Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.

Department (Legacy)

Department of Leadership, Foundations, and Human Resource Education

Degree Program

Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, PhD

Committee Chair

Greenwell, T. Christopher

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Hambrick, Marion

Committee Member

Choi, Namok

Committee Member

Freberg, Karen


Sports spectators; Smartphones


Today’s technology trend in the United States is influenced by the growing population of 182.6 million smartphone users (Statista Inc., 2015). The technology trend has also affected the sport consumption behaviors in terms of how they obtain information, share similar interests, and purchase goods in support of their fandom. The range of efforts varies depending on sport consumers’ level of fandom and their technological comfort level towards using a smartphone. Thus, understanding the relationship between sport and technology provides benefits for sport managers to discover innovative ways to further engage current fans and attract new consumers using smartphones. Considering the benefits associated with smartphone technology, the primary purpose of this study was to examine motivations, constraints, and technological perceptions toward smartphones as it relates to sport consumers’ fan identification. Specifically, the study examined (a) primary communication channels (b) factors that influence users (c) factors that prevent users from consuming sport (d) smartphonespecific technological perceptions, and (d) the differences in sport consumers’ motivations, constraints, and technological perceptions to follow sport based on sex, age, and fan identification, and (e) factors that predict actual usage, all based on sport consumers’ smartphone usage. Using a cross-sectional survey design, data were collected from the tech-savvy Amazon MTurk users (N = 372) living in the United States. The results of this study revealed three unique factors of motivations (i.e. intrinsic, social, diversion), three factors of constraints (i.e. personal, security, technology), and two factors of technological perceptions (i.e. hedonic, utilitarian) for smartphone usage in sport context. Among these factors, intrinsic motivations, personal constraints, hedonic perceptions and utilitarian perceptions were found to significantly predict actual usage. Further analysis also revealed that sport consumers’ behaviors significantly differed based on the level of fan identification (i.e. high or low). The sport consumers also identified that they connected to the official sites the most followed by sport-related apps, and social media sites. In sports they followed, NFL was ranked the highest, followed by MLB, and NCAA Football, and within these sports, they followed their favorite team the most, leagues the second, and players the third. The result of current study provided a holistic view towards understanding sport consumption behaviors by considering motivations, constraints, and technological perceptions associated with smartphone usage. The information captured in this study is particularly useful when designing a mobile marketing campaign to better engage current fans and attract new fans. In addition, sport managers will be able to further encourage sport consumers’ motivating factors, while reducing the constraining factors by considering technological perceptions of the smartphones. Furthermore, the current study’s proposed scale could be used to assess motivations, constraints, and technological perceptions associated with actual usage to reflect upon specific characteristics of the fan identification.