|dc.description.abstract||Exploring and understanding the motives that drive consumers to attend sport events and to
follow sport teams is a critical challenge for sport organisations and underpins marketers’
attempts to attract new consumers as well as to retain existing ones. Prior research indicates
that sport consumer motives vary across contexts. Moreover, research on sport consumers
suggests that there is an opportunity to expand knowledge of sport consumer motives beyond
social-psychological conceptualisations (i.e., intrinsic needs and wants) through an
application of socio-cultural theorising (i.e., cultural meanings, values, beliefs, norms,
identities, social class, lifestyle, history, and politics).
Acknowledging this gap in existing scholarship, the current doctoral thesis aims to
explore the motives driving sport consumers in three distinct cities of Vietnam, and the
differences, based upon the social and cultural context of each city, that exist between these
The overarching theoretical framework underpinning the current research is consumer
culture theory (CCT) (Arnould, 2006; Arnould & Thompson, 2005, 2007, 2015). The current
research is also informed by theories of socio-psychological sport motivation (Branscombe &
Wann, 1991, 1994; Duncan, 1983; Gantz, 1981; Gantz & Wenner, 1995; Iso-Ahola &
Hatfield, 1986; Lever & Wheeler, 1984; McPherson, 1975; Murrell & Dietz, 1992; Sloan,
1989; Zhang, Pease, Hui, & Michaud, 1995; Zillmann, Bryant, & Sapolsky, 1989) and social
identity theory (SIT) (Tajfel, 1982; Tajfel & Turner, 1979). Through the lens of CCT, the
current thesis explores the motives that drive sport consumers to support their teams. A
socio-cultural perspective was employed to emphasise the influence of cultural values, group
identity, and socio-historic attributes on the consumption process.
A sequential mixed methods research design was applied to address the research
objectives. First, a quantitative questionnaire (Study 1) was administered among consumers of local teams’ matches in the three major cities of Vietnam located in three main regions
(Hanoi the capital in North, Da Nang centre of Central region, and Saigon the economic
centre of Vietnam) to examine the motives that facilitated sport consumer attendance across
the three cities. Second, a series of qualitative semi-structured interviews (Study 2) with
selected respondents who participated in Study 1 were conducted to explore the influence of
social and cultural factors on sport consumer motives across the three cities.
Study 1 measured and compared path relationships between 12 motives and team
identification across the three cities. The on-site questionnaires were implemented in three
cities: Hanoi n = 332; Da Nang n = 342; Saigon n = 371, N = 1,045). Findings from the
quantitative survey revealed that the motives of Community Pride, Escape, and Physical
Attraction displayed the strongest relationships with team identification in the three cities;
however, the effects of motives on team identification were found to vary across the three
Study 2 utilised semi-structured interviews (N = 41) in the three cities: Hanoi (N =
14), Da Nang (N = 12), and Saigon (N = 15). The interviews aimed to confirm and further
explore the findings of Study 1 by gathering narratives from selected respondents who had
participated in Study 1. The qualitative semi-structured interview data revealed three broad
themes in Vietnam: City Representation, Team Personnel, and Playing Style. Under each
broad theme, there were three distinctive motives, which reflected different contextual
motives specific to each of the sampled cities. Local Pride (Hanoi), Local Players (Da
Nang), and Team Success (Saigon) were three sub-themes found under City Representation.
Personal Ties (Hanoi), Head Coach (Da Nang), and Star Players (Saigon) provided more
specific explanations of the way in which Team Personnel acted as a consumer motive.
Meanwhile, Fair Play (Hanoi), Team Cohesion (Da Nang), and Attacking Play (Saigon) were the sub-themes underpinning Playing Style.
Overall, the current research extends the knowledge of sport consumer motives
beyond socio-psychological conceptualisations (i.e., intrinsic needs and wants) through an
application of socio-cultural theorising (i.e., socio-economic status, social hierarchical
structure, history, and cultural values). The findings of the current research suggest that even
in a single country, sport consumer motives for supporting a team can vary across cities.
These social and cultural attributes of the place where the team and consumers reside are
important components that influence which motives are salient drivers of match attendance
and team identification. Practically, the findings proposed that the marketing strategies of
sporting clubs should integrate the socio-historic and cultural attributes of the location where
the sport consumption takes place, along with salient motives, in order to maximise the
appeal for local consumers so they will engage with the clubs/teams.||