Attributes, Trade-Offs and Choice: A Conjoint Analysis of Sport Management Programs

in Sport Management Education Journal

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Gonzalo A. BravoWest Virginia University

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Doyeon WonUniversity of Georgia

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Mauricio FerreiraTexas A&M University

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Trade-offs in consumer choice become central to understanding how choice actually occurs. This study examines the trade-offs sport management students are willing to make in order to select the program of their choice. Sport management undergraduate students (N = 498) participated in a full-profile conjoint experiment asking them to rate 18 program-choice scenarios resulted from the factorial design of seven attributes and nineteen levels. Results at the aggregated level indicated that program environment was the most important attribute in choosing a sport management graduate program, followed by program reputation, graduate assistantship, cost/tuition, NCAA affiliation, program length, and location. Given these results, a sensitivity analysis illustrated that students were willing to make trade-offs among program characteristics, particularly pay more for a program with better reputation. Results from the current study are valuable and informative for sport management programs for setting market boundaries and selecting what to promote when advertising to attract prospective students.

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