more among season ticket holders (STHs) are not uncommon ( McDonald, 2010 ). Such levels of STH churn are disturbing given that STHs are a vital source of revenue for professional teams ( George & Wakefield, 2018 ). They account for a major portion of ticketing revenue, attendance, and concession spend
Adam Karg, Ali Tamaddoni, Heath McDonald, and Michael Ewing
Adam Karg, Jeremy Nguyen, and Heath McDonald
the phenomena. One issue is the limited contact sports teams have with single, or casual ticket buyers, where it can be difficult to follow up or track persistent nonattendance. A season ticket holder (STH), unlike a single ticket buyer, provides a relatively rich source of data. STHs are also of
Matthew Katz, Bob Heere, and E. Nicole Melton
of sport season-ticket holders specifically ( McDonald, Karg, & Leckie, 2014 ). Sport scholars seem to have answered such a call primarily through examining social media networks, including Twitter networks surrounding international sporting events ( Yan, Watanabe, Shapiro, Naraine, & Hull, 2019
Yann Abdourazakou, Xuefei (Nancy) Deng, and Gashaw Abeza
have made significant contributions to our understanding of sport fans’ consumption of social media for a variety of purposes. This study seeks to examine and address the research gap the remains in the literature regarding the season ticket holders’ social media usage during live sport consumption. In
Season ticket holders (STHs) are vital to professional sport club revenue and are purported to be the most loyal and involved of fans. Nonrenewal (churn) rates among STHs, however, often exceed 20%. Low member satisfaction, poor on-field performance and low game attendance have all been posited as explanations of high churn rates, but rarely empirically examined. The research reported here employed a unique study of over 4,500 STHs, incorporating both survey research and measures of actual behavior, to determine which variables best explain and predict churn within two professional sport teams. A variety of analytical techniques all suggest that the key variables predicting churn are length of relationship and the number of games attended. New, low attending STHs are over five times more likely to churn than long-term, frequent attendees. Typical management practice is to run reward schemes designed to increase attendance and encourage renewal. The results of this study suggest that fundamental differences in the way new, low attending members evaluate the season ticket product may render those schemes ineffective. Shifting the focus of these STHs toward the intangibles of the product, such as stronger feelings of involvement, a sense of community and increased patron worth, could be more effective at reducing churn.
Alan L. Morse
The Mississippi State Bulldogs baseball team has enjoyed strong fan support over the years as the Bulldogs play in front of sold out crowds each time they take the field. The problem is not the ability to sell tickets, but the high frequency of “no-shows.” Ticketing Director, John King, must consider the big picture when formulating a plan to solve this problem. There are many areas within the athletic department that contribute to this problem, and can help “right the ship” as John described it. The goal is to solve the problem with frequency of attendance at home baseball games from multiple aspects. Many areas within the athletic department factor into this process: 1) fundraising and development, 2) ticket office, 3) marketing department, and 4) promotions department.
Adam Karg, Heath McDonald, and Civilai Leckie
preferences of a sample of current highly committed fans—season ticket holders (STH)—to assess consumption and postconsumption differences related to the core products they hold. We extend this to assess how their assessment of the STH product differs based on diverse consumption preferences. The Changing
Jason Daniels, Thilo Kunkel, and Adam Karg
spanned STH as well as fans; thus, our design has allowed for the inclusion of fans with a range of involvement levels to be included in this research. We do acknowledge that highly involved respondents (e.g., season-ticket holders) may skew the data by including participants who are more likely to hold
Heath McDonald and Emma Sherry
When assessing board performance, customers are often overlooked as a stakeholder group. Yet, dissatisfied customers have successfully acted to have boards removed, and we have seen this scenario occur repeatedly among professional sport organizations governed by boards. The purpose of this research was to identify the factors affecting customer perceptions of sport club board performance, and guide organizations in the management of those perceptions. After extensive qualitative research, over 20,000 season ticket holders (STHs) from 14 different professional sport clubs were surveyed. The results suggest that a combination of overt performance measures (e.g., profits) and subjective, nonfinancial measures (e.g., feelings of inclusion) are used by customers to assess sport boards. Overall perceptions of the board directly influence customer satisfaction, and are strongly correlated with on-field performance and customer inclusion, suggesting boards are perceived to have a role to play in both areas. Perceptions of board performance are, therefore, worth managing in a holistic manner, balancing strong financial and club management with a particular emphasis on inclusive practices.
Annemarie Farrell, Janet S. Fink, and Sarah Fields
While women are increasingly becoming vested fans of men’s football, baseball, hockey, and basketball, the perceived barriers—sociological, psychological and practical—to watching women’s sports still appear formidable for many female fans. The purpose of this study was to investigate the lack of female consumption of women’s sport through the voices and perspectives of female spectators of men’s sport. Based on interviews with female season ticket holders of men’s collegiate basketball who had not attended women’s basketball games for at least 5 years, the most robust theme to emerge was the profound male influence in the spectator lives of women. This influence was a lifelong phenomenon spanning generations, beginning with grandfathers and brothers and continuing through husbands and sons. Other factors combined with this strong influence to block participants’ consumption of women’s sport. These include a lack of awareness and access to women’s sport and the existence of socializing agents who empasized and prioritized male leisure interests.