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The Fan Attitude Network (FAN) Model: Exploring Attitude Formation and Change among Sport Consumers


  • Funk, Daniel C.
  • James, Jeffrey D.


Attitude-related research in the existing sport literature has focused on measurement of the affect component to examine existing attitudes towards sport teams. Recent studies question sole reliance upon affective reactions to assess sport consumers' attitudes towards sport teams. Current thinking conceptualises attitudes as possessing distinct structural properties such as importance, extremity, accessibility, certainty, and so on, whose combined presence is believed to be a better measure of attitude formation towards a focal object. This paper presents a conceptual model to advance our understanding of attitude formation relative to sport and athletic teams. The Fan Attitude Network (FAN) Model proposes a process through which the fulfilment of dispositional needs serves as a catalyst for the internalisation of a sport team. The internalisation process culminates in a sport identity that mediates the formation of the structural property importance, which in turn influences the formation of additional structural properties that subsequently impact attitude consequences such as fan loyalty. Based upon the proposed FAN Model, two directions for future research are offered for the systematic study of attitude formation among sport consumers.

Suggested Citation

  • Funk, Daniel C. & James, Jeffrey D., 2004. "The Fan Attitude Network (FAN) Model: Exploring Attitude Formation and Change among Sport Consumers," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 1-26, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:spomar:v:7:y:2004:i:1:p:1-26

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Funk, Daniel C. & James, Jeff, 2001. "The Psychological Continuum Model: A Conceptual Framework for Understanding an Individual's Psychological Connection to Sport," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 119-150, November.
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    8. Hill, Brad & Christine Green, B., 2000. "Repeat Attendance as a Function of Involvement, Loyalty, and the Sportscape Across Three Football Contexts," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 145-162, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lock, Daniel J. & Funk, Daniel C., 2016. "The Multiple In-group Identity Framework," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 85-96.
    2. repec:eee:spomar:v:20:y:2017:i:3:p:309-321 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Chen, Kuan-Ju & Phua, Joe, 2016. "Self-categorization process in sport: An examination of the “Linsanity” phenomenon in Taiwan," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 431-440.
    4. Walker, Matthew & Heere, Bob, 2011. "Consumer Attitudes toward Responsible Entities in Sport (CARES): Scale development and model testing," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 153-166, May.
    5. Dwyer, Brendan & Mudrick, Michael & Greenhalgh, Gregory P. & LeCrom, Carrie W. & Drayer, Joris, 2015. "The tie that blinds? Developing and validating a scale to measure emotional attachment to a sport team," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 570-582.
    6. Goldsmith, Andrew L. & Walker, Matthew, 2015. "The NASCAR experience: Examining the influence of fantasy sport participation on ‘non-fans’," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 231-243.
    7. Kunkel, Thilo & Doyle, Jason P. & Funk, Daniel C., 2014. "Exploring sport brand development strategies to strengthen consumer involvement with the product – The case of the Australian A-League," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 470-483.

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