Psychological Connection to a New Sport Team: Building or Maintaining the Consumer Base?

Jeffrey D. James
Richard H. Kolbe
Galen T. Trail

A mail survey was conducted with season ticket holders (N=507) of a new Major League Baseball franchise to ascertain whether consumers felt a psychological connection with the team prior to any direct experience with the team. Three items scale were used to ascertain respondents?level of psychological connection to the team (a=.74). Reasons for purchasing season tickets were compared among the groupings. Significant differences were found among the groups of respondents relative to the number and strength of the factors influencing the purchase of season tickets. No significant differences were found among the groups relative to demographic characteristics. Results showed that significant numbers of sport consumers can hold strong connections to a sport team without experiencing it personally. The results suggest a need to broaden current paradigms regarding the development and maintenance of loyal sport consumers. Implications and directions for future research are offered.