Does Bat Day Make Cents? The Effect of Promotions on the Demand for Major League Baseball

in Journal of Sport Management
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A primary objective of sport marketers in the professional sport setting is to develop strategies to increase game attendance. Historically, one of the strategies to accomplish this goal has been the utilization of special promotions. This paper studied the impact of promotions on attendance at professional sport games. Specifically, this research examines (a) the overall effect of promotions on attendance, and (b) the marginal impact on attendance of additional promotional days. Using a data set containing 1,500 observations, we find that a promotion increases single game attendance by about 14%. Additionally, increasing the number of promotions has a negative effect on the marginal impact of each promotion. The loss from this watering down effect, however, is outweighed by the gain from having an extra promotion day.

Mark McDonald is with the Sport Management Program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003. Daniel Rascher is with Navigant Consulting, Emeryville, CA 94608; and the Department of Sport Management at the University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94117.

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