African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences

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Consumption motives, sport identification and buying behaviours of South African premier league football fans

Frederick W. Stander, Leon T. de Beer, Annatjie S. Stander


Despite the resurgent growth of professional football and its significant contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the tourism and leisure sector in South Africa, little research has been undertaken to explore the principle motives for sport consumption amongst the country’s football fans. This research applied the motivation for sport consumption theory to evaluate the directand indirect relationship between the fundamental psychological motives for sport consumption and buying behaviours of football fans. Subsequently, the direct- and indirect effects of sport fan identity with team to this relationship were also appraised. A sample of 2518 (95.3% African, 80.3% male) fans of one of the country’s most prodigious Premier Soccer League (PSL) teams participated in the study. Structural equation modelling methods were applied to scrutinise postulated paths between the latent variables. Results suggested that several of the sport consumption motives influence the purchasing decision of South African football fans. Further, identification with a team revealed as a mediator between a number of the sport consumption motives and buying behaviour. Findings are discussed and recommendations made. The research was approached from the paradigms of customer engagement (CE) and the broaden-and-build theories.

Keywords: Motivation for sport consumption, fan identification, purchasing decisions, football, fans, South Africa, premier league, customer engagement theory, broaden-and-build theory

AJOL African Journals Online