Extreme Sports Motivational Factors
December 4, 2011
In the 1970s, extreme sports had been growing rapidly since its introduction. However, there has been little research done on extreme sport participants. In specific, the reason why consumers participate in extreme sports has not yet been investigated, although the number of participants and spectators of extreme sports is rapidly growing. Since motivation is a significant factor of sport participation behavior, it is essential for the sport marketer to understand psychological needs and motivations of extreme sport participants. The purpose of this study is to analyze motivational factors of people who become involved in extreme sports. The researchers modified and applied the scale of sports participant motivation. The original scale includes forty one items which represent many motivational factors like achievement, competition, social facilitation, skill mastery, physical fitness, risk-taking, affiliation, aesthetics, aggression, value development, self-esteem, self-actualization, and stress release. A total of several samples will be included in the current study. The researcher collected the cases at the X Game Sports and Freestyle Motocross World Championships held in the United States. A chain of ANOVA and MANOVA tests will contain the data analyses. The hypothesis will suggest that extreme sport participants have a high level of motivation in fun and imitation, which are two more structures added to the original scales. The analysis of the data may also reveal that motivation of extreme sport participants vary across gender and past experience. This study will advance the knowledge base of consumer motivation research in the field of sport marketing and provides leaders in the extreme sport industry with meaningful implications. At the end of the day, the result of present studies will support the extreme sports industry in predicting the trend of action sports consumer behavior.
Extreme sports are “activities that either ideologically or practically provide alternatives to mainstream sports and mainstream sport values” (Rinehart, 2000, p 506). The increased number of events and participants in extreme sports support the trend of growth in extreme sports (Liberman, 2004; Ostrowski, 2002). In the 2002 statistics, about eighty-six million people were participating in extreme sports (Ostrowski, 2002). According to American Sports Data, within the U. S. sport industry, extreme sport generated one-third of sporting goods sales, which totaled to more than $14 billion (Liberman, 2004). Although the overall number of sport participants in the U. S. has increased about ten percent over the last decade, the number of participants and spectators in dominant sports such as basketball and volleyball has decreased (Stotlar, 2002). This trend in the sport industry further supports that emerging sport activities such as extreme sports gain their popularity by becoming mainstream sports (Kress, 2003; Ostrowski, 2002). While the increased interest in motivational factors draws scholars to conduct research to investigate psychological principles of dominant sport participants, research on sport consumers in extreme sports has not been a main focus of investigation within academic area of sport management and marketing. Hereafter, there is very little information in the literature regarding the characteristics of extreme sports and its consumer’s behavior. Considering the current trend and the future prospect of extreme sports, scientific and systematic analysis of sport consumers in the extreme sport industry needs to be conducted. In particular, in order to continue and improve the profitability and productivity of the extreme sport market, sport marketers should have better understanding of the fundamental needs and wants of extreme sports participants.
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