Consumer Satisfaction and Identity Theory: A Model of Sport Spectator Conative Loyalty

Galen T. Trail
Dean F. Anderson
Janet S. Fink

Sport spectating is a popular activity in the United States but little is known about the theoretical nuances that determine loyalty behavior in sport. The focus of the study was to test three competing conative loyalty models based on identity theory and consumer satisfaction theory. These models included relationships among team identification, disconfirmation/confirmation of expectancies, mood, self-esteem responses, and conative loyalty. Data were collected from spectators at a large Midwestern university at two home men's (n=530) and two home women's (n=749) intercollegiate basketball games. Male respondents made up 52% of the total sample. Two models fit well and were statistically equivalent. Model A explained 41% of the variance in sport spectator conative loyalty; however, Model B explained 49% of the variance in conative loyalty and lent support to the two intertwining theories. From a marketing perspective, the results indicated that it is critical to facilitate self-esteem responses to engender conative loyalty and thus attendance at future games and purchasing of team merchandise.