Addressing the lack of Baseball Consumption amongst African Americans
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The African American consumer represents a valuable market segment in the United States. This target market possesses both substantial purchasing power and future growth potential. Yet, baseball marketers have failed to secure the African American target market as a viable consumer base. As such, marketers should understand what factors encourage African Americans to consume sport, and what factors deter African Americans from consuming baseball. Thus, the purpose of my study was to advance the literature by investigating the factors influencing African American baseball consumption. African American participants were surveyed in order to ascertain the motivational aspects they perceived to be present (or absent) in both a favorite sport and baseball. Results suggest that African American participants believed baseball failed to contain the following motivational factors: skill, drama, aesthetic value, group entertainment, family value, escape, and cultural affiliation. Still, of the factors measured, results suggest that the factors, ‘skill’ and ‘drama’ were the two most influential factors motivating participants to consume sport. The current study utilized a set of focus group interviews to identify what factors, if any, deterred baseball consumption amongst African Americans. Results suggest two broad categories best represent the reasoning for a lack of baseball consumption: perception of baseball and socio-cultural dynamics. Within these two categories, six general dimensions were found that best characterized the reasons for not consuming baseball: A perceived lack of excitement in baseball, a perceived lack of skill in baseball, a distaste towards baseball’s structure, a lack of access for young African Americans, African American player representation, and African American players in pop-culture. The current study examined African American attitudes towards baseball consumption by investigating the role of perceived fit and its association with the theory of reasoned action. The study utilized an experimental design to investigate if racial identification and identifiable motivational factors would influence perceived fit. Results from the study indicate that advertisement setting (i.e., advertisements containing identifiable motivational factors) was not influential upon perceived fit; yet, endorser race did moderate the relationship between advertisement setting and perceived fit. Subsequently, perceived fit was found to be influential upon attitudes and subjective norms. Furthermore, these factors – attitudes and subjective norms – were significantly related to intentions to consume baseball.
Brown, Brandon Leigh (2013). Addressing the lack of Baseball Consumption amongst African Americans. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from