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Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2178; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072178

Article
Sport Spectator Consumption and Sustainable Management of Sport Event Tourism; Fan Motivation in High Performance Sport and Non-Elite Sport. A Case Study of Horseback Riding and Running: A Comparative Analysis
1
Department of Cultural Foundations of Tourism, University School of Physical Education, 61-871 Poznań, Poland
2
Department of Sports Psychology, University School of Physical Education, 61-871 Poznań, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 March 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019

Abstract

:
Understanding the sociodemographic characteristics and motivations of participants in contemporary sports events is important for event organizers, host cities and tourist destinations who seek to acquire rights to organise sports events of various types. It is also important to know what functions sporting events have for fans—their needs, thanks to passive sports consumption, are now being met. This research was conducted to broaden knowledge about fan motivation of participation in individual high-performance and non-elite sport and to analyse the differences between them. The case study was a running event of mass character (the 6th edition of half-marathon held in Poznań, Poland) and a horseback riding elite event (“Cavaliada”, held in Poznań, Poland). The empirical research among fans of these disciplines conducted during popular running and horseback riding Polish events allowed to characterise the sociodemographic profile of fans of individual mass and elite sports and the motivations of passive sports consumption. The motives were divided into four groups connected with social, experiential, factual and results orientation. We used a standardised interview technique and diagnostic survey method. 1328 sports fans participated in our study (510 fans of half-marathon [non-elite sport] and 818 fans of Cavaliada [high performance sport]). We developed a self-constructed questionnaire according to the motivation typology of Freyer and Gross. Research results indicate that supporters of individual mass and elite sports have thoroughly different motivations. On 14 examined motives, 13 statistically significant differences were found. Moreover, the article presents the division of motivation among female and male supporters, young people, elderly people, local (hosts) and sport tourist supporters. The research has shown what the sociopsychological impact of watching sports competition on fans of various categories is. For example, what is the motivation of sports tourists (N = 764) to participate in mass and elite sports events. We also investigated the influence of participation in sporting events in the level of life satisfaction and the impact of running and horse event in destination image (Poznań) in the opinion of supporters.
Keywords:
sports fan motivation; high performance sport; non-elite sport; sport event tourism; sustainable management of tourism; tourist destination image; life satisfaction

1. Introduction

In the era of leisure, we observe dynamic development of sports disciplines. Changes occur at the qualitative and quantitative level. Many new and diversified sport disciplines are still emerging. Many of them are modernised for younger audiences. Worldwide sports events of various scales are held, targeted at both professional and amateur athletes. Travelling related to sport, in the role of both an athlete and a spectator, has become a multidimensional phenomenon that has grown significantly in the last decades. Sport travels are one of the most developing fields of international tourism, as they have become an important aspect of life for people interested in sport [1].
Recently, the importance of medium- and small size sporting events for sustainable development as well as economic and social revival of tourist destination have been growing. They provide an alternative to the biggest and most expensive sports events in the world and successfully contribute to the tourism revival and the improvement of the destination’s image. Many cities have developed strategies to organise sport events and have allocated resources to attract prestigious sporting events. As a result of the difficult race for the permission for organising sports competition, many destinations are turning to smaller sports events that do not require, among others, expensive infrastructure (like in the case of mass running events). Effective management of contemporary sports events cannot take place without learning about the motivation of their participants, not only athletes, but also fans, who are today an important segment of sport tourism, which can affect the economic recovery in the region.
Knowledge about the profile of participants in sports events and the participants’ opinions about the impact of the event’s image on the city is equally important. Organisers and municipal authorities should know what kind of sporting events meet particular social and psychological functions and whether they have positive impact in the level of life satisfaction of residents or sport tourists. Sustainable management of sports events is today an important topic in the scientific discussion. It is worth getting to know if modern sports events are only a form of entertainment or whether they fulfil important functions for a postmodern lifestyle. Municipal authorities should know how to attract tourists because nowadays sport events organisations are spending public funds and the competition to organise such events is huge. In order to implement successful strategies for expanding entrance fee sales for different types of sports events, it is recommended to know which factors motivate sport lovers to attend these events. A sustainable approach to sports events consists in monitoring economic and social factors that reduce the financial costs allocated to an event. Knowing the profile of participants of sports events and their motivation for sports consumption allows for a significant reduction in the costs of marketing campaigns.
Research has shown increased interest in the motivational factors of sport consumption. The list of motivation theories is extensive, but a literature review has shown that escape, group affiliation, economic, eustress, self-esteem, entertainment, family, and aesthetics are the motives particularly common among sport supporters [2]. Our research was conducted to increase knowledge about fan motivation of participation in individual high-performance sport and non-elite sport, and to analyse the differences between them. The case study is a mass running event (half-marathon) and a horseback riding elite event (“Cavaliada”). Both events were held in Poznań and are one of the most important Polish medium-sized sporting events. We looked at the sociodemographic fan profiles of individual mass and elite sports and the participation motives in the sporting event in accordance with the typology of motives developed by Freyer and Gross (2002) connected with social, emotional, results and factual orientation [3]. Moreover, our work presents the dissection of motivation among female and male supporters, young people, elderly people, local (hosts) and tourist supporters.

