An Analysis of Spectator Motives in an Individual Combat Sport: A Study of Mixed Martial Arts Fans, pp. 109-119

Seungmo Kim
T. Christopher Greenwell
Damon P. S. Andrewa
Janghyuk Leeb
Daniel F. Mahony

The purpose of this study was to examine customers of an emerging spectator sport, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Whereas conventional sport spectator motivation research has typically examined motivations of spectators attending established team sports, this study is distinctive in that it applies motivation research to an individual sport rather than a team sport and to an emerging sport rather than a more established sport. The following ten motives were identified based on a review of the current literature: drama/eustress, escape, aesthetics, vicarious achievement, socializing, sport interest, national pride, economic factor, adoration, and violence. Participants attended a local amateur event, held in June 2006, in a mid-sized Midwestern city. Overall, sport interest and drama were the highest rated motives. There were gender differences in motives, with males indicating that sport interest, economic, and violence were significantly stronger motives. Two backward deletion linear regression analyses indicated that sport interest, vicarious achievement, and national pride were significant predictors of media consumption for males, while sport interest and drama were significant predictors of media consumption for females.