Analysis Of The Factors Affecting Fan Loyalty Marketing Essay


Cricket is non a gentlemen ‘s game any longer. It has become a profession and therefore is about the bills it rakes in. Reason, it caters to people ; the fans. Be it the chest whipping sort, the ever praying 1s and even the curse class. Fans are now the terminal consumers and to do the athletics or a squad for that affair successful, the fans need to be catered to expeditiously.

A wide categorization of fans based on motivational and behavioural properties sets them into five categories-temporary, local, devoted, overzealous and dysfunctional ( Hunt, Bristol, Bashaw, 1999 ) . It is of import for athleticss squads to acknowledge that these categories exist, each of whom must be dealt with and marketed to individually.

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This thesis aims to cover with this issue in the context of the Indian Premier League ( IPL ) in stead of the fact that this twelvemonth the conference is traveling to be restructured with 2 more squads coming in and the first participant transportations taking topographic point. Therefore it becomes even more of import for the squads to cognize the facets that are traveling to impact their fan following.

The launch of the Indian Premier League ( IPL ) in 2008 led to commercialisation of cricket on a graduated table that had ne’er been witnessed before. Television rights were sold for near to a billion dollars and participants were traded in an auction that saw wages for an eight hebdomad period rise several times past one-year incomes. It created a athleticss belongings which was kindred to European and American athleticss conferences like the EPL and NBA severally.

As the IPL, like other top athleticss conferences, would let participant migration across nines, and consistent on-field success would be difficult to come by in a conference as competitory, squad proprietors would necessitate to concentrate on beef uping the trade name and edifice a loyal fan base as it would be the lone pivot around which concern value could be unlocked.

The biggest challenge for the squads would be to construct an ground forces of rock-ribbed fans from across geographic parts to maintain gate and selling grosss fluxing in as the Indian cricket enthusiast- non being used to the civilization of nines in sports- would take clip to warm up to the construct. More significantly India being a land of hero worship, be it athleticss or amusement, it would decidedly come in ready to hand cognizing whether the consumer is germinating with the coming of this Westernization. This paper seeks to turn to that issue particularly because the bing truenesss might travel for a flip once the conference is restructured.

Literature Review

The globalisation of athletics, marked with major development due to the outgrowth of new signifiers of media of all time so frequently over the past century has led to the flowering of a literature which is associated with athleticss direction, which allows for research workers to go to to them. One of the focal points for athleticss direction research, in the country of selling, is the acquisition and keeping of clients ( fans ) in the face of competition from other leisure options. The challenges faced will include retaining the nucleus entreaty of the athletics while turn toing the issues and lifetime value of fans.1

The effectivity of this designation procedure can be measured, in one manner, through the trade name associations that a squad has. Trade names must do a witting determination to see how fans of a peculiar squad identify with the squad and they can so bask the advantage of having the trustiness from them. The athleticss squad can besides come in into financially healthy associations with trade names based on the degree of designation that fans have with the squad. A survey has shown that higher degrees of designation with the squad relate to a higher inclination to buy the patron brand.2

We can loosely see hence, that most athleticss marketing traffics have some facet of relationship selling tied to them. It becomes of import that the athleticss squad gets its fans to follow with its individuality and internalise it through a committedness which is spread over a long continuance of clip as relationships based on association tend to be much more robust. The publicity of values of a squad which fans can place with is an of import measure in this procedure which can be preceded by the publicity of ware which could integrate a fan into designation. This strengthens internalisation and will ensue in long term benefits 3

Manchester United is an illustration of an organisation which has managed the relationship with its 50 million fans from around the Earth highly good by doing an attempt to understand them better and developing a relationship with them through a dedicated client relationship direction strategy which included the transition of its place web site into a fan-focused, synergistic online community.4

The Indian Premier League ( IPL ) is one of the first sporting conferences in India which is based on the professionally run franchise system popular in the United States. With the origin of the IPL go oning merely in 2008, there is a race to set up a loyal fan base by all the eight squads and set uping long term relationships would be one of the cardinal focal point countries for the nines, particularly with the IPL returning to India.

