Dr.Sc.Psych., Professor E.A. Petrova1
PhD, Associate Professor M.A. Kovaleva1
PhD, Associate Professor D.V. Semenov1
PhD, Associate Professor V.A. Morozov1
1Russian State Social University, Moscow
The study was designed to analyse the fans’/ would-be fans’ attitudes to the ice hockey team of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (IHT MIA) to obtain basic data for a comprehensive team image building project. Subject to the study were 102 people including 60 fans and 42 would-be fans of 17 to 36 years of age. The study was based on expert ratings and focus group discussions supported by formal questionnaire surveys to identify the key factors of influence on the would-be fans’ attitudes to the team; verbalize and rate the associations dominating in the subject groups in their perceptions of the team from outside and in direct contacts with the team members. The study found that it is the team success rate, game techniques and the service quality in the matches that may be considered the key contributors to the team image building process. Analysis of associations under the study showed the subject team being mostly associated in the supporters’ minds with the images of moose and bear expressing the feelings of power, speed and confidence on the positive side and, alternatively, cold and boredom on the negative side of the associations. It was still found that the emotional attitudes of the subjects to the team are generally dominated by positive rather than negative emotions when attending matches of the IHT MIA.
Keywords: sport team image, would-be fans luring, sport promotion, analysis of associations.
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