1.1. Sport Consumption Motives Among Fans

The escape motive involves sport spectating as a diversion from one’s life [4,5]. Individuals who are dissatisfied with their lives may be able to forget their problems when they are consuming sport. Sport as an escape may be particularly prevalent during personally difficulties [6,7].
The economic motive concerns attraction to potential economic gains to be accrued through sport wagering [8]. These persons may not be “supporters” as normally understood (e.g., rooting for a popular team, identifying with sports celebrities, etc.) [6,9].
Eustress (i.e., euphoric stress) involves a desire to feel strong emotions and excitement through sport [4,10]. Supporters oriented on eustress motivation enjoy high level of stimulation while observing sport.
Affiliation is connected with the social dimension of sport spectating. Fans often like consuming sport as a part of a group or subculture [11]. For fans with affiliation needs the possibility to spend time with the significant others is a key factor [12].
Many fans claim that sport is enjoyable and use it a source of entertainment [4,8]. A lot of publications indicate that watching one’s favourite teams succeed [13], watching a rival lose [14,15] and watching violent sports [14] are viewed by many supporters as relaxing and fun.
The family motive means a possibility to spend leisure time with relatives [16,17,18,19]. Wann, Schrader, and Wilson [20] highlighted that sport supporters oriented on motivation may prefer to consume sport disciplines such as volleyball or dance because they did not want to expose their children to the violence.
Aesthetic motive indicates an individual’s need to engage in sport as a supporter because they enjoy the beauty of artistic sport movements. Artistic sports such as synchronised swimming, figure skating, dance, ballet and rhythmic gymnastics can be fascinating to supporters because of their charm and the athletes’ artistic expressions. It is important to mention that esthetic orientation is not limited to fans of stylistic sports, those interested in other sports may also express an aesthetic interest [18,21,22,23,24].
Self-determination theory (SDT) is a theory explains the social environment implications (lack of psychosocial support in sport) on the well-being of people involved in sport (which includes fans). SDT provides explanation for understanding the factors that promote motivation and healthy functioning. The theory authors and developers comprehensively examine SDT’s conceptual underpinnings, empirical evidence base, and practical applications for understanding how supporting people’s basic needs for competence, relatedness, and autonomy affects their development and well-being. Deci and Ryan have postulated the existence of a continuum of self-determination going from intrinsic motivation, which is the most self-determined motivation, to extrinsic motivation and amotivation. In intrinsic motivation, the activity is undertaken for the pleasure and satisfaction it provides. Forms of extrinsic motivation-integrated regulation indicate that individuals joined the activity. Something consistent with their values or/and needs, for example affiliation (relatedness), competence and autonomy and/or health. Identified regulation applies to individuals who work for the benefits they perceive while the action is do it by their choice. Introjected regulation deals with individuals who are doing the activity due to intrinsic pressure, such as guilt or shame. Extrinsic regulation represents behaviour regulated by extrinsic factors such as constraints and rewards. Amotivation refers to the case of individuals who do not perceive the links between their behaviour and its consequences. It corresponds to a lack of autonomous and controlled motivation, results of non-rewarding activities, and incompetence feelings in the activity. Deci suggested that intrinsically motivated actions are based on individual need of competence. The satisfaction of basic needs leads individuals to experience intrinsic motivation. An individual feeling autonomous, connected to others and self-determined in a given context is expected to have a more intrinsicized motivation [25,26,27,28,29].

1.2. Motivational Differences for Fans of Different Sports Disciplines

Research and literature indicates that there are numerous factors that underlie supporters’ decisions to consume sport and that characteristics of these factors vary across fan groups. Research concerns potential diversities in motivational profiles for diverse sport discipline fans. Studies have examined the possibilities that fans of different sports report divergent motivational patterns. Gantz and Wenner [8] indicates potential motives for indirect sport consumption via television. Participants were divided based on the sport they often watched on television. They were asked a series of questions, assessing, among other things, their motives for watching their favourite sport. The results pointed that basketball supporters were likely to report motives related to eustress (i.e., consuming to “get psyched up”). Differences among the target sports were not found for escape motives (e.g., “to relax/unwind”). In different study, conducted by Wann, Schrader and Wilson [30], participants were asked to list the sport they enjoyed watching most and afterwards complete a measure assessing their fan motivational pattern. Fans were classified as being oriented on aggressive or nonaggressive sport, and team or individual sport. The results showed at least one significant difference for each factor. Relative to nonaggressive sports, participants with a preference for an aggressive sport reported lower levels of aesthetic motivation, higher levels of eustress, and economic, self-esteem and group affiliation motivation. Relative to team sports, participants with a preference for an individual sport reported lower levels of eustress, entertainment, escape, self-esteem, group affiliation, family motivation and higher levels of aesthetic motivation. Another study of sport type differences in fan motivation was conducted by McDonald, Milne, and Hong [31]. 1500 respondents were asked to list their favourite sport and then to answer the motivational items specifically for that sport. Nine sport disciplines were examined: auto racing, college football, professional football, college basketball, professional basketball, college baseball, professional baseball, golf, and ice hockey. A number of motives were assessed, including several that were related to the eight common motives described before. The results revealed motivational differences in sport. Of specific interest were the particularly high levels of group affiliation motivation for supporters of auto racing, the particularly high levels of aesthetic motivation for fans of golf, and the low aesthetic motivation for fans of soccer/ football. James and Ross [32] examined the motivational patterns of fans consuming three non-revenue college sports: baseball, softball and wrestling. Their results failed to detect sport differences in group affiliation or fun/entertainment. Wrestling had high scores on eustress, self-esteem and family motivation. Baseball had lower scores for these motives, while motivational levels for softball were between wrestling and baseball. The authors noted an enhanced understanding of these motives can help with common to most intercollegiate athletic programs. Indicates additional revenue generation for a sport team at any level is a concern, as consumers are being presented with an increasing entertainment options number.
Statistically significant differences in motives were found in fans’ motives of participation in wushu events and amateur mixed martial arts (MMA) events. The indicated motives had a similar structure. Fans were generally motivated by knowledge, aesthetics and vicarious achievement. Fans of MMA were more interested in sport-related qualities of the show, while those observing the wushu event were more oriented towards emotional connections with the competing athletes [33].

