Validating an old classic: Deconstructing the sporting pyramid using Holt's Typology of Consumption

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Faculty of Business and Law


School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure




This article was originally published as: Fanning, S. M., Lambert, C. M., & Maccarthy, M. J. (2012). Validating an old Classic: Deconstructing the Sporting Pyramid using Holt's Typology of Consumption. Proceedings of Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference. (pp. 7). Western Australia. Adelaide, Australia. Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science, Edith Cowan University, Perth.

Conference website available here.


The purpose of this study is to revisit Holt's (1995) seminal treatise – How consumers consume: A typology of consumption practices. Whilst Holt implies that this theory applies to all consumption activities his data was exclusively the consumption of national baseball in the United States of America. The limited nature of Holt's research: one location, one country, one sport, and one level of sport suggests further investigation of this theory in different settings may be insightful. In this study we look at different sports, at different levels, and in an Australian context. Overall, our findings confirm the usefulness and applicability of Holt's typology in an Australian sporting context, however, our study identified that there are factors that must be considered at different levels of participation, particularly relating to the consumer's relationship with the participants.

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