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Leveraging fan's global football allegiances to build domestic league support

McDonald, Heath, Karg, Adam and Lock, Daniel 2010, Leveraging fan's global football allegiances to build domestic league support, Asia Pacific journal of marketing and logistics, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 67-89.

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Title Leveraging fan's global football allegiances to build domestic league support
Author(s) McDonald, Heath
Karg, Adam
Lock, Daniel
Journal name Asia Pacific journal of marketing and logistics
Volume number 22
Issue number 1
Start page 67
End page 89
Total pages 22
Publisher Emerald
Place of publication Bingley, England
Publication date 2010
ISSN 1355-5855
1758-4248
Summary Purpose – It is not uncommon for sports fans to follow multiple sports teams across different sports and even several teams across different leagues of the same sport. Whereas this might be considered a competitive situation, the purpose of this paper is to examine how interest in overseas football (soccer) leagues played a symbiotic role in the successful development of an Australian national soccer league.

Design/methodology/approach –
Results of survey data are presented from two clubs in Australia’s newly formed A-League. Three surveys were conducted over a two year period with over 3,700 season ticket holders. Specific attention is paid to fans’ previous interest and exposure to football, which is then related to attitudes and behaviour associated with the new clubs.

Findings – Interest in overseas clubs and leagues is found to be a major antecedent of interest in the Australian league. Those who follow teams in overseas leagues are more likely to be heavy consumers of the new local league than those who follow local leagues or had no prior experience. They also exhibit stronger attitudinal and behavioural loyalty, such as higher attendance and renewal rates of season tickets.

Practical implications –
Recognising fan interest in multiple teams/leagues as positive involves a shift in management thinking away from a competitive to a collaborative stance. In this case, rapid adoption of new teams is encouraged by capitalising on strong interest in overseas leagues. This requires careful structuring and branding of the competition that mimicks familiar foreign leagues, while minimising unfavourable comparisons in areas like quality of play.

Originality/value –
This study capitalises on the rare opportunity to examine foundation teams in a new national league. The findings highlight the importance and value of taking a ‘‘global’’ perspective to the marketing of sports, and of carefully leveraging the interest in other elite competitions to build interest in new leagues.
Language eng
Field of Research 150599 Marketing not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30020144

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.