2. Materials and Methods

2.1. Design of the Study and Sample Size

We decided to use the method of a diagnostic survey. We selected a standardised interview technique for the sixth edition of the half-marathon and the Cavaliada horseback riding competition (the research tool was an interview questionnaire). We made the sample selection in a way that ensured the best possible representation of the results. The scheme of simple random sampling without replacement was used. In determining the number, evidence from the managers of sports events on the expected number of supporters of the event was used. In calculations, the formula for sample size for finite population was used. The assumption was made that the maximum error of estimate (e) at 95% confidence level should not exceed 4%.

2.2. Data Analysis

Descriptive statistics were calculated. For the differences between responses, a chi-squared test for independence was used. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05. All statistical analyses were conducted using Statistica Software 10.0 (StatSoft Inc., Cracow, Poland, 2011).

2.3. Instruments and Procedure

A self-constructed interview questionnaire was used for the research, conducted (under the supervision of the first author of this article) during both sporting events and personally filled out during the conversation with the supporters. We used the typology of four groups of motivations developed by Freyer and Gross (2002) [3]: (a) Social orientation is focused on the relationships of visitors to each other; (b) sensation-seeking orientation is most often concerning the positive experiences, in the form of, for example, relaxation, which is a kind of compensation for the challenges of everyday life; factual orientation/sports discipline orientation is referring to the sports events themselves and their originality/specificity; in this case, to the originality/specificity of running and horseback riding; and result orientation is triggered by the desire to identify with success, and in the case of failure, by the need to show solidarity or sympathy. The results showed a different type of motivational factors of more than 100% because, in each group of motives, fans could tick more than one answer (maximum 3).

2.4. Participants—The Sociodemographic Characteristics

Research results of our case studies show that the fans of individual mass and elite sports are usually young women. Below is more information about the surveyed fans (Table 1).

3. Results

Table 2 presents motives of all supporters participating in the study.

3.1. Motives of All Supporters Participating in the Study

Regarding social attitude, for mass sport fans of the half-marathon, the desire to support competitors participating in competitions, unity with other people and the expressing admiration and appreciation for athletes taking part in competitions (p = 0.0000) is more important than for supporters of elite sport (Cavaliada equestrian competitions). Fashion is less important for fans of both events to a similar degree.
Regarding to the emotional attitude, the desire to experience something exciting, the need for fun and entertainment, and the desire to actively spend free time was more often indicated by elite sport fans (p = 0.0000). The escape from everyday life was more important for Cavaliada supporters as well (p = 0.0140). The need to express and share emotions was much more important for mass sport fans (p = 0.0000).
Due to the unusual mood prevailing at sporting events, fans of running events were more often involved in them. In turn, the desire to learn something new and develop a passion, as well as the need for aesthetic experience was more important for supporters of elite sport, in this case, horseback riding.
Within the scope of sports rivalry, aspects such as the high rank of a sporting event and the desire to follow sports rivalry were much more important for supporters of elite sport (p = 0.0000).
Respondents also indicated the most important collection of motives for them. For the fans of the half-marathon, the most important type of motive is social motive—group A (60.78%), and for fans of Cavaliada—group B—orientation on emotions (48.90%). Social orientation is statistically more often more important for mass sport fans (mass sports events therefore have important social functions for fans), and groups of motifs related to the rivalry and specificity of a given sport discipline are more important for elite sport fans (in all cases p = 0.0000).
For mass sports supporters, the motive indicated by the highest percentage of respondents was the desire to support runners taking part in competitions (71.96%) and for supporters of elite sport most often indicated motive was the willingness to follow sports rivalry (64.91%).
The next table (Table 3) presents motives of women participating in the study.

3.2. Motives of Examined Women

Among women, within the social attitudes, for mass sport fans—half-marathon— the desire to support competitors participating in competitions, integration with other people and the desire to express admiration and appreciation for people taking part in competitions is more important than for supporters of elite sport—Cavaliada equestrian competitions. Fashion is less important for fans of both events to a similar degree.
Experiencing something exciting, the need for fun and entertainment, the desire to actively spend free time and escape from everyday life was more often indicated by elite sport fans. The need to express and share emotions with others was much more important for mass sport fans.
Due to the unusual mood prevailing at sporting events, fans of running events were more often involved in them. In turn, the desire to learn something new and develop a passion, as well as the need for aesthetic experience, was more important for supporters of elite sport, in this case horseback riding.
Within the scope of sports rivalry, aspects such as the high rank of a sporting event and the desire to follow sports rivalry were much more important for supporters of elite sport.
Women also highlighted the most important type of motives for them. For the fans of the half-marathon, the most important collection of motives is social attitude—group A (63.03%), and for fans of Cavaliada group B—orientation on emotions (49.05%). Social orientation is statistically more often more important for mass sport fans (mass sports events therefore have important social functions for women), and groups of motifs related to the rivalry and specificity of a given sport discipline are more important for elite sport fans. Emotions were similarly important for women.
For mass sports supporters, the motive indicated by the highest percentage of women was the desire to support runners taking part in competitions (74.85%) and for supporters of elite sport most often indicated motive was the willingness to follow sports rivalry (64.72%).
The next table (Table 4) presents motives of men participating in the study.

