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Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Janet S. Fink

Second Advisor

Elizabeth B. Delia

Third Advisor

E. Nicole Melton

Fourth Advisor

Lisa A. Keller

Subject Categories

Sports Management


This dissertation addresses the literature gap in understanding the different psychological mechanisms of eSport consumers, as determined by their various points of attachment they possess depending on different sport contexts. The electronic sports (eSports) industry has been growing rapidly in popularity, but exploration of eSport fandom has been limited. Especially, a better understanding of the eSport consumers’ behavior and their psychological connection to particular eSports and teams is necessary. The first study in this dissertation identifies the points of attachment in eSport fans, based on an extensive literature review. The second study develops and validates the eSport Points of Attachment Index (ePAI), by utilizing a panel of experts and eSport fans. After the rigorous testing and validating the relationship with consumer behavior intentions, an initial version of the ePAI, with eleven dimensions will be proposed. The third study will empirically determine whether the points of attachment (i.e., psychological connection) can explain more significant variances in future consumption behavior of eSport fans beyond motives (i.e., basic human needs), using the ePAI. Finally, the fourth study will test the ePAI on various demographics (e.g., gender, culture), identifying the influence of the multiple points of attachment on different populations. In sum, the findings of this dissertation are expected to differentiate consumers based on different points of attachment and identify the possibility of multidimensional points of attachment of eSport fans based on their demographic contexts, augmenting existing marketing literature in the sport context and extending academic literature in eSport fan identification. Most importantly, a more comprehensive understanding of general sport fan behavior will suggest better approaches to different market segments and ways to connect with untapped eSports markets, facilitating industry stakeholders’ success and future monetization strategies.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.