There has been ample sum of work done to place concepts that enable efficient measuring of attitudinal behavior of fans. Some theoretical accounts propose that understanding attitude formation and alteration should get down with analyzing the internalization of a athletics individuality. Sport individuality represents a determiner of attitude importance that is influenced by the interaction between dispositional demands and endearing characteristics. The procedure through which an person chooses to organize a psychological connexion with a athletics squad promotes looks of coveted traits, features and self-concept. Using athletics individuality to analyze attitude formation in squad athletics would farther our apprehension of how single motivations and experiences combine with societal norms and state of affairss to act upon self-definition and behavior ( e.g. , repeat purchase behavior, association football public violences, etc ) .5

Why this survey becomes all the more of import in these times is because of the fact IPL has been an absolute phenomenon in India. It even surprised all of us by hosting a successful season in South Africa. Today though every bit IPL stands without its erstwhile Commissioner Lalit Modi, there is a batch of bad blood in the cricket circles and resettlement and chopping and changing may impact the overall experience of the fan. Research shows that nostalgia represents a phenomenon that begins in childhood, adolescence or early maturity and lasts for a life-time. Like intense trade name trueness in another context, the bonding of objects to emotional memories endures and hence frequently carries considerable relevancy to consumer-goods sellers. Like nostalgia itself, athletics fandom represents a similar phenomenon. It is common for fans to go emotionally attached to a favorite athletics squad in childhood or adolescence and to go attached to certain objects associated with the squad ( squad logo, place locale, participants or managers ) as the bond with the squad grows into trueness. While most fans presume their favorite squads will be theirs for a life-time, the moving and renaming of a professional squad can go forth the fans still loyal to the organisation ‘s old embodiment without an obvious channel to go on showing their fond regard to their now-relocated former team.6

Traditionally research with athletics consumers has used Social Identity Theory to exemplify how athletic squads can supply persons with a sense of belonging that Fosters an in-group individuality. Previous work suggests that group rank is an of import constituent of an individualE?s self-concept. Other research workers have the surrogate position that attractive force to an athletic squad may stem from projecting one ‘s in-group position. The sensed psychological benefits derived by athletics partisans produce a psychological connexion with a specific squad and are thought to bring on positive tempers that in bend produce positive feelings, ideas and penchants. In contrast, some research workers have demonstrated that persons will avoid projecting an association with an unsuccessful squad when in-group position is perceived as holding negative effects ( e.g. , a menace to self-pride or oneE?s public image ) . Now the construct of an ‘unsuccessful squad ‘ itself is an interesting one e.g. Kolkata Knight Riders have been one of the most dissatisfactory squads every bit far as success in winning lucifers is concerned, nevertheless They were one of merely two squads who were in the viridity at the terminal of the first three seasons. Take together, this grounds suggests that acceptance and verification of an individuality may steer attitudinal formation and alteration towards an athletic squad.

If we merely talk about the Attitudinal attack to Fan Loyalty so there is some interesting work that has been done on it, here I would wish to showcase a theoretical account named The FAN Model or the Fan Attitude Network.

It says that fans have assorted Dispositional Needs that represent assorted single motivations that straight influence the acceptance of a peculiar Sport Identity. Dispositional needs represent societal psychological factors that account for motivations of athletics witnesss such as vicarious accomplishment, self-esteem, play, recreation, amusement, aesthetics, or sensation-seeking. Sport individuality refers to an person ‘s internalization of a peculiar group or subculture and/or traits ( e.g. , competitory, athletic, lazy ) into the ego construct. An person can develop a athletics individuality based on any of the followers, a psychological connexion with a peculiar athletics, athletics personality, or a merchandise used in a athletics. However, this internalization procedure is moderated by the interaction between dispositional demands and the presence of Endearing Features that represent assorted athletics features within a given state of affairs. Endearing characteristics refer to attractive features found in athletics scenes that highlight the significance and value of a athletics object for fulfilling dispositional demands. The characteristics include, but are non limited to, public presentation results, wholesome environment, geographic propinquity and experiential hazard. Attitude formation and alteration occurs when the psychological significance and value derived from a athletics individuality become salient to an person. In other words, the extent to which attitude formation and alteration takes topographic point depends upon the perceptual experience that the athletics individuality satisfies dispositional demands. If the individuality does carry through a specific demand, so the single topographic points importance on his/her ratings or responses relative to the athletics individuality since it has become an built-in portion of the ego construct. Hence, Attitude Importance reflects the grade and valency of formation every bit good as the structural features of that formation as they relate to subsequent attitude alteration or stableness. The structural features of attitude importance are thought to act upon four possible outcomes related to attitude strength denoted in the box Consequences. The more importance an single topographic points on his/her athletics individuality, the more likely subsequent ratings and responses elicited by the squad will prevail over clip, resist antagonistic information and penchant for alternate squads, bias the types of ideas generated about the squad, and be more consistent with past behavior and behavioral intent6.

