Variables Influencing Spectators' Desire to Stay at A Professional Golf Tournament in Japan

By Watanabe, Yasuhiro; Matsumoto, Koji et al. | Contemporary Management Research, September 2013 | Go to article overview

Variables Influencing Spectators' Desire to Stay at A Professional Golf Tournament in Japan


Watanabe, Yasuhiro, Matsumoto, Koji, Nogawa, Haruo, Contemporary Management Research


ABSTRACT

The main purpose of this study is to examine the variables influencing golf spectators' desire to stay at a professional golf tournament in Japan. The data used in this project were based on a questionnaire administered to 1023 spectators at two professional golf tour tournaments near Tokyo; 991 of these questionnaires were returned. The results indicated that the variables that most affected the golf spectators' desire to stay at the event site were affection for the player, fondness for the game, the course itself, and hospitality and service management. Overall, the event operation of the tournament appeared to have the strongest impact on the spectators' desire to stay at the event site.

Keywords: Desire to Stay, Golf Spectator, Professional Golf Tour Tournament

INTRODUCTION

Spectators who enjoy spending time at an event are assumed to be more likely to return to that or a similar event (Wakefield & Blodgett, 1994; Wakefield & Sloan, 1995; Wakefield & Blodgett, 1996). Conversely, negative experiences are likely to reduce their desire to stay at the event, may cause them to leave early and to not to return. Event services such as trade fairs, motor shows, and sporting events, generally require customers to spend extended periods of time in the physical surroundings of the service provider (Wakefield & Blodgett, 1996).

In all of these above cases, the perceived quality of the market demand (e.g., the game itself, the players' performance) and the servicescape (i.e., the physical environment) may play an important role in determining consumer satisfaction, which in turn, influences how long they stay at the event, how much money they will spend, whether they will return in the future, and whether they will re-patronize the event's organizer (Bitner, 1992; Wakefield & Sloan, 1995; Zhang, Pease, Hui, & Michaud, 1995; Zhang, Lam, & Connaughton, 2003; Zhang, Lam, Connaughton, Bennett, & Smith, 2005). Likewise, other aspects of an event, such as food, charity, staff, scoreboards, and access may partly determine whether sports spectators will stay for the entire event or lose interest and leave early. Unlike a comparable expenditure on most tangible products, attendance at a sporting event assumes an intention to remain at the service event for an extended period of time.

From the individual spectator's perspective, the economic impact of this decision transcends the mere purchase of a game ticket; it includes complementary expenditures inside (parking, food, drink, and souvenirs) and outside (meals, transportation, shopping, and perhaps lodging) the event. Thus, when spectators attend games, the environment (i.e., the event management, which provides core products and peripheral services) may play a significant role in determining how much they enjoy their experience. However, there is little research in which sport spectators are used as subjects to indicate what strategies should be adopted to attract spectators to an event and to remain there. Unlike baseball or soccer games, professional golf tour tournaments take up an entire day, so spectators can expect to be there for at least 4-6 hours.

The purpose of this study is to explore the influence that the market demand and physical environment at professional golf tour tournaments in Japan have on the spectators' desire to remain at these events.

BACKGROUND

Definition of Spectators' Desire to Stay

Bitner (1992) suggested that the spatial layout and signage of a venue, affect the behavior of customers and reported that the physical environment affects the demands and expenditures of customers. Wakefield and Baker (1998) defined "desire to stay" as an action in "the place", and they found that the physical environment of a shopping center has a relatively strong influence on the desire of shoppers to remain there.

Spectators typically spend two to four hours at a stadium, and their experience of service quality and the physical environment influences both their desire to stay and their future attendance (Wakefield et al. …

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