Team Identification and Perceptions of College Athletes
Faculty Motivation to Attend Intercollegiate Athletic Events
Keywords:college sport, faculty, relationship marketing, sport marketing, intergroup contact theory
College campuses are unique spaces, with college towns having their own distinctive culture. However, attendance at intercollegiate athletic events has declined in recent years. Long-term strategies for building faculty fanbases are uncommon, yet, faculty maintain high organizational identification, positively impacting brand loyalty and purchase intentions. As such, university faculty may be an ideal target market for athletic departments through relationship marketing. Utilizing Allport’s (1954) Intergroup Contact Theory, this study examined faculty motivation to attend university athletic events regarding their university identification, perception of college athletes, and motivation for sport consumption. Two hundred and thirty-eight faculty members at Power Five institutions completed the Motivation Scale for Sport Consumption, the Points of Attachment Index, and the Perceptions of Athletic Departments Questionnaire. Descriptive statistics suggested that faculty are motivated differently than other fans, as the physical skills of athletes served as the strongest motivator for faculty. The multiple regression analysis provided evidence to conclude higher levels of both faculty university athletic team identification and their perceptions of student-athletes contributed to increased athletic event motivation scores. Based on the results, in order to increase faculty motivation to attend athletic events, marketers should consider designing innovative marketing efforts specifically for faculty members and utilizing marketing techniques to increase faculty’s perceptions of college athletes.
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