Academic journal article International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship

General Market Demand Variables Associated with Professional Sport Consumption. (Research Paper)

Academic journal article International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship

General Market Demand Variables Associated with Professional Sport Consumption. (Research Paper)

Article excerpt

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between general market demands and consumption levels of professional sport consumers. This study was accomplished through: (a) validating the theoretical constructs of general market demand variables by conducting a confirmatory factor analysis; (b) examining the predictability of general market demand factors to consumption levels of live and televised sporting events; and (c) investigating the relationships between sociodemographic and general market demand factors. Five hundred and twenty-five residents of a major southern US city were interviewed using a questionnaire that included eight sociodemographic variables, 12 market demand variables under three factors (Game Attractiveness, Economic Consideration, and Marketing Promotion), and 10 professional sporting event consumption variables. The factor structure of the general market demand variables was confirmed. Regression analyses revealed that market demand factors were positively (p < .05) predictive of professional sport consumption. Sociodemographic variables were significantly (p < .05) related to the market demand factors. The findings imply that professional sport teams should highlight the market demand variables and adopt differential marketing procedures for various sociodemographic segments in their marketing practice.

Keywords: Market demands, game consumption, professional sports

Introduction

Professional sport teams have two primary product markets, ticket sales and broadcasting rights, which account for over 80 per cent of team revenue. Teams also have secondary revenue producers such as parking, concessions, programs, endorsements, uses of team logos, and media productions (Leonard, 1997; Noll, 1991). The relationship between live and televised events is reciprocal. Each has influenced and depended on the other for its popularity and commercial success (Jhally, 1989; Whannel, 1992). Spectator attraction and retention at both live and televised events are very critical to the financial success of teams. Nevertheless, spectator retention is the most common problem facing the sport industry (Sawyer & Smith, 1999).

Sport games are the core product function of professional sport teams. In recent years, there has been an increased interest in studying consumer demands of the core products. Researchers (Greenstein & Marcum, 1981; Hansen & Gauthier, 1989; Schofield, 1983; Zhang, Pease, Hui & Michaud, 1995) have generally grouped variables affecting spectator game consumption into the following categories: game attractiveness (e.g. athlete skills, team records, league standing, record-breaking performance, closeness of competition, team history in a community, schedule, convenience, and stadium quality); marketing promotions (e.g. publicity, special events, entertainment programs, and giveaways); and economic considerations (e.g. ticket price, substitute forms of entertainment, income, and competition of other sport events). The majority of previous studies have focused on game attractiveness variables, while the other two areas have been studied to a lesser extent (e.g. Baade & Tiehen, 1990; Marcum & Greenstein, 1985; Noll, 1974,1991; Whitney, 1988; Zak, Huang & Siegfried, 1979).

Game attractiveness and marketing promotion variables have generally been found to be positively related to game consumption (Baade & Tiehen, 1990; Becker & Suls, 1983; Hansen & Gauthier, 1989; Jones, 1984; Marcum & Greenstein, 1985; Noll, 1991; Whitney, 1988; Zhang et al., 1995). For economic variables, income and ticket discounts have consistently been shown to be positively related to game consumption, while ticket price, substitute forms of entertainment, and competition from other sport events have generally been shown to be negatively related to game consumption (Baade & Tiehen, 1990; Bird, 1982; Hansen & Gauthier, 1989; Noll, 1974; Siegfried & Eisenberg, 1980; Zhang & Smith, 1997; Zhang, Smith, Pease & Jambor, 1997). …

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