Completed & Defended May 2017
Sports Media Involvement via Team Identity & Antecedent Motivations for the Prediction of Total Daily Sports Media Consumption
Daniel Herman Krier, PhD
Michigan State University
Information and Media PhD Program
The present study investigates whether increases in sports team identity and sports media involvement correlate with increased amounts of daily sports media consumption. In addition, antecedents to involvement are incorporated into the research model to determine which discrete motivations show significant relationships with changes in involvement and time spent consuming.
This project measured both team identity and sports media involvement on multidimensional levels to determine if influences by the constructs’ first-order facets would provide a richer source of explaining variance. These multidimensional predictor variables (six 3-item scales for team identity and three 3-items scales for sports media involvement) were tested in the model, as were similar unidimensional scales of team identity (4-items) and sports media involvement (5-items). It was discovered that the more parsimonious unidimensional scales explained more variance in the model predicting time spent consuming sports media, thus exposing the multidimensional scales as superfluous for a model such as the one tested here.
From the perspective of fandom and fan identification, this study examined the attitudes and behaviors of adults who regularly watch or follow sports media in order to determine the strongest drivers of time spent consuming. Forms of media consumption included watching or following sports on television, the radio and podcasts, social networks and the Internet, and newspapers and magazines. These separate types of consumption were summed to produce the outcome variable of total time spent consuming sports media per day.
The results of this project showed significant correlations between team identity, three antecedent motivations (vicarious achievement, escape from problems, and social media interaction), sports media involvement, and sports media consumption, while revealing partial and complete mediation. Additionally, gender differences regarding the motivational drivers of sports media involvement and time spent consuming were revealed by the predictive structural model. These findings illustrate the different ways in which male and female sports media consumers engage with sports media, thus providing a deeper understanding of what components drive sports consumption in conjunction with increased levels of sports team identity.
The present study employed partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) to test a path model consisting of a team identity instrument based on Social Identity Theory, antecedent motivations of involvement, sports media involvement, and finally, the effects of the preceding constructs on total time spent consuming sports media per day.
The findings of this study are potentially helpful from both a communication and sports management perspective, as this project reveals the psychological drivers of today’s multimedia sports fans. Beyond the practical implications, this project builds on existing literature by combining related theories in a model that displays significant correlations and explains a large amount of variance of sports media involvement. The new 5-item unidimensional scale of sports media involvement discovered by this project can provide a useful tool for future research. It was found to be statistically reliable while illustrating convergent and discriminant validity, and most importantly was shown to be a significant behavioral predictor of sports media consumption.
DANIEL HERMAN KRIER