The path to game-day attendance runs through sports fan rituals

Syed Muhammad Fazal-E-Hasan, Larry Neale, Harjit Sekhon, Gary Mortimer, Ian Brittain, Jaswinder Sekhon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Sports, as a service sector, generates billions of dollars not solely through attendance but through the sale of merchandise, which forms part of a sports fan's rituals. This study uses a sample of 651 attendees at an Australian Football League game to explore ritual behavior, define the game-day rituals observed, and design a scale to measure sports fan rituals in order to investigate a series of positive relationships, including commitment and personal and social rituals, and social rituals and behavioral loyalty (game-day attendance). The findings support previous research that has found a significant and positive relationship between vicarious achievement, fan association, and commitment, and extends previous research by finding a significant and positive relationship between personal and social rituals and behavioral loyalty. For academic researchers, the findings are important to establish the role of personal and social rituals in consumption and behavioral loyalty while opening future research opportunities in other product categories. For sports marketers, the results indicate the importance of developing and facilitating consumption rituals tied to game-day attendance, with a view to generating uncommon loyalty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-318
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Business Research
Early online date29 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Sports fans
  • Loyalty
  • Personal rituals
  • Social rituals
  • Attendance
  • Vicarious achievement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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