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Within the field of sport marketing, scholarship to date has predominantly focused on the drivers of fan loyalty and allegiance, and the motivational aspects of fan behavior, at the expense of understanding the deterioration of the relationship between the sport consumer and sport team. Previous customer-brand relationship literature was integrated to propose and test a model of sport fan detachment. A qualitative study of lapsed season ticket holders was conducted to gain a deep understanding of the fan’s individual lived experience. The findings contribute a four-part sequential process of a breakdown trigger, iterative decline, disengagement incident, and exit phase, to explain how a sport fan detaches from their chosen team. This process has significant managerial implications for team administrators since an understanding of each phase of the process provides opportunities to intervene, including tailored team communication and ticket packages.


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