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Fantasy sport participation as a complement to traditional sport consumption


  • Karg, Adam J.
  • McDonald, Heath


Most sporting codes encourage participation in fantasy sport, even though few earn revenue directly from it. There is a lack of empirical evidence to determine whether this is good practice for although fantasy sport can increase consumer involvement and education, it may also compete with other forms of sport consumption for a consumer's limited resources. This paper begins to address the question of whether fantasy sport competes with, or complements other forms of sport consumption by comparing fantasy sport players with non-players. Three survey-based studies are used to identify the degree of fan participation in fantasy sport and measure the attitudes and behaviours of fantasy sport players compared to non-players. The findings indicate fantasy sport players are very different from non-players, more so than previous studies suggest. Fantasy sport players scored higher on all tested consumption measures relating to both attitudes (e.g., points of attachment, team identification, loyalty), and behaviour (e.g., game attendance, television viewing, secondary spend). These studies provide evidence that fantasy sport involvement complements traditional sport consumption amongst current fantasy sport players, both for general fans of the sport, as well as highly involved consumers. Whether fantasy sport participation is a consequence of, or antecedent to, heavy sport consumption cannot be determined from this data, but evidence and guidance for future research that examines causality is provided.

Suggested Citation

  • Karg, Adam J. & McDonald, Heath, 2011. "Fantasy sport participation as a complement to traditional sport consumption," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 327-346.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:spomar:v:14:y:2011:i:4:p:327-346
    DOI: 10.1016/j.smr.2010.11.004

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Todd Nesbit & Kerry King, 2010. "The Impact of Fantasy Sports on Television Viewership," Journal of Media Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(1), pages 24-41.
    2. Wladimir Andreff & Paul D. Staudohar, 2000. "The Evolving European Model of Professional Sports Finance," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 1(3), pages 257-276, August.
    3. Robinson, Matthew J. & Trail, Galen T. & Kwon, Hyungil, 2004. "Motives and Points of Attachment of Professional Golf Spectators," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 167-192, November.
    4. Drayer, Joris & Shapiro, Stephen L. & Dwyer, Brendan & Morse, Alan L. & White, Joel, 2010. "The effects of fantasy football participation on NFL consumption: A qualitative analysis," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 129-141, May.
    5. Todd Nesbit & Kerry King, 2010. "The Impact of Fantasy Football Participation on NFL Attendance," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 38(1), pages 95-108, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yuksel, Mujde & McDonald, Mark A. & Milne, George R. & Darmody, Aron, 2017. "The paradoxical relationship between fantasy football and NFL consumption: Conflict development and consumer coping mechanisms," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 198-210.


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