and desires of Millennials is critical for the future success of sport organizations. In addition there is no widely agreed generational categorization standard that sport marketing researchers can commonly use. Due to the lack of sport marketing research investigating Millennials and their sport consumption behavior, this important sport consumer remains unknown. To fill the gaps, the current problem, the need for the study, and the significance of the study was discussed in Chapter 1. Next, a literature review about the Millennials was conducted in Chapter 2. Finally, three studies (one study for each chapter) were conducted to explore Millennial sport fans in this dissertation. The purposes of Chapter 3 were: 1) to find the proper categorization standard to define sport generations and 2) to identify Millennial sport fans’ unique consumption traits that may influence their consumption behaviors. To accomplish the purposes, the triangulation mixed method of focus group interviews (N = 18) and survey study (N = 300) were used. As such, a total of five unique traits of Millennial consumption (i.e., community-driven, emotional, peer pressure-influenced, fan engagement, and technology-driven) were identified. The purpose of Chapter 4 was to test the Millennials’ unique traits in a sport marketing context. Data were collected via Amazon Mechanical Turk (N = 603; (n = 222 for Millennials, n = 139 for Baby Boomers, and n = 242 for Generation X). Using a modified Model of Goal-directed Behavior (MGB; Perugini & Bagozzi, 2001), Millennials’ four sport consumption behaviors (i.e., game attendance, TV watching, online, and social media consumption) were examined and compared to those of Baby Boomers and Generation X fans’ behaviors using Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) and Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). Results supported the modified MGB’s usefulness when predicting Millennial sport fan behaviors except for social media consumption. Generational differences were found, and this result may indicate unique sport consumption behaviors indeed exist for Millennials compared to those of the other generations. MGB is an extended model of the theory of reasoned action (TRA; Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975) and the theory of planned behavior (TPB; Ajzen, 1991), but it has never been tested in the sport context. In addition, a modified MGB that was proposed in this dissertation is a more complex model than the original MGB, TRA, and TPB. Therefore, in Chapter 5, its efficiency was tested by examining model comparisons (vs. TRA, PTB, and MGB) using AIC and R-squared values examination.
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