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dc.contributor.advisorWooliscroft, Ben
dc.contributor.advisorSam, Michael
dc.contributor.authorSumida, Ken
dc.identifier.citationSumida, K. (2015). Sports Fans’ Psychological Ownership in the Japanese Professional Football League (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractSport marketing studies are examined from two perspectives that fans are both customers of and members of teams. Both of these perspectives are based on the idea that fans belong to teams. This thesis challengers that idea and suggests that teams belong to fans, even though they do not own it in the legal sense. Understanding fans from this fresh perspective allows scholars to add value to the sport marketing discipline and marketers to make their marketing approach effective. The purpose of this study is to investigate sports fans’ psychological ownership of teams. This thesis uses a mixed methods research design. In this design, initially, fans’ psychological ownership was qualitatively explored. Then the findings were quantified by applying psychometric methods (quantitative generalization). Both types of data were collected from two teams in the Japanese professional football league (J-League). The analysis of both of the qualitative and quantitative data provided important results. Fans’ psychological ownership was shaped and nourished within and through the complexity of fan culture. Specifically, symbolical meanings and individual experiences relevant to spectator sports consumption were interpreted by individual fans. In order for the individual fans to connect these meanings, they undertook sets of particular consumption practices or rituals. This study highlights that the rituals fans repeatedly undertake played a crucial role in shaping and fostering fans’ psychological ownership of the focal team and their fan-identity. The quantitative analysis showed that fans’ psychological ownership was psychometrically quantifiable and had positive relationships with fans’ involvement in value co-creation behaviours. Psychological ownership was shown as being a different psychological concept to team identification and organizational commitment. It can be expected that psychological ownership may be able to narrow gaps in the existing literature which the application of the concepts of team identification and organizational commitment has been unable to achieve. The contribution of this thesis was to show qualitative and quantitative evidence of the existence of psychological ownership in fans’ minds. The existence of psychological ownership is important for scholars or marketers in defining who sports fans are. There is a spectrum polarizing lowly-identified fans and highly-identified fans. In this spectrum, those who are in the middle of the spectrum are seen as ordinary fans. The study undertaken in this thesis showed that there are fans who hold a high degree of psychological ownership, but who place less emphasis on team identification.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectsports fan
dc.subjectpsychological ownership
dc.subjectJapanese professional football league
dc.subjectmixed methods research
dc.titleSports Fans' Psychological Ownership in the Japanese Professional Football League
dc.language.rfc3066en of Philosophy of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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