3.3. Motives of Men Participating in the Study

The results of research on social motivations are as follows in the group of men: for running event fans, the desire to support competitors participating in competitions, unity and integration with other people and the possibility of expressing admiration and appreciation for people taking part in competitions are more important than for supporters of equestrian competition. Fashion is less important for all surveyed men to a similar degree.
Within the emotional motives, experiencing something exciting and the desire to actively spend free time was more often indicated by elite sport fans. The need to express and share emotions was much more important for mass sport fans. We did not find statistically important differences in motives related to escape from away from everyday life and looking for fun and entertainment.
The desire to learn something new and develop a passion, as well as the need for aesthetic experience was more important for supporters of elite sport. Due to the unusual mood prevailing at sporting events, fans of half-marathon were more often involved in them.
The high rank of the sporting event was much more important for supporters of elite sport. The willingness to track sport rivalry for both groups of male fans was equally important.
Compared to the group of women, it was much more important for men to follow sports competition in the half-marathon as well, rather than for women who only sought it at an elite sport event.
For surveyed men participating in the half-marathon, the most important type of motives was social attitude—group A (66.67%), and for fans of Cavaliada—group B—orientation on emotions (48.52%). Social orientation is statistically more often more important for mass sport fans (mass sports events therefore have important social functions for fans), and groups of motifs related to the rivalry and specificity of a given sport discipline are more important for elite sport fans. Emotions were perceived similarly.
For men, the motive indicated by the highest percentage of respondents during half-marathon was the desire to support runners taking part in competitions (71.96%) and for supporters of elite sport, the most often indicated motive was the willingness to follow sports rivalry (65.40%).
The next table (Table 5) presents motives of young supporters participating in the study.

3.4. Motives of Young Supporters Participating in the Study

For young fans participating in a half-marathon (less than 25 years old), the desire to support athletes and the desire to express admiration and appreciation for athletes is more important than for supporters of equestrian competition. Fashion for sporting events and integration with other people is important for fans of both events to a similar degree.
The need for fun and entertainment, experiencing something exciting, the desire to actively spend free time and escape from everyday life was more often indicated by the Cavaliada fans. The need to express and share emotions was much more important for running event young fans.
Due to the unusual mood prevailing at sporting events, young fans of running events were more often involved in them. In turn, the desire to learn something new and develop a passion, as well as the need for aesthetic experience was more important for young supporters of elite sport.
Within the scope of sports rivalry, aspects such as the high rank of a sporting event and the desire to follow sports rivalry were much more important for young supporters of elite sport.
For young supporters of the half-marathon, the most important type of motives is social motive —group A (52.21%), and for fans of Cavaliada—group B—orientation on emotions (49.33%). Social orientation is statistically more often more important for mass sport fans (mass sports events therefore have important social functions for young fans), and groups of motifs related to the rivalry and specificity of a given sport discipline are more important for elite sport fans.
For young supporters of the half-marathon, the motive indicated by the highest percentage of respondents was the desire to support runners taking part in competitions (69.08%) and for supporters of elite sport the most often indicated motive was the willingness to follow sports rivalry (64.44%).
The next table (Table 6) presents motives of older supporters participating in the study.

3.5. Motives of Older Supporters Participating in the Study

Among older supporters (more than 50 years old), within the scope of social orientation, we didn’t find statistically important differences. It’s worth mentioning that none of older fans of Cavaliada participated in the event because of the prevailing fashion.
Within the scope of emotional orientation, only the need for fun and entertainment was more often indicated by the elite sport fans (p = 0.0276).
The desire to learn something new and develop a passion was more important for Cavaliada fans. The need for aesthetic experience was similarly important for both groups of respondents. Due to the unusual mood prevailing at sporting events, fans of running events were more often involved in them.
In comparison to younger fans, older supporters participated more often in the running event due to satisfying aesthetic needs.
In contrast to young supporters who, due to the high rank of the sporting event and the desire to follow sports competition, were more likely to participate in the elite sport event—the older supporters, due to these aspects, were more likely to participate in the mass sport event. Among these motives, there were no statistically significant differences among the older supporters of Cavaliada and half-marathon. Running events are prestigious and give the possibility to follow an interesting rivalry for older supporters at the same level as elite sporting events.
Older supporters also indicated the most important type of motives for them. For the fans of the half-marathon, the most important collection of motives was social orientation—group A (more than 80.00%–83.33%), and for fans of Cavaliada—groups B and C—orientation on emotions (55.00%) and social orientation (55.00%) equally. Social orientation was statistically more often more important for mass sport fans (mass sports events therefore have important social functions for older fans).
For older supporters of mass running event the motive indicated by the highest percentage of respondents was the desire to feel an unusual mood of the sporting event (70.83%) and for supporters of elite sport most often indicated motive was the willingness to follow sports rivalry (70.00%).
The next table (Table 7) presents motives of local fans participating in the study.

3.6. Motives of Hosts Supporters Participating in the Study

Among fans from the host city (Poznań agglomeration), regarding to social motives, for mass sport fans, the desire to support competitors participating in competitions, the chance of unity with other people and expressing admiration and appreciation for athletes taking part in competitions (p = 0.0000) are more important than for supporters of elite Cavaliada. Fashion is less important for all the surveyed fans-hosts to a similar degree.
For fans-hosts, the desire to actively spend free time, experiencing something exciting and the need for fun and entertainment was more often indicated by elite sport fans. The escape from hardships of everyday life was important for both groups of supporters to a similar degree. The need to express and share emotions was much more important for half-marathon fans (p = 0.0000).
Due to the unusual mood prevailing at sporting events, local fans of running events were more often involved in them. In turn, the desire to learn something new and develop a passion, as well as the need for aesthetic experience was more important for local supporters of elite sport.
Within the scope of sports rivalry, aspects such as the high rank of a sporting event and the desire to follow sports rivalry were much more important for supporters of elite sport (p = 0.0000).
For the hosts participating in half-marathon the most important type of motives is social motive—group A (58.59%), and for fans of Cavaliada—group B—orientation on emotions (45.45%). Social orientation is statistically more often more important for mass sport fans (mass sports events therefore have important social functions for fans), and groups of motifs related to the rivalry and specificity of a given sport discipline are more important for elite sport fans. Emotions had similar importance for respondents.
For mass sports supporters the motive indicated by the highest percentage of respondents was the desire to feel an unusual mood of the event (66.80%) and for supporters of elite sport most often indicated motive was the willingness to follow sports rivalry (60.06%).
The next table (Table 8) presents motives of sport tourists participating in the study.

