Distinguishing Between Competitive and Casual Fantasy Sports Participation Using The Theory of Planned Behavior


  • Mitchell Woltring University of South Alabama


fantasy sports, Theory of Planned Behavior; Attitudes; Subjective Norms; Perceived Behavioral Control;


Predicting participant behavior in competitive fantasy sports participation would serve as a useful tool for both researchers and practitioners. Competitive fantasy sports participants are differentiated from casual participants by their willingness to spend money. As such, there is a difference in motivations to participate between competitive and casual participants. The Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) provides a theoretical framework for determining participation. TPB is an applicable model due to its flexibility in determining behaviors in many different settings. To use the TPB framework the characteristics of attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control were defined in regards to fantasy sports participation. Attitudes for the competitive player draw from a combination of competitive, knowledge-based, and surveillance motivations.  Subjective norms for the fantasy sport participant are almost solely drawn from friends and peers.  And perceived behavioral control is developed by a degree of winning expectancy, which is influenced by a level of illusory control.  In a model for fantasy sports participation, subjective norms seem to be weighted the heaviest on behavior, with the ability to act on behavior independent of other factors. The theoretical model is constructed primarily with traditional or season-long fantasy sports participation in mind. However, the recent rise in the popularity of daily fantasy sports participation is discussed, and offers the potential for revisions and additions to the model.


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