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J. Thomas Yokum, Juan J. Gonzalez and Tom Badgett

We are interested in forecasting or predicting the long-term viability of a minor league baseball team. The research question is whether this minor league team will be successful in attracting attendance over an extended period of time. An important financial issue is if the team is predicted to fail, then exactly how long will it last? A variety of methods are used in a step-by-step procedure to evaluate this viability. We first test whether attendance is evolving or stable through a unit root test, a test of market persistence. We then use the Bass model to assess whether the projected product life cycle is turning up or down. The Gompertz and logistic (Pearl) diffusion curves are next applied to home stand data of various lengths in order to make forecasts of an eventual dissolution point at which the team would financially collapse. Market saturation is not estimated, but set at the stadium capacity. Forecasting principles involving diffusion models are implemented. Analogies are used as a complementary forecasting technique to assess whether there is long-term potential for survival. Finally, logistic regression on cross-sectional data is used to supplement the forecasts. The results of the triangulation of diffusion curves, analogies, and logistic regression predict a decline in the minor league team’s ability to capture attendance.

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L. Marlene Mawson and William T. Bowler III

The 1984 Supreme Court ruling in the antitrust suit between the Universities of Oklahoma and Georgia, representing the College Football Association (CFA), versus the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) provided mat individual institutions had proper authority to sell television rights to their football games. The NCAA had controlled television appearances of collegiate football teams with the rationale of preventing erosion of game attendance due to televised home football games. Records of home games televised, television revenues from football games, and attendance at televised football games were gathered from 57% of NCAA Division I institutions and compared for a 3-year period prior to the 1984 ruling, with a 3-year period following the ruling. Four sets oft tests between mean data for the pre- and posttime periods showed that although the number of games scheduled per season remained the same, the number of televised football games significantly increased, the television revenues from football remained constant, and attendance at televised home football games decreased significantly after the 1984 ruling.

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Jodi L. Southerland, Shimin Zheng, Mark Dula, Yan Cao and Deborah Leachman Slawson

Background:

The psychosocial benefits of participating in physical activity (PA) are well known; less is known about the relationship between suicidal behaviors and PA among adolescents, especially among middle school-aged youth. This study seeks to fill that gap by assessing the cross-sectional relationship between these variables.

Methods:

A secondary analysis of the 2010 Tennessee Middle School Youth Risk Behavior Survey data was conducted among 65,182 middle school students. Items examined were PA, sports team engagement, physical education (PE) class, screen time, suicidal behaviors, drug/substance use, extreme weight control behaviors, weight status and weight misperceptions, and selected personal characteristics. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the association between PA, sports team engagement, and PE class attendance on suicidal behaviors.

Results:

Sports team engagement was significantly associated with suicidal thoughts, plans, and attempts even after controlling for other important variables. There was no relationship, however, between total PA or PE class attendance in univariate or multivariate models, respectively.

Conclusions:

Findings suggest that sports team engagement is associated with reduced risk for suicidal thoughts, plans, and attempts, whereas, no relationships were found for PA or PE class attendance. Asking adolescents questions about sports team engagement may help clinicians screen for risk of suicidal behaviors.

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Karin Pfeiffer, Natalie Colabianchi, Marsha Dowda, Dwayne Porter, James Hibbert and Russell R. Pate

Background:

In adults, associations between church attendance and positive health behaviors exist; however, similar evidence among children and youth is lacking. The purposes of this investigation were to examine the associations between physical activity (PA) and church attendance, PA and use of church as a PA facility, and PA and proximity to churches among those who use church as a PA facility (while addressing racial and geographical differences).

Methods:

High school girls (N = 915, age = 17.7 ± 0.6 years, 56% African American) completed the 3-Day Physical Activity Recall and surveys including demographics and use of PA facilities. Geographic Information Systems data were used to spatially examine the number of churches within a 0.75-mile street network buffer around girls’ homes. Associations were examined using mixed model analyses controlling for demographic factors.

Results:

For the overall sample, total METs (56 versus 52) and proportion of girls meeting PA guidelines (62% vs. 52%) were significantly higher in church attendees versus nonattendees. Among participants who used facilities, having more churches close to home was associated with more PA.

Conclusions:

Church attendance and use are correlates of physical activity that should be further explored and addressed in future intervention research with adolescent girls.

