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Identifying and evaluating factors that influence South British Asian’s attitudinal loyalty towards professional football in Britain.

Lewis, Andrew (2015) Identifying and evaluating factors that influence South British Asian’s attitudinal loyalty towards professional football in Britain. Masters thesis (MSc), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

The purpose of this dissertation is to evaluate British South Asian consumer’s attitudinal loyalty to professional football in Britain. Few consumers with South British Asian heritage spectate at professional football matches in England. According to Bano (2013) less than 1% of fans of teams in the North West of England have South Asian heritage, despite making up 20% of the population. This dissertation aims to evaluate the factors that influence attitudinal loyalty, specifically those that raise awareness of the sport, attract British South Asian consumers to the terraces of professional football clubs and the barriers that deter South Asian consumers from attending professional football matches in Britain. This exploratory study evaluates academic sports literature to establish a comprehensive range of factors that influences sports consumers’ attitudinal loyalty towards professional sport. The dissertation considers these factors and the cultural values of British South Asian consumers, to identify what influences and deters their attitudinal loyalty towards professional football. The findings from the dissertation suggest that socialising factors of friends discussing the sport, social media communication and mainstream television play a significant role in raising the awareness of professional football. South Asian consumers are attracted to the game through star players, the beauty and skill attributed to the sport and the atmosphere at professional football games, which correlate with existing academic literature. However, the dissertation raises new themes pertinent to British South Asian consumers, suggesting that the most successful and prestigious football teams have a social value attributed to them, which influences South Asian’s attraction to the sport. The finding suggest that there are many barriers that deter South Asians from accessing the sport and attendance at football games, such as the price of tickets, the management of alcohol during games, perceived racism at football grounds and poor integration and inclusion of South Asians in mainstream football leagues. These barriers suggest that acculturation to professional football may occur if football clubs and governing bodies recognise and consider the cultural values of South Asian consumers. The findings are presented as theoretical and managerial contributions.

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