3.7. Motives of Sport Tourists Participating in the Study

Among passive sport tourists, regarding to social motivation, for running event fans, the desire to support athletes, feeling unity with other people and expressing admiration and appreciation for athletes are more important than for supporters of elite sport. Fashion is less important for fans of both events to a similar degree.
Regarding to emotions of sport tourists, experiencing something exciting, the need for fun and entertainment, escape from everyday life and the desire to actively spend leisure time was more often indicated by elite sport fans. The need to express and share emotions was much more important for mass sport fans. The emotional orientation was highly perceived by sport tourists, so it is important to develop marketing strategies based on experience economy. Results show that passive sport tourists are seeking for emotion during their travels.
The desire to learn something new and develop a passion, as well as the need for aesthetic experience was more important for supporters of Cavaliada. Due to the unusual mood prevailing at sporting events, fans-tourists of half-marathon were more often involved in them.
Within the scope of sports rivalry, aspects such as the high rank of a sporting event and the desire to follow sports rivalry were much more important for supporters of elite sport.
Sport tourists also highlighted the most important collection of motives for them. For the fans of the half-marathon the most important type of motives is social motivation—group A (62.99%), and for fans of Cavaliada—group B—orientation on emotions (50.98%). Social orientation is statistically more often more important for mass sport fans (mass sports events therefore have important social functions for fans), and groups of motifs related to the rivalry and specificity of a given sport discipline are more important for elite sport fans. Emotions had similar importance for both groups of sport tourists.
For mass sports supporters, the motive indicated by the highest percentage of respondents was the desire to feel an unusual mood of the event (70.08%) and for supporters of elite sport most often indicated motive was the willingness to follow sports rivalry (67.84%).
Moreover, supporters were asked about their opinion on how the impact of these two sporting events reflect on the city’s image. The results are very optimistic from touristic point of view. A high percentage of half-marathon supporters—96.3%—felt that this event had a positive impact on the image of the city of Poznań. 1.8% thought that it had no effect. Only 0.2% said that the event had a negative impact on the image of the city, and 1.8% had no opinion on the subject. Similarly, 94.5% of Cavaliada fans decided that the event had a positive impact on the image of the City of Poznań. 2.7% said horse competition had no influence, and 0.2% felt that the event had a negative impact on the city’s image. 2.6% had no opinion on this topic.
Respondents were also asked about connection between participation in the event and influence on level of life satisfaction. 40.4% of the half-marathon fans recognised that the participation in the event to a high degree affected their life satisfaction. 34.5% stated that in the middle degree. Over a tenth of the respondents (12.9%) considered that to a very high degree. 7.6% found that in no degree, 3.7%—low, and 0.8%—very low.
Cavaliada fans decided that participation in the event affected their satisfaction with life in a positive way at a high level (41.4%) and very high (20.9%). 28.6% reported an average impact, 2.3%—low, 0.6%—very low, and 6.1% did not report any impact. We can observe differences between very high level of satisfaction among two categories of supporters. 20.9% of high-performance sport fans and 12.9% of non-elite sport fans declared very high levels of satisfaction. Cavaliada supporters were more satisfied with the impact of the event on their life satisfaction.