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David A. Stewart

Fifty-nine deaf spectators at the 1991 Winter World Games for the Deaf were surveyed to delineate biodemographic characteristics and the socialization processes that led to their attendance at the Games. Subjects ranged from 21 to 74 years of age and were initially attracted to the Games because of their interest in watching deaf individuals compete. However, their chief source of enjoyment at the Games was the opportunity to socialize. It was also revealed that American Sign Language might not be as dominant a language in the Deaf community as previously thought and that some deaf individuals do receive social gratification through their interactions with and among nondeaf individuals.

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Donghun Lee and Galen Trail

This exploratory study examined the relationships among personal values, life goals, and individuals’ cognitive and behavioral involvement in sport. Multiple regression analyses revealed that personal values and goals explained a small to large amount of variance in General Sport Fanship (28%), Team Identification (28%), Televised Sports Viewership (19%), Game Attendance (13%), Internet Use specific to Sport (13%), Sport Listenership (12%), Sport Merchandise Purchasing (9%), and Sport Readership (8%). Comprehending the practical implications of identifying personal values, and in some cases personal goals, that influence cognitive loyalty and sport consumer behavior might improve sport marketers’ abilities to predict various types of sport involvement.

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Anders Grøntved, Grete Skøtt Pedersen, Lars Bo Andersen, Peter Lund Kristensen, Niels Christian Møller and Karsten Froberg

Independent associations between personal- and demographic characteristics and physical activity in 3–6 year old children attending preschool were identified in this study. Boys spent a larger proportion of the time on moderate-and-vigorous physical activity (MVPA; p < .001) and had a higher total physical activity level compared with girls (p < .001). The 3–4 year old children spent less time on MVPA and had a lower total physical activity level compared with both 4–5 (p < .01) and 5–6 year old children (p < .001). The individual preschool, gender and age of preschool children were strong predictors of physical activity (R2-total model=(0.36−0.39)) during preschool attendance.

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Heath McDonald

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.

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Sheranne Fairley and B. David Tyler

Sport fandom, particularly game attendance, offers an opportunity for social interaction. However, actual attendance at sport events is unrealistic for many individuals. In an attempt to foster a sense of community among such fans, sport marketers have begun to create additional consumption sites by televising live games in central locations, such as in a movie theater. This study examines the motives and experiences of fans who attend a cinema to view live baseball games. Data were collected through participant observation, a survey distributed to event attendees (n = 188), and focus groups. Results suggest that the sense of community and social environment created at the cinema were key factors in the viewing experience. The cinema provided individuals a collective viewing experience with likeminded fans, which helped create a stadium-like environment. This atmosphere, which affords the opportunity to focus on the game (compared with viewing at home or in pubs), allows fans to feel more connected to the team as they believe the cinema offers an authentic environment. Thus, providing sites for fans to view the game with likeminded fans outside of the stadium can be used as a means of creating social ties that could lead to increased fan loyalty. For some individuals, the cinema experience was preferred over that of the ballpark.

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JoEllen Wilbur, Michael E. Schoeny, Susan W. Buchholz, Louis Fogg, Arlene Michaels Miller, Lynne T. Braun, Shannon Halloway and Barbara L. Dancy

Background:

For interventions to be implemented effectively, fidelity must be documented. We evaluated fidelity delivery, receipt, and enactment of the 48-week Women’s Lifestyle Physical Activity Program conducted to increase physical activity and maintain weight in African American women.

Methods:

Three study conditions all received 6 group meetings; 1 also received 11 motivational interviewing personal calls (PCs), 1 received11 automated motivational message calls (ACs), and 1 received no calls. Group meeting delivery was assessed for adherence and competence. PC delivery was assessed with the Motivational Interviewing Treatment Integrity Code. Receipt was defined as group meeting attendance, completion of PCs, and listening to ACs. Enactment was number of weeks an accelerometer was worn.

Results:

For group meeting delivery, mean adherence was 80.8% and mean competence 2.9 of 3.0. Delivery of PCs did not reach criterion for competence. Receipt of more than one-half the dose was achieved for 84.9% of women for group meetings, 85.5% for PCs, and 42.1% for ACs. Higher group meeting attendance was associated with higher accelerometer steps at 24 weeks and lower BMI at 24 and 48 weeks.

Conclusions:

Fidelity measurement and examination of intervention delivery, receipt, and enactment are important to explicate conditions in which interventions are successful.