Making Sense of Stimuli-Local Image Fit in the Sport Venue: Mediating Effects of Sense of Home and Touristic Experience on Local and Visiting Spectators

Yongjin Hwang
Khalid Ballouli
Matthew J. Bernthal
and Wanyong Choi

Prior scholars provide empirical evidence of how sensory experiences can positively influence spectators’ satisfaction, and the effectiveness of utilizing sense-centric experiences is enhanced when marketers integrate unique characteristics of the local culture into sensory experiences in the venue. The recently developed stimuli-local image fit (SIF) scale measures the effectiveness of this process; however, the SIF scale needs further investigation based on differences between local and visiting spectators. The purpose of this study was to examine the potential mediating effects of sense of home and touristic experience in relation to perceptions of SIF for these two groups. Study participants (N = 402) were recruited by means of an online survey and included 204 local and 198 visiting spectators of home and away events, respectively. The results from structural equation modeling (SEM) revealed significant mediation effects of sense of home and touristic experience on prior established relationships between SIF and different outcomes.