4. Discussion and Final Conclusions

Sport spectating is an important form of leisure time in today’s society. It is very important to know the sociodemographic profile of the sports fan from a sport-marketing point of view. It is indispensable to understand psychological and social reasons for attendance from a perspective of sustainable management of sports events [34]. The organisation of sports events plays an important role in place marketing. Event organisers and municipal authorities need to know how they can attract viewers to an event. They must also know to which category they can target marketing campaigns in the field of a particular type of sport. The article expands knowledge about motivation of passive sports consumption in individual high-performance sport and mass non-elite sport. We presented the sociodemographic profile of fans of individual mass and elite sports. Research results show that fans of individual mass and elite sports are usually young women. While there is still under-representation of research of female sport lovers [35], this article provides knowledge about the reasons for supporting among women as well (Table 3). Hall and O’Mahony claim that women are particularly sensitive to sports marketing campaigns [36]. We recognised the motives for participation in the sporting event within the four main types of orientation according to Freyer and Gross (2002) [3]: social, experiential, result and factual orientation. Conducted research has shown the sociopsychological impact of watching sports competition during sporting event on fans of various categories. The analysis of team and individual sports presented by Wann et al. [37] revealed a number of motivational differences. Our research shows that on 14 examined motives, 13 statistically significant differences were found among different types of individual sports as well. In order to implement successful strategies for expanding entrance fee sales for different types of sports events, it is recommended to know which factors motivate sport lovers to attend these events. This article also presents the division of motivation among female and male supporters, young people, elderly people, local (hosts) and sport tourist supporters.
Among all surveyed supporters, regarding the social group of motives, for mass sport fans, the desire to support competitors participating in competitions, unity with other people and expressing admiration and appreciation for people taking part in competitions are more important than for supporters of elite sports, the Cavaliada equestrian competitions. Fashion is less important for fans of both events to a similar degree. Relatedness, which has to do with the close personal relationships, such as being part of the group, is one of the three basic psychological needs. Relationships motivation theory (RMT) is concerned with these and other relationships and posits that some amount of such relationships is not only desirable for most people, but is essential to their well-being because the social interactions provide fulfilment of the need for relatedness [38]—being a sports supporter provides opportunities for social unity and integration. Supporters also pay attention to the ambience where fans themselves develop the supporters’ subculture, along with the symbolic importance to fans of identifying with values such as diversity, gender empowerment or inclusion [39]. Self-determination theory (SDT) represents a broad framework for the study of human motivation and personality. SDT articulates a meta-theory for framing motivational studies, a formal theory that defines intrinsic and varied extrinsic sources of motivation, and a description of the respective roles of intrinsic and types of extrinsic motivation in cognitive and social development and in individual differences [40]. Within the scope of emotional orientation, the desire to experience something exciting, the need for fun and entertainment, and the desire to actively spend free time was more often indicated by elite sport fans. The escape from everyday life was more important for Cavaliada supporters as well. The need to express and share emotions was much more important for mass sport fans. Due to the unusual mood prevailing at sporting events, fans of running events were more often involved in them. In turn, the desire to learn something new and develop a passion, as well as the need for aesthetic experience was more important for supporters of elite sport, in this case horseback riding.
Within the scope of sports rivalry, aspects such as the high rank of a sporting event and the desire to follow sports rivalry were much more important for supporters of elite sport. For the fans of the half-marathon, the most important group of motives is social orientation, and for fans of Cavaliada was orientation toward emotions. Social orientation is statistically more often more important for mass sport fans, and groups of motives related to the rivalry and specificity of a given sport discipline are more important for elite sport fans. Mass sports events therefore have important social functions for fans of mass sport, and emotions are the most important factor for elite sport fans. Moreover, among men—compared to the group of women, it was much more important to follow sports competition in the half-marathon, rather than for women who only sought it at an elite sport event. In comparison to younger fans, older supporters participated more often in the running event due to satisfying aesthetic needs. In contrast to young supporters who, due to the high rank of the sporting event and the desire to follow sports competition, were more likely to participate in the elite sport event—the older supporters, due to these aspects, were more likely to participate in the mass sport event. Among these motives, there were no statistically significant differences among the older supporters of Cavaliada and half-marathon. Mass running events are prestigious and give the possibility to follow an interesting rivalry for older supporters at the same level as elite sporting events. Test results also show the motives of sport event tourism participants, which is now becoming the fastest area of tourism industry.
The positive impact of sports events on the image of the city and the satisfaction of life experiences by the respondents is also positive, which is related to the quality of life of contemporary sports fans. In our work, we refer to the motivation from the fan standpoint, not the athlete, which is much more popular. The theories we describe are not popular from the point of view of supporters, and it is important to also think about the motivation of the fans, because it is often said that this is an additional player that can affect the final result of sports competition. Nowadays, running events are a very popular form of spending free time, which causes the emergence of new categories of fans of sport and it is important to study their motivation. Our research broadens knowledge about fan motivation for participation in individual high-performance sport and non-elite sport and presents differences between them. A sustainable approach to sports events consists in monitoring economic and social factors that reduce the financial costs allocated to an event. Knowing the profile of participants of sports events and their motivation for sports consumption allows for a significant reduction in the costs of marketing campaigns.
In the future, we will analyse and compare successive sports disciplines, for example team sports in the field of mass and elite sport. The limitation of our research comes from the declarative character of our study (especially in the context of level of life satisfaction), but its strength is the high number of respondents and that the interviews were conducted during sporting events.

Author Contributions

Conceptualisation, E.M.-M.; methodology, E.M.-M.; software, E.M.-M.; validation, E.M.-M.; formal analysis, E.M.-M.; investigation, E.M.-M.; resources, K.C. and E.M.-M.; data curation, E.M.-M.; writing—E.M.-M. and K.C.; writing—review and editing, E.M.-M. and K.C.; visualisation, E.M.-M.; supervision, E.M.-M.; project administration, E.M.-M.

