Academic journal article Sport Marketing Quarterly

Sportscape Factors Influencing Spectator Attendance and Satisfaction at a Professional Golf Association Tournament

Academic journal article Sport Marketing Quarterly

Sportscape Factors Influencing Spectator Attendance and Satisfaction at a Professional Golf Association Tournament

Article excerpt

Abstract

Sportscape refers to service extensions and the physical surroundings of a sports event. This is a case study that focuses on sportscape factors and how they influence the overall satisfaction of spectators attending a PGA TOUR event. Golf is different from other sports in that it has a flexible venue and is experienced differently by spectators and, therefore, careful analysis must be given to sportscape factors. A survey was developed and implemented at a PGA TOUR event to identify the influence of eight specific sportscape factors on the level of satisfaction of spectators. Based on preliminary descriptive analysis, the spectators appeared to be satisfied with all eight sportscape factors. By using cluster analysis, two distinct homogeneous groups of spectators were identified: a smaller group that was more satisfied with the sportscape factors and a larger group that was less satisfied. Multiple regression was then used to identify the sportscape factors that impacted overall satisfaction by cluster. Recommendations and suggestions for future research are made based on our findings to PGA directors to enhance spectator satisfaction and increase attendance.

Introduction

Sport is a major component of the American culture and a growing sector of the entertainment industry and the global economy, thus competing for the discretionary income of consumers world-wide. While business and industry have long been concerned with customer satisfaction (Anderson, Fornell, & Lehmann, 1994; Anderson & Mittal, 2000; Bearden & Teel, 1983; Churchill & Surprenant, 1982; Day & Bodur, 1978; Spreng, Harrell, & Mackoy, 1995), limited research has been conducted on customer satisfaction in the sport industry, also known as fan or spectator satisfaction (Greenwell, 2007; Madrigal, 1995; Van Leeuwen, Quick, & Daniel, 2002). Notably, these studies have focused on professional sports such as baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and soccer, not professional golf. In business terminology, customer satisfaction measures how products and services offered by a company meet or exceed customer expectations. Customer satisfaction is crucial in the sport industry, where sport organizations focus on understanding the needs and wants of customers while working to achieve organizational goals. Mullin, Hardy, and Sutton (2000) emphasized that sport organizations need to focus on product extensions since sport marketers have little or no control over their core product or the game. Product extensions include the physical environment surrounding the core product that are identified in business and industry as "servicescape" (Bitner, 1992) and have been referred to as "sportscape" in the sport industry (Wakefield & Sloan, 1995).

Purpose

This case study was designed to assess the overall level of satisfaction of spectators attending a professional golf tournament. Specifically, the objective was to identify sportscape factors that influence the overall level of satisfaction of golf spectators who attended a PGA TOUR event.

Background

There is heightened competition for the consumer in the sport industry due to the growth of the four traditional major professional sports leagues of baseball, basketball, football, and hockey; and individual sports such as golf, NASCAR, and tennis. In addition, college sports are currently surging in popularity. The international passion for sports such as boxing, cycling, golf, soccer, tennis, and track and field are indicative of the globalization of sport and the sport industry. Furthermore, there is more media attention given to sports programming today than ever before, with free broadcasts, cable television, the Internet, and various radio networks individualized to specific sports. Due to the heightened competition for the consumer in the sport industry, sport executives must be concerned with the satisfaction of spectators and factors that influence spectators to attend and return to a sporting event. …

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