Talk of old efforts right after IPL 1 a month-long online research survey was carried out by Dentsu India in March 2009 to happen out how fans decide on squad trueness. Dentsu India ‘s survey is a combination of informations collected through primary and secondary research. Primary information was collected through 2,099 respondents in over 30 metropoliss. The survey found a figure of grounds or factors that helped people make up one’s mind on squad trueness – viz. , Human Factor, which shows that fans get greatly affected by the participants in a squad and other famous persons that are attached to a squad. Perceived Energy, which means fans are influenced by advertisement or imperativeness coverage of the squad and its participants to make up one’s mind on squad trueness. Performance, that is, the show of success in the lucifers played ; and eventually, Engagement, which means a step of how involved the fan is with his squad. The survey besides found that the first two platforms – Human Factor and Perceived Energy – create short term following, while Performance and Engagement create long term following.9 Now this is interesting because both the investors every bit good as the squad patrons are the stakeholders of a squad. While the investor seekd net incomes and ROI in the long tally, the patrons want soft benefits like consciousness, callback, trade name association etc.

Besides the sort of patrons that the franchises have been able to lasso in may play a major portion in rocking fans towards their squads. The fan following that the trade name has, if it is a strong trade name like Nokia, might be able to lasso in fans towards its IPL franchise. Over the old ages the figure of patrons per squad has multiplied and this has increased jumble non merely on the participant New Jersey but besides in the consumers ‘ head. Therefore it remains to be seen whether patronizing trade names maintain a callback with the individuality they endorse or non.

Fan following has besides got to make a batch with the kind of off field enterprises that the squads are willing to take to open their weaponries up for the fan community. for illustration tied-up with Delhi Daredevils, and like most affiliations, it was based on common benefit to both sides, wherein got particular interviews and engagement from participants on web logs and confabs, besides sole squad pictures and interesting inside intelligence on behind the camera and off-field feats of the squad during the tourney. In return, Delhi Daredevils got the platform to prosecute with 1000000s of cricket lovers sing Last twelvemonth, the site received 46 million page positions during IPL entirely, of which 3.9 million were alone users. However acquiring hits on a web site is one thing and retaining the fans is another. It would be interesting to see hence the sum of clip, say hebdomadal, these fans spend on the squad ‘s web site or their Facebook pages.

However IPL is merely three old ages old and before IPL India had ne’er seen something even remotely tantamount to it. Abroad though fan following for nines, be it the English Premier League, The NBA or the Major League baseball is immense and in a really full-blown province. For this survey we need to look at concepts that apply to the fan following at that place and look into which of those is applicable in India. A peculiar survey demonstrates the important function that a nine ‘s trade name image ( i.e. , fans ‘ perceptual experiences of a nine ‘s properties and benefits ) dramas in furthering loyal fan behavior. Most of import, a nine ‘s trade name image consists of product- and non-product related trade name properties, every bit good as trade name benefits and trade name attitudes. The expressed categorization of points within these classs advances the modeling of trade name associations. Product-related trade name properties constitute the nucleus merchandise of a squad trade name and consist of the squad, caput manager, star participant, success, and squad drama. The non-product-related trade name properties are defined by club history and tradition, logo and nine colorss, fans, and bowl. The sensed benefits are multifaceted and include designation with the squad, peer-group credence, flight, socialising and company, emotions, nostalgia, and amusement.

