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A Peculiarity That Positions Sport Management

Brian M. Mills

This paper outlines the centrality of market structures in positioning Sport Management and in driving the institutional boundaries that guide most research in the field. I synthesize past work related to competition policy to center an approach to developing an impactful Sport Management literature, broadly speaking. Beginning with a description of industrial organizational lessons for Sport Management research, I exhibit how this frame provides additional scholarly substance to the trajectory of Sport Management as a discipline at the nexus of management, policy, and sport. Although this disciplinary framing is necessarily grounded in the economic structure of sport, and lessons from the Sports Economics literature, I do not argue for a supremacy or exclusivity of economics research. Rather, I propose that framing the discipline in the context of policy and market power allows for a more legitimized and inclusive area of social science that does not sacrifice its managerial roots.

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NBA Primary Market Ticket Consumers: Ex Ante Expectations and Consumer Market Origination

Brian M. Mills, Steven Salaga, and Scott Tainsky

We add to the recent ticket market literature by using a unique, disaggregated, and proprietary data set of primary market ticket sales transactions from a National Basketball Association team that includes previously unavailable information on date of purchase, customer location, and other consumer demographics. We find that local and out-of-market fans differ in their total purchase amounts, with out-of-market fans spending more than local consumers, on average, and differential spending effects based on the home team win probability. In particular, this differential behavior has important implications for Rottenberg’s uncertainty of outcome hypothesis. We find evidence that interest in visiting team quality dominates interest in perceived contest uncertainty, fitting the reference-dependent preference model in the context of low local team quality. Further, these findings also have important implications related to market segmentation and dynamic ticket pricing in professional sport.