Temporal team switching after the elimination of the supported team at a knockout tournament

Endzhe Latypova, Hirotaka Matsuoka*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: While the tournament format is common within organized sports, little is known about the supporting behavior of tournament event fans. The defeat of the supported team and its' subsequent elimination could influence how fans associate themselves with the event. Hence, the present study aims to investigate the fans' responses to the favorite team's elimination at a knockout tournament focusing on whether they are willing to continue following the event and choose another team to support. Design/methodology/approach: In this paper fans' temporal switching behavior was explored in relationships with fans' identification with geographic area, sport itself and teams. The audience watching the Japanese National High School Baseball Championship was targeted for the online survey in March 2020, resulting in the final sample of 502 (287 observations used for reliability and validity tests). Findings: Independent sample t-tests and logistic regression were employed in the study. 80% of respondents intended to continue following the tournament, which was associated with a higher attachment to sports. Place attachment by itself was not associated with the intention to continue. Most of the respondents who chose a certain team to support after the favorite team's elimination have retained their pattern of choosing the team (63.9%). Interestingly, fans with higher place attachment not only choose to continue following the tournament after their prefectural team's elimination but were willing to support another team from the same region. Originality/value: This is one of the first papers providing evidence of tournament fan behavior and temporal switching.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-89
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jan 17


  • Team elimination
  • Team identification
  • Temporal switching
  • Tournament

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Finance
  • Marketing


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