Two studies examined the relationship between objective, social, and temporal performance indices and fan support of major league baseball teams. In the first study, per game attendance figures for 22 major league teams were regressed on the performance indices. Attendance was found to be positively related to objective and social performance and negatively related to temporal performance. These results were replicated in the second study when season ticket sales for five major league teams was the dependent variable. Although the objective and social results were consistent with expectations, the negative relationship between temporal performance and fan support was unexpected. Primacy effects and regression toward the mean are offered as explanations for this latter finding. The results of both studies are considered in terms of the optimum marketing strategy for professional team sports.
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