Interestingly the consequence of the non-product-related properties on benefits is about ternary that of product-related benefits. This might come as a surprise because one could logically anticipate product-related properties ( e.g. , the squad, star participant, caput manager, drama, success ) to be of greater importance to fans. This consequence is consistent, nevertheless, with old research on trade name associations in squad athletics ( Bauer, Sauer, & A ; Schmitt, 2004 ) . Because most of the fans have a long fan history, they have all experienced ups and downs of their squad such as participant and manager alterations, for illustration. Possibly for that ground contextual factors ( i.e. , the bowl atmosphere, other fans, club history and tradition ) have greater relevancy to them. This consequence suggests neither competitory success nor the squad itself is a cardinal driver of fans ‘ public-service corporation perceptual experience. 7 Therefore it will be interesting to see whether these concepts hold true in the Indian context where the non-product benefits are non so evolved. Furthermore culturally besides we are more of a Hero worshipping state, therefore these concepts might non keep true in IPL ‘s instance.

Research Problem

Since the origin of the Indian Premier League in 2008, the biggest challenge for the eight city-based franchises has been to construct a loyal fan base from its catchment country and other geographic parts as the Indian cricket enthusiast- non being used to this club civilization of sports- is taking clip to warm up to the construct. This thesis seeks to turn to the issue by placing and so analysing the factors that lead to or impact the Fan Loyalty of IPL squads, be it behavioural or attitudinal.

Research design

Research aims

To understand the demands and outlooks of fans from IPL squads and frailty versa

To understand the degree of engagement that fans have with IPL squads

To understand the different sections of fans that exist based on lifestyle factors

To understand the factors that lead to fan trueness


This survey will follow Churchill 1979 methodology8. Initial interviews with the squad direction will supply informations on involvement degree with fans taking to fan trueness. This will besides research the direction ‘s definition of trueness. This will be followed by in depth interviews with difficult nucleus athleticss partisans which will foster the impression of Fan Loyalty in the specific context of The Fan. This will be followed by a study to formalize the involvement degree factors that cause fan trueness and to profile the fan sections based on lifestyle factors.

Datas Analysis

Duke of marlborough 1979 methodological analysis will be used to get at suited concepts or prosodies which depict fan trueness adequately.

Two Step constellating will be used to self bring forth the suited figure of bunchs that emerge from the research informations and profiling will be done based on the descriptive generated.

Definition of Concepts

Engagement means following the squad through: –

Watching the lucifer live in the bowl

Watching the lucifer on Television

Paying to watch the lucifer in a pub/bar/lounge

Interacting with the squad on societal media

Lifestyle inculcates of




Target Population

Qualitative: Depth Interview with the Fan Club Manager of an IPL Team.

Depth Interview with five Hard nucleus athleticss fans.

Quantitative: IPL fans aged 18-35 residing in one of eight IPL place metropoliss ; viz. Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur and Chandigarh.

Sampling Frame

College pupils and early working professionals shacking in these metropoliss who follow cricket and might be IPL fans.

Sampling Technique

Judgmental sampling

Sampling size


Execution of Sampling

The study questionnaire was administered online. Final figure of useable responses received: 146

Scope of Study

Restricted to the variables chosen to analyse the different behavioural traits of fans

IPL fans who are non from Home metropoliss will non be covered in the survey

IPL fans that do non fall in the 18-35 age brackets have non been covered in the survey.

Utility to the industry

This piece of work purposes at set uping concepts that has non been done before in the Indian featuring scene therefore the research holds huge value for the clean civilization of the state. Furthermore it will besides enable us to look at the macro environment and infer strategically about which concepts from the international industry are applicable to us as it is and which need a spot of puttering. From a micro degree it will present the IPL squads to distinguishable aspects of their terminal consumers and will give them some guidelines sing development of a loyal fan base. It will besides enable the sellers to look at their consumers as non lone clients but fans, and therefore assist them understand the difference between the two. The above aspect will besides be a part to the literature related to the subject. The factors that govern the fan following will profit the research fraternity for farther usage. Above all it will give the featuring fraternity of the state an chance to carry through the unmet demands of the people who worship the athletics and do cricket a faith in India.

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