Motivational Profiles of Sport Fans of Different Sports




Wann, Daniel L.
Grieve, Frederick G.
Zapalac, Ryan
Pease, Dale G.

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Fitness Information Technology (Sport Marketing Quarterly)


The current investigation examined sport type differences in eight fan motives: escape, economic (i.e., gambling), eustress (i.e., positive arousal), self-esteem, group affiliation, entertainment, family, and aesthetics. Participants (final sample N = 886) completed a questionnaire packet assessing their level of fandom and motivation for consuming one of 13 target sports: professional baseball, college football, professional football, figure skating, gymnastics, professional hockey, boxing, auto racing, tennis, professional basketball, college basketball, professional wrestling, and golf. Sports were classified into three different dichotomies: individual (e.g., figure skating, golf) versus team (e.g., professional baseball, college basketball); aggressive (e.g., professional wrestling, professional football) versus nonaggressive (e.g., professional baseball, figure skating); and stylistic (e.g., figure skating, gymnastics) versus nonstylistic (e.g., professional hockey, tennis). In addition to differences in target sports (e.g., golf versus professional football), statistical analyses indicated a number of sport type differences. Aesthetic motivation was found to be particularly prominent in individual sports, while scores were greater for team sports in eustress, self-esteem, group affiliation, entertainment, and family. Aesthetic motivation scores were also high in nonaggressive sports, while economic, eustress, group affiliation, and entertainment were higher for team sports. Finally, aesthetic motivation was quite high for stylistic sports, while economic, eustress, self-esteem, group affiliation, entertainment, and family motivation scores were higher for nonstylistic sports. Only one motive, escape, was not found to differ in at least one sport type comparison. The discussion centers on potential explanations for the sport type differences as well as on marketing implications and suggestions for future research.



sports participation, sociology of sports, sports business, fans (persons), audiences, marketing, consumer attitudes, sports spectators, professional sports


Wann, D. L., Grieve, F. G., Zapalac, R. K., & Pease, D. G. (2008). Motivational Profiles of Sport Fans of Different Sports. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 17(1), 6–19.