Who Is Your True G.O.A.T? Analyzing the Cause-Effect Relations of Sport Rivalry on the Emotional Appeal Toward a Sport Athlete: An Abstract
Madrigal and Dalakas (2008) reviewed that the nature of fan behavior ranges from socially acceptable reactions to negative inappropriate reactions. However, there is only little research explaining how affective dispositions of fans such as love and hate toward an athlete or team can determine sport rivalry. Specifically, previous research mostly focused on media-related outcomes such as suspense, but not on essential athlete- or team-related feelings such as admiration or contempt. In consumer research, the concept of love and hate is often investigated with regard to brands. In view of the fact that sport athletes and sport teams can be described and managed as brands, the concept of brand love and brand hate is also applicable in sport marketing. Additionally, rivalry itself might not only affect unethical behavior such as violence; it is often the consequence of deliberative and automatic processes. In social and behavioral sciences, the most-used method to capture explicit evaluations is self-reports. However, it takes implicit measures such as response time measures to assess automatically activated processes. Against that backdrop, the research question guiding the present study is: What is the impact of implicit and explicit love as well as hate toward an athlete in a rivalry competition? The current study extends the compact and robust sport rivalry model as proposed by Dalakas and Melancon (2012). With that said, the purpose of the present study is to integrate and examine fans’ affective dispositions in terms of athlete love and athlete hate as potential key drivers and emotional appeal as further key outcome within a sport rivalry context. For that reason, an integrative measurement approach based on implicit and explicit measures of love and hate was developed and empirically tested in a sophisticated structural equation modeling.