Hutchinson, Susan R.
College of Natural and Health Sciences; Sport and Exercise Science and Sport Administration
University of Northern Colorado
Type of Resources
Place of Publication
University of Northern Colorado
The purpose of this study was to construct a model that segments fans of professional sport based on the type of social media platform they preferred to use as well as their social media usage motivations. In addition, the current study sought to investigate whether previously identified motives like escape and socialization, have transformed into more selfish motives such as narcissism. Convenience and snowball sampling techniques were used to collect data from fans of professional sport who specifically used social media to consume sport, resulting in a total sample size of 176. The online survey instrument was comprised of items from the previously validated Motivation Scale for Sport Online Consumption (MSSOC; Seo & Green, 2008) scale and the Narcissism Personality Inventory-16 (NPI-16; Ames, Rose, & Anderson, 2006) scale. In addition, several frequency, usage, and duration items, including how often respondents used Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, were generated to gauge how often respondents spent time on social media consuming sport. Composite scores were calculated for the MSSOC and NPI-16 responses. Hierarchical cluster analysis revealed three distinct social media preference groups labeled a) Facebook Devotees (n=51), b) Infrequent Users (n=71), and c) Social Media Aficionados (n=54). Facebook Devotees generally preferred to use Facebook more than any other social media platform, while the Social Media Aficionados had the highest mean usage rates for Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Descriptive discriminant analysis indicated that 67% of the differences among Facebook Devotees, Infrequent Users, and Social Media Aficionados can be attributed to social media preference. With regard to social media usage motivation, hierarchical cluster analysis identified two groups labeled a) Multifaceted Fans (n=72) and b) Casual Supporter (n=104). Multifaceted fans exhibited high levels of motivation for nearly all usage motivations, while Casual Supporters had high motivation mean scores for only two motivations, “passing the time,” and “information.” Descriptive discriminant analysis revealed that 61% of the differences between Multifaceted Fans and Casual Supporters was explained by social media usage motivation. Finally, a Pearson correlation analysis (two-tailed) revealed no statistically significant correlations between narcissism and social media usage motivation. Overall, the findings from this study provide sport organizations with valuable marketing and communication information. The fan segments uncovered in the results reveal that fans have different motivations for consuming sport via social media. Sport organizations can use this information to tailor their social media strategy to specific fan segments, increasing engagement, strengthening fans’ brand loyalty, and ultimately generating more revenue.
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