The Influence of Non-Transactional Fan Engagement on Merchandise Consumption

Marcel Huettermann and Thilo Kunkel

The purpose of this research is to examine the impact of fan engagement on merchandise purchase intentions. We draw on existing fan engagement literature and focus on non-transactional fan engagement and its effects on merchandise purchasing as a single transactional fan engagement dimension. Data were collected from 206 season ticket holders (Study 1) and 520 fans of professional sports teams (Study 2) and analyzed using structural equation modeling. Findings show non-transactional fan engagement dimensions explain 51% (Study 1) and 60% (Study 2) of merchandise purchase intentions and consumption is driven by fan engagement dimensions related to the individual fan, rather than those dimensions that are influenced by others. This article contributes to the sports marketing literature by providing specific insights on the relationship between non-transactional fan engagement dimensions and merchandise consumption intentions. Thus, the findings have important implications for sport marketers as merchandise represents a crucial revenue stream of sport organizations.