Determinants impacting why college sports fans purchase merchandise

David P. Hedlund and Michael E. Naylor


Despite the importance of understanding the factors impacting the purchase of goods and services, research focused specifically on the sport retail process is rare. Due to this dearth of research, the purpose of this study is to identify the most influential determinants of college sports fans’ purchase of retail merchandise. Determinants included consumer, product, retail and online store characteristics. Product price, quality and selection were identified by the sample (n = 627) as the three most important determinants of sport merchandise purchase. Based on a measure of respondents’ connection to the team, the most highly identified sport fans perceived selection as most important, less identified sport fans indicated quality as important, and the least identified sport fans designated price as important. For both brick and mortar and online retailers of collegiate sport merchandise, the determinants of retail purchase are important considerations that can be used to shape marketing strategies.