Antecedents of attachment to a sports team and the Rugby World Cup 2015 : the case of the All Blacks.
Thesis DisciplineBusiness Administration
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Commerce
This thesis investigates the relationships between team identification, five discrete emotions (anger, sadness, love, happiness and pride), satisfaction, team attachment and event attachment in the context of the All Blacks and the Rugby World Cup. A conceptual model is developed to test these relationships where team identification, emotion and satisfaction are antecedent to concepts of team and event attachment. To empirically test the model, an online survey was created to sample the responses of All Blacks fans during the 2015 Rugby World Cup towards the constructs previously mentioned. A total of 343 responses were gathered after being recruited through social media and direct emailing methods. The hypotheses were then tested by using two step structural equation modelling to analyse the data. This analysis revealed that team identification was predictive of feelings of love, happiness and pride towards a team but showed no significant relationship to anger and sadness. The relationships between the discrete emotions and satisfaction were mixed, with love and pride showing no significant relationship, anger having a negative relationship and happiness having a positive relationship. Surprisingly, feelings of sadness towards the All Blacks also had a positive relationship with satisfaction. The satisfaction construct itself was not a significant predictor of team or event attachment. Team identification was found to have a strong direct link with team attachment, which was a predictor of event attachment. The implications of these findings and the limitations of the research are then discussed.