First Advisor

Gray, Dianna P.

Document Type


Date Created



Sport is a unique product within the domain of entertainment and leisure services. Although the sport industry continues to grow, sport spectatorship has changed dramatically, with fans consuming sport through a variety of media outlets such as television and the Internet. Sport consumers can now watch live, delayed, or recorded sporting events when and where they choose, therefore sport organizations must focus their attention on sustainability through the creation of a competitive advantage in the staging of live sporting events. The National Basketball Association product is consumed in an increasingly stimulating consumptive landscape and therefore was the focus of the present study. The purpose of the present study was to examine the extent to which professional basketball involvement influences attitudes toward the home team. This study also investigated the relationship between NBA involvement and team loyalty on emotional responses the servicescape and interpretation of atmospheric music. Data collection for this study took place during the 2010-2011 NBA season. Utilizing a cluster sampling procedure, 800 surveys were distributed during two separate games. A total of 425 participants completed the 42-item instrument, resulting in a 53% response rate. To analyze the relationship between NBA involvement and loyalty to the home team an independent samples t test was utilized. The results revealed a positive relationship. One-way MANOVA analyses revealed significant main effects for both involvement and loyalty on the servicescape variables (arousal and pleasure) grouped together. Further, significant main effects were revealed for involvement and loyalty on the linear composite of music interpretation scores (liking, congruency, and distraction). Lastly, a cluster analysis was performed using Ward's (1963) method of hierarchical agglomeration to better understand which explanatory variables cluster participants into discernible and meaningful groups. Results revealed four meaningful clusters of participants. The present study revealed a positive relationship between NBA involvement and team loyalty. Further, heightened emotional responses and increasingly positive perceptions of atmospheric music were experienced by highly involved and loyal participants. Results support the significant impact the servicescape has on the live sport-consumption experience. Since the goal of sport marketers is to attract and retain highly involved and loyal fans, sport marketers should work to control the service environment in order to increase sport-consumers' levels of pleasure and arousal, thereby increasing the frequency of purchase and repurchase intentions.

Abstract Format



Sports management; atmospheric music; consumer behavior; emotional responses; involvement; loyalty; servicescape


161 pages

Local Identifiers


Rights Statement

Copyright is held by author.