Equating Attitudes to Allegiance: The Usefulness of Selected Attitudinal Information in Segmenting Loyalty to Professional Sports Teams

Daniel C. Funk and Donna L. Pastore

Despite the growing body of literature on consumer loyalty, little attention has been given to identifying attitudinal variables useful in predicting allegiance to athletic teams. The changing nature of sport marketing has made it imperative to develop new segmentation variables to augment behavioral information on consumers. The present study examined the predictive validity of eight attitude properties in explaining allegiance to a professional sports team. A composite loyalty measure (commitment and behavior) was utilized to segment the sample (N=379) into high-, moderate-, and low-loyalty groups. Multiple discriminant analysis was next employed to assess the relative influence of attitudinal information in explaining group differences. Results indicated that two attitude properties could be used to segment consumer loyalty with 80% accuracy without prior knowledge of allegiance. These results provide sport researchers with the ability to diagnose and differentiate among a team’s consumer base to understand past, present, and future behavior.