Sport Experience Design: Wearable Fitness Technology in the Health and Fitness Industry

in Journal of Sport Management
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  • 1 Temple University
  • 2 University of Massachusetts
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Emerging technologies not only pose challenges for how sport organizations are managed but also create opportunities for sport organizations to become more competitive by enhancing consumers’ service experience. The integration of wearable fitness technology (WFT) by health and fitness clubs provides an opportunity to examine the influence of WFT on the service experience. Although existing research on technology innovations typically examines either the individual or the organizational perspective in isolation, we use the sport experience design framework to comprehensively examine the influence of WFT on the management and perceptions of service experiences. Participants (N = 37) who took part in the qualitative study included fitness club owners (n = 13), fitness club instructors (n = 7), and fitness club members (n = 17). Findings indicate that integrating WFT enhances the service experience via increased social interaction, gamification, and accountability. However, findings also suggest that technology innovations must be integrated carefully to avoid misalignment between providers’ and users’ perceptions. Despite the potential for misalignment, emerging technologies can enhance and expand the service experience beyond the physical environment, presenting sport organizations with technology-mediated opportunities to engage consumers.

Pizzo, Jones, and Funk are with the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA. Baker is with the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, USA.

Pizzo (anthony.pizzo@temple.edu) is corresponding author.
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