Attracting Spectators to Youth Sport Events: The Case of the International Children’s Games
The purpose of this study was to determine whether perceptions of value of a youth sport event were predicted by a spectator’s sport identity, their connection to an athlete, and how their assessment of the event’s uniqueness affects these relationships. Data were collected from spectators (N=714) at the 2013 International Children’s Games using a questionnaire. Data were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Results provided support for an indirect only mediated model, such that spectators who highly identified with being a sports fan perceived the event as being valuable when they also viewed the event as unique. Having a personal connection to an athlete did not predict perceptions of uniqueness or value. Thus, purposefully selecting and designing unique events and promoting the unique attributes of the event could increase an event’s appeal to spectators who highly identify with the sport.
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