About this Research Topic
For some decades now, sports organizations have applied traditional methods to the management and commercialization of sports products and services. However, these methods lack applicability, because the consumption of sport and sports brands does not only respond to cognitive or rational factors, but rather to another crucial factor: emotion. It is known that people are affected by environmental stimuli that cause emotional states and later lead to the behavioral responses of either avoiding or approaching the stimuli. This fact is especially relevant in sports consumption, where the environment is ready to experience and intensify the emotion. The emotion factor in sport can be expressed by both spectators and athletes, and may influence, for example:
- spectators of a sporting event to support their team
- fans of a sport team to consume team merchandise
- gym members to go to the fitness center daily
- runners to attend a marathon on the other side of the world
- eSport player to not separate himself from the computer
All these emotion expressions can explain different relationships and effects, such as commitment to a sporting activity, brand attachment, increase in spending on sports equipment as well as customer loyalty to sports centers.
The level of emotion experienced during sporting events often surpasses other types of consumption. This fact often prevents managers from taking decisions that could compromise long-standing traditions, cause fan dissatisfaction or reduce volunteer participation. Emotions and cognitive associations are inextricably connected with brands through experience and play a crucial role in influencing customer behavior. When consumers are faced with choices, they must retrieve not only the attribution memory of the brand but also the emotions associated with the brand.
In academic literature, there are discrepancies between the involvement of nature and the neural processes in the generation and representation of emotions. However, both point of views agrees on the importance of emotion in the decision-making process. Despite the importance, the little research found on this topic has been performed with methods that are based on linear relationships which represent a clear research bias. Therefore, there is a need for new techniques and research approaches, such as methods for analyzing nonlinear relationships and even qualitative ones, that can result in applicable action by sports organizations.
We wish to advance knowledge and recognition of sports management by calling for articles dedicated to the management, marketing or economics of emotion in sport. We aim to gather articles that will make a significant theoretical contribution, while at the same time transferring knowledge to the real management of sports organizations.
Keywords: emotion, sport, affective, emotion factor in sport, sports consumption
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