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International Journal of
Hospitality and Tourism
An International, Biannual,
Double Blind Peer Reviewed
Journal
ISSN: 2240-5371
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Issue: V7N1_and_V7N2

Paper Type: DOUBLE BLIND REFFERED PAPER

Paper Title: Community involvement and lead user behaviour: the case of freestyle snowboarders

Authors: Mike Peters, Markus Schuckert, Mag Michael Biro

Abstract:
Freestyle snowboarders show a strong identification with their sport’s community and are closely engaged in improving sports equipment and material. However, research focusing on the relationships of constructs such as community involvement, novelty-seeking and lead-user behaviour in the field of (extreme) sports communities is scarce. This contribution aims at investigating the influences of community identification on freestyle snowboarders’ lead-user activities, their satisfaction with being a member of the community and their loyalty to the community members. A survey of freestyle snowboarders was conducted in Austria and the data highlight that community involvement has positive influences on the individual’s satisfaction as a member of the community and his/her loyalty towards the community. Furthermore, community identification positively correlates with lead-user activities among snowboarders. Management implications of these findings relate to the need for cooperative branding and therefore cooperation between the sports equipment industry and snowboarding destinations. The latter can enhance tourist loyalty by creating a prestigious and unique snowboarder experience.