Assessing a University Community's Identification to Sport in a Changing Climate

Kimberly M. Judson
Paul Carpenter

This study examined a collegiate community¡¯s identification with the university¡¯s athletics program and evaluated fan consumer behavior indices and underlying motives for following the program. The study focused on the entire athletics program and surveyed a broad cross-section of the community within the context of initiatives from the newly elected President to raise the university¡¯s profile and the emergence of two teams as top 25 nationally. Participants included 258 individuals (120 females, 134 males, and 4 unspecified) and represented undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty/staff, and members of the local community. Multivariate analyses of variance revealed differences in identification, motives, and consumer behavior as a function of gender and university connection. A multiple regression analysis examined motives as predictors of fan identification with gender and personal connection entered first to control for these variables. A significant model was derived with fan identification significantly predicted by social, physical, drama, achievement, and knowledge motives.