All Rivals Are Not Equal: Clarifying Misrepresentations and Discerning Three Core Properties of Rivalry

Journal of Sport Management, 31(1), 1-14, 2017.

21 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2018

See all articles by B. David Tyler

B. David Tyler

Western Carolina University

Joe Cobbs

Northern Kentucky University - College of Business

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

Rivalry is ubiquitous across sports, yet the representation and specification of rivalry varies widely. Such discrepancy poses problems when distinguishing between multiple outgroups and when employing rivalry to explain related questions such as demand for sport consumption. In this paper, we critically examine the many differing conceptions of rivalry and to discern properties of rivalry across different sports. We survey college football fans (N = 5,304) to empirically test the exclusivity, scale, and symmetry of rivalry; then, we replicate the study twice in the context of professional sports (1,649 NFL fans; 1,435 NHL fans). Results consistently indicate that fans perceive multiple rivals (non-exclusive), rivalry intensity varies among rivals (continuous in scale), and opposing fans rarely share equivalent perceptions of the rivalry (bidirectional). Accordingly, we develop and test a parsimonious 100-point rivalry allocation measure that specifies these three properties of rivalry.

Keywords: rivalry, demand, attendance, sport marketing, social identity, team identification

Suggested Citation

Tyler, B. David and Cobbs, Joe, All Rivals Are Not Equal: Clarifying Misrepresentations and Discerning Three Core Properties of Rivalry (2017). Journal of Sport Management, 31(1), 1-14, 2017.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3158549

B. David Tyler

Western Carolina University ( email )

Cullowhee, NC 28723
United States

Joe Cobbs (Contact Author)

Northern Kentucky University - College of Business ( email )

Highland Heights, KY 41099
United States

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