Funding

This research received no external funding.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Table 1. The sociodemographic profile of analysed supporters.
Table 1. The sociodemographic profile of analysed supporters.
Characteristics of the Fans
(N = 1328)
Half-Marathon Fans
(N = 510)
Cavaliada Horseback Riding Competition Fans
(N = 818)
Sex%%
Men35.329.0
Women64.771.0
Age%%
<187.532.4
18–25 41.431.5
26–35 27.822.3
36–50 13.911.4
51–70 9.02.2
71 and more0.40.2
Education %%
Primary5.921.0
Vocational2.74.3
Secondary32.230.8
Incomplete higher14.714.9
Completed higher44.529.0
Employment status%%
School pupil (<18 years)10.034.2
Student31.819.4
Professionally active50.641.9
Unemployed4.92.9
Retired2.71.5
Place of residence (inhabitants)%%
Village 17.328.6
City < 10.00012.414.7
City 10.000–100.00016.129.4
City 100.000–500.0006.317.5
City more than 500.00048.09.8
Source: Own.
Table 2. Motives of all supporters participating in the study (n = 1328).
Table 2. Motives of all supporters participating in the study (n = 1328).
Groups of MotivesHalf-Marathon
(N = 510)
Cavaliada
(N = 818)
p
Group A—Motives connected with social attitudes%%
Willingness to support competitors taking part in competitions71.9646.700.0000
The need for integration with other people41.1829.710.0000
Fashion for sporting events6.866.110.5869
Willingness to express admiration and appreciation for competitors53.9235.210.0000
Group B—Motives within the scope of emotional orientation%%
Because I want to experience something exciting25.4947.560.0000
Desire for fun and entertainment38.6357.700.0000
Willingness to actively fill leisure time38.2450.980.0000
The need to express/share emotions e.g., due to the winning of a supported person/athlete34.318.440.0000
Escape from everyday life19.0224.820.0140
Group C—Motives within the scope of specific sport discipline orientation%%
Because horse/running events are accompanied by the unusual mood typical for this sports discipline68.4348.900.0000
I am attracted to high skills of runners/riders due to the desire to satisfy the aesthetic needs18.6340.220.0000
Willingness to expand my knowledge about running/horseback riding and developing passion—I am attracted by a rich program of events accompanying (sports fairs, meetings/lectures with athletes etc.)10.7827.750.0000
Group D—
Motives within the scope of sports rivalry%%
Willingness to track sports competition47.8464.910.0000
Because this event is prestigious and has a high sports rank8.2455.870.0000
Which group of motives is the most important for you?%%
Group A60.7833.010.0000
Group B45.4948.900.2262
Group C8.2439.980.0000
Group D6.0816.500.0000
Source: Own.
Table 3. Motives of examined women (n = 911).
Table 3. Motives of examined women (n = 911).
Groups of MotivesHalf-Marathon
(N = 330)
Cavaliada
(N = 581)
p
Group A—Motives connected with social attitudes%%
Willingness to support competitors taking part in competitions74.8549.570.0000
The need for integration with other people39.3930.980.0100
Fashion for sporting events5.455.340.9390
Willingness to express admiration and appreciation for competitors57.5837.180.0000
Group B—Motives connected with emotional attitudes%%
Because I want to experience something exciting23.6447.680.0000
Desire for fun and entertainment33.9458.690.0000
Willingness to actively fill free time38.4851.290.0002
The need to express/share emotions e.g., due to the winning of a supported person/athlete43.038.950.0000
Escape from everyday life17.2725.470.0043
Group C—Motives representing specific sport discipline orientation%%
Because horse/running events are accompanied by the unusual mood typical for this sports discipline70.0050.120.0000
I am attracted to high skills of runners/riders due to the desire to satisfy the aesthetic needs15.4539.410.0000
Willingness to expand my knowledge about running/horseback riding and developing passion—I am attracted by a rich program of events accompanying (sports fairs, lectures with athletes etc.)9.0928.230.0000
Group D—
Motives connected with sports rivalry%%
Willingness to track sports competition41.5264.720.0000
Because this event is prestigious and has a high sports rank6.6759.550.0000
The most important group%%
Group A63.0331.670.0000
Group B46.0649.050.3848
Group C7.2741.820.0000
Group D5.4515.490.0001
Source: Own.
Table 4. Motives of men participating in the study (n = 417).
Table 4. Motives of men participating in the study (n = 417).
Groups of MotivesHalf-Marathon
(N = 180)
Cavaliada
(N = 237)
P
Group A—Motives connected with social attitudes%%
Willingness to support competitors taking part in competitions66.6739.660.0000
The need for integration with other people44.4426.580.0001
Fashion for sporting events9.448.020.6071
Willingness to express admiration and appreciation for athletes47.2230.380.0004
Group B—Motives connected with emotional attitudes%%
Because I want to experience something exciting28.8947.260.0001
Desire for fun and entertainment47.2255.270.1031
Willingness to actively fill free time37.7850.210.0114
The need to express/share emotions e.g., due to the winning of a supported person/athlete18.337.170.0005
Escape from everyday life22.2223.210.8123
Group C—Motives representing specific sport discipline orientation%%
Because horse/running events are accompanied by the unusual mood typical for this sports discipline65.5643.460.0000
I am attracted to high skills of runners/riders due to the desire to satisfy the aesthetic needs24.4442.190.0001
Willingness to expand my knowledge about running/horseback riding and developing passion—I am attracted by a rich program of events accompanying (sports fairs, lectures with athletes etc.)13.8926.580.0016
Group D—
Motives connected with sports rivalry%%
Willingness to track sports competition59.4465.400.2125
Because this event is prestigious and has a high sports rank11.1146.840.0000
The most important group%%
Group A56.6736.290.0000
Group B44.4448.520.4083
Group C10.0035.440.0000
Group D7.2218.990.0005
Source: Own.
Table 5. Motives of young fans (less than 25 years old) participating in the study (n = 772).
Table 5. Motives of young fans (less than 25 years old) participating in the study (n = 772).
Groups of MotivesHalf-Marathon
(N = 249)
Cavaliada
(N = 523)
p
Group A—Motives connected with social attitudes%%
Willingness to support competitors taking part in competitions69.0849.520.0000
The need for integration with other people35.7432.310.3450
Fashion for sporting events7.235.930.4880
