An Examination of Crisis Response in Professional Athlete Scandals: A Sport Fan’s Perspective - (Pages 64-71)
Abstract: The purpose of the study was to examine the influence of athlete celebrity scandal on a sport fan’s attitude and behavioral intention, and a sport fan’s reaction to athlete celebrity’s media response after the scandal. 308 samples were collected from professional sports spectators in the United States and data was analyzed through Pearson correlation analysis and regression analysis. Results of the study showed 1) responding to the athlete scandal via press conference was more reliable and effective response strategy than responding to the athlete scandal via social media, 2) the influence of the athlete celebrity scandal on a sport fan’s attitude toward the athlete affected a sport fan’s negative behavioral intention regardless of types of scandal, off-field scandal or on-field scandal, and 3) athlete celebrity’s high performance and effect of apology via press conference were significant factors that affected the influence of scandal on fan loyalty. This study provides practical information regarding how marketers and public relations managers in sport organizations should cope with athlete celebrity scandals to maintain positive relationship with their fans.
Keywords: Athlete scandal, press conference, social media, fan attitude, behavioral intention.