Understanding how spectators make decisions among the multiplicity of sport alternatives is important to the development of marketing strategies. In this study, a hierarchical choice framework was adopted to help illuminate the process in which individuals deal with sport substitution decisions within one university setting. In a forced-choice experiment, 419 college students were presented with existing sport offerings and asked, under constraint-free conditions, to make attendance choices with and without the most preferred alternative available. By observing students’ choices, the choice process was inferred based on the degree of switching that occurred between the two scenarios and tested whether it followed a hierarchical scheme. Results supported a “tree” structure for attendance choices, in which students consider the specific sport before considering the alternatives within the sport. Thus, under the conditions tested substitution was more likely to occur between alternatives of the same sport than either between different sports with the same sex of participants or proportionally across all alternatives.
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Gonzalo A. Bravo, Doyeon Won, and Mauricio Ferreira
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.
Mauricio Ferreira, Todd K. Hall, and Gregg Bennett
In this study, we used correspondence analysis (Greenacre, 1984; Hoffman & Franke, 1986) to examine connections between the title sponsor, brand competitors, and consumer targets exposed to a sponsorship. Demographic characteristics and self-reported use of 20 soft drink brands were collected from 1,138 attendees of four of the five inaugural events of the Dew Action Sports Tour. The analyses consisted of decomposing the cross-tabulated data into latent dimensions and graphically portraying brands and consumer targets in joint preference maps. Results revealed that consumers differentiated the 20 soft drink brands based on two latent dimensions: energy/diet and convenience. Furthermore, based on proximity of the target market to the title sponsor in the maps, it appears that Mountain Dew has been relatively effective in positioning the brand for key target markets in only one of the four cities examined. Theoretical and managerial implications of the findings are discussed.