Since sport has developed as a highly competitive global business, understanding sport fans is a key for any organization in the sport industry. The outcomes of prior sport fan motivation studies have provided sport marketers with valuable information about consumer behavior in various sport settings. However, knowledge about fans in different parts of the world is still limited. In fact, few scholars have examined the sport consumers' motivational differences across cultural groups.
The primary purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between sport fan motivations and cultural value orientations (i.e., individualism and collectivism). In order to accomplish this purpose, this study first examined whether motivation differences exist across individualist and collectivist sport consumers regardless of gender and nationality (i.e., the United States and South Korea). The study then assessed whether there are differences in the cultural value orientations of sport fans in two different cultural contexts. The current study also examined whether cultural value orientations of fans in these two cultures are related to their sport fan motivations.
341 American and 310 Korean college students completed the individualism-collectivism scale, called INDCOL (Triandis, 1995) and a sport spectator motivation scale that uses factors from three other sport spectator motivation scales: the Sport Fan Motivation Scale (Wann, 1995), the J. League spectator motivation scale (Mahony, Nakazawa, Funk, James, & Gladden, 2002), and the Sport Interest Inventory (Funk, Mahony & Ridinger (2002).
The outcomes of this study show that collectivists tended to emphasize collectivistic motivations including community pride, family bonding, and group affiliation when compared to their individualist counterparts. However, individualists and collectivists did not respond differently to their perceptions of individualistic motivations. In regards to cultural value orientation by nationality, American sport fans were more individualistic than Korean sport fans. However, Koreans were not more collectivistic than Americans.
The present results also indicate American sport fans preferred all proposed individualistic motivations (aesthetics, entertainment, escape, self-esteem, and eustress), as well as most proposed collectivistic motivations (community pride, family bonding, team attachment, and group affiliation). Consequently, the current study provided empirical support for the assumptions that individualism-collectivism influences sport fan motivations and geographically different sport consumers. Also, the outcomes are consistent with the previous literature which found sport fan motivations differ across nationality (the United States and South Korea). In combination with prior research, these differences require sport marketers to develop differentiated marketing strategies based on cross-cultural market segmentation. In addition, the results imply that sport marketers should consider both individualistic and collectivistic motives for American college students, while satisfying the need of Korean college students concerning social interaction opportunities. Results of this study may contribute to the diversification of marketing strategies in global sport settings and expand the knowledge base for culturally varied sport consumers. This study could also assist American sport marketers to understand how to effectively approach American and Asian sport fans despite their cultural differences.