Willingness to express admiration and appreciation for competitors52.2137.090.0000
Group B—Motives connected with emotional attitudes%%
Because I want to experience something exciting20.0847.990.0000
Desire for fun and entertainment40.9660.610.0000
Willingness to actively fill free time43.3752.010.0248
The need to express/share emotions e.g., due to the winning of a supported person/athlete31.739.370.0000
Escape from everyday life22.4924.670.5080
Group C—Motives representing specific sport discipline orientation%%
Because horse/running events are accompanied by the unusual mood typical for this sports discipline64.6649.330.0000
I am attracted to high skills of runners/riders due to the desire to satisfy the aesthetic needs 18.4741.110.0000
Willingness to expand my knowledge about running/horseback riding and developing passion—I am attracted by a rich program of events accompanying (sports fairs, lectures with athletes etc.)13.2526.390.0000
Group D—
Motives connected with sports rivalry%%
Willingness to track sports competition42.5764.440.0000
Because this event is prestigious and has a high sports rank7.6359.850.0000
The most important group%%
Group A52.2128.110.0000
Group B44.5849.330.2165
Group C8.8442.260.0000
Group D4.8216.830.0000
Source: Own.
Table 6. Motives of older fans (more than 50 years old) participating in the study (n = 68).
Table 6. Motives of older fans (more than 50 years old) participating in the study (n = 68).
Groups of MotivesHalf-Marathon
(N = 48)
Cavaliada
(N = 20)
p
Group A—Motives connected with social attitudes%%
Willingness to support competitors taking part in competitions66.6755.000.3632
The need for integration with other people62.5044.000.0866
Fashion for sporting events10.420.000.1337
Willingness to express admiration and appreciation for competitors50.0030.000.1301
Group B—Motives connected with emotional attitudes%%
Because I want to experience something exciting37.5045.000.5646
Desire for fun and entertainment22.9250.000.0276
Willingness to actively fill free time20.8335.000.2189
The need to express/share emotions e.g., due to the winning of a supported person/athlete27.0810.000.1216
Escape from everyday life18.7510.000.3780
Group C—Motives representing specific sport discipline orientation%%
Because horse/running events are accompanied by the unusual mood typical for this sports discipline70.8340.000.0170
I am attracted to high skills of runners/riders due to the desire to satisfy the aesthetic needs 33.3340.000.6001
Willingness to expand my knowledge about running/horseback riding and developing passion—I am attracted by a rich program of events accompanying (sports fairs, lectures with athletes etc.)6.2530.000.0084
Group D—
Motives connected with sports rivalry%%
Willingness to track sports competition58.3370.000.3670
Because this event is prestigious and has a high sports rank12.5025.000.2021
The most important group%%
Group A83.3355.000.0139
Group B33.3355.000.0961
Group C14.5820.000.5840
Group D6.255.000.8417
Source: Own.
Table 7. Motives of local fans (from Poznań agglomeration host city) participating in the study (n = 564).
Table 7. Motives of local fans (from Poznań agglomeration host city) participating in the study (n = 564).
Groups of MotivesHalf-Marathon
(N = 256)
Cavaliada
(N = 308)
p
Group A—Motives connected with social attitudes%%
Willingness to support competitors taking part in competitions40.6331.490.0000
The need for integration with other people44.4426.580.0000
Fashion for sporting events6.255.190.5896
Willingness to express admiration and appreciation for competitors59.3835.390.0000
Group B—Motives connected with emotional attitudes%%
Because I want to experience something exciting21.0946.430.0000
Desire for fun and entertainment45.7059.740.0008
Willingness to actively fill free time42.5857.140.0005
The need to express/share emotions e.g., due to the winning of a supported person/athlete35.165.840.0000
Escape from everyday life19.1418.510.8478
Group C—Motives representing specific sport discipline orientation%%
Because horse/running events are accompanied by the unusual mood typical for this sports discipline66.8050.000.0000
I am attracted to high skills of runners/riders due to the desire to satisfy the aesthetic needs 19.5336.040.0000
Willingness to expand my knowledge about running/horseback riding and developing passion—I am attracted by a rich program of events accompanying (sports fairs, lectures with athletes etc.)11.3327.920.0000
Group D—
Motives connected with sports rivalry%%
Willingness to track sports competition41.4160.060.0000
Because this event is prestigious and has a high sports rank8.9852.920.0000
The most important group%%
Group A58.5933.440.0000
Group B45.7045.450.9529
Group C7.8139.290.0000
Group D7.8118.830.0001
Source: Own.
Table 8. Motives of sport tourists participating in the study (n = 764).
Table 8. Motives of sport tourists participating in the study (n = 764).
Groups of MotivesHalf-Marathon
(N = 254)
Cavaliada
(N = 510)
p
Group A—Motives connected with social attitudes%%
Willingness to support competitors taking part in competitions69.6947.250.0000
The need for integration with other people41.7328.630.0002
Fashion for sporting events7.486.670.6766
Willingness to express admiration and appreciation for competitors48.4335.100.0003
Group B—Motives connected with emotional attitudes%%
Because I want to experience something exciting29.9248.240.0000
Desire for fun and entertainment31.5056.470.0000
Willingness to actively fill free time33.8647.250.0004
The need to express/share emotions e.g., due to the winning of a supported person/athlete33.4610.000.0000
Escape from everyday life18.9028.630.0036
Group C—Motives representing specific sport discipline orientation%%
Because horse/running events are accompanied by the unusual mood typical for this sports discipline70.0848.240.0000
I am attracted to high skills of runners/riders due to the desire to satisfy the aesthetic needs 17.7242.750.0000
Willingness to expand my knowledge about running/horseback riding and developing passion—I am attracted by a rich program of events accompanying (sports fairs, lectures with athletes etc.)10.2427.650.0000
Group D—
Motives connected with sports rivalry%%
Willingness to track sports competition54.3367.840.0002
Because this event is prestigious and has a high sports rank7.4857.650.0000
The most important group%%
Group A62.9932.750.0000
Group B45.2850.980.1373
Group C8.6640.390.0000
Group D4.3315.100.0000
Source: Own.

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