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Chapter 2: Examining Sports & Entertainment Consumption

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Melissa Talley

on 14 October 2013

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Transcript of Chapter 2: Examining Sports & Entertainment Consumption

Chapter 2: Examining Sports & Entertainment Consumption
Learning Objective #2: Describe the different types of sports consumption motives
Learning Objective # 1: Differentiate between utilitarian and hedonic consumption motives
Utilitarian Motives
Utilitarian motives influence a buying decision when a functional benefit is sought from consumption. For example, the decision of which gas station to stop at to make a purchase may be influenced by criteria such as location (convenience sought), price (economic benefit), and credit cards accepted. In the context of sports entertainment, utilitarian motives for consumption may be to have family time or a morale building experience for a business outing.
Hedonic Motives
Sports consumption is influenced more by hedonic motives, which are tied to one’s desire to have a sensory experience that elicits pleasure fun or excitement. Participation and spectator sports offer experiences for hedonic consumption, whether it is self-actualization one can feel as a participant or the enjoyment of a multisensory environment at a sporting event.
2 - Psychological Motives
Self-Esteem. The decision to become a fan or follower through sports consumption may be influenced by the impact it has on one’s personal identity. A person’s beliefs about how he or she is perceived by other people can be enhanced through sports consumption, and the benefits of group affiliation can have a positive impact on self-esteem.
Escape. One form of hedonic consumption motives that sports can meet is to provide an escape from everyday life. Problems, stress, and other conditions can be left behind for a period of time while participating in sports or consuming as a spectator.

3 - Personal Motives
Aesthetic. This motive relates to one’s interest to the sport itself—the strategy of baseball, the aggressiveness of football, and the skill of Kobe Bryant are examples of the aesthetics of a sport influencing sports consumption. Marketing a sports product to people motivated by aesthetics may represent “low hanging fruit” of an audience easy to persuade. However, they are usually insufficient in number to be the lone type of consumer in the target market.
Entertainment. In contrast to an aesthetic motive, people motivated to consume sports for its entertainment value seek benefits from the total experience of sports consumption. Sports properties respond to consumers’ entertainment motives by designing interactivity and multisensory environments into their experiences. Examples include pregame or postgame concerts, in-game contests, and giveaways.

Family. Sport consumption can be part of a family ritual, whether it is direct consumption (i.e., attending events) or indirect consumption such as watching games on TV. Interest in a sport or team often begins with exposure at an early due
to the influence of family members.
Group Affiliation. Becoming part of a community of people who share an affinity for the same sport, team, or player is another socially-based motive. Group affiliation motives can be met by direct consumption at sporting events or indirectly in ways such as participation in online message boards or membership in social networking groups.

1 - Social Motives
Family. Sport consumption can be part of a family ritual, whether it is direct consumption (i.e., attending events) or indirect consumption such as watching games on TV. Interest in a sport or team often begins with exposure at an early due to the influence of family members.

Group Affiliation. Becoming part of a community of people who share an affinity for the same sport, team, or player is another socially-based motive. Group affiliation motives can be met by direct consumption at sporting events or indirectly in ways such as participation in online message boards or membership in social networking groups.
2 - Personal Motives
Continued...
Sensory Stimulation. Related to the entertainment motive, some consumers seek to experience sensory stimulation through sports. For spectator sporting events, the game is a production—literally! Entertainment elements like music, video, and graphics are scripted into game production, timed to occur at specific points during the event. And, the event itself can be a source of sensory stimulation— speed, violence, and other aspects of action are ways to elicit sensory responses.
Economic. The economic motive is linked to monetary gain or benefit people may enjoy from sports. People who gamble on sports may follow a particular sport or teams to gain an advantage when wagering on sports. On a broader scale, fantasy sports players may be attracted to participate by an economic motive. The prospect of winning cash or merchandise prizes in a fantasy football league, for example, may prompt some players to invest time and money in an effort to improve their chances of winning.
Learning Objective #3:
Discuss the characteristics and implications of low and high involvement sports fan segments
Low Involvement Fans
Situation-Based Identification. Special events or circumstances can attract people to sports who otherwise have little or no relationship or interest. The Olympics are a good example; sports such as swimming or figure skating do not have a mass audience on an ongoing basis. However, the intensity and drama of Olympic competition attracts followers for these events, albeit for a short period of time. Marketers must remember that this segment of fans may be prospects to build a relationship and escalate their involvement with the sport or brand.


Low Involvement Fans
Geography-Based Identification. Geography plays a role in attracting fans for a sports brand. Sports teams are a source of civic pride, and branding often reflects attributes or history of the local market. One strategy used by many sports properties to appeal to consumers via a geographical connection is to be active in supporting community causes and charities. Active civic engagement communicates that an organization cares about the community, which can appeal to people who may not have as much interest in the core product (sport). One of the Four Points of Emphasis in DECA is Civic Consciousness!
High Involvement Fans
Emotion-Based Identification. In contrast to low involvement fan segments, fans with emotion-based identification with a sports brand are not affected by performance on the field and place a greater emphasis on their relationship with the brand. The affinity felt for the brand is high, and this segment seeks to sustain the relationship regularly through direct and indirect consumption. This segment is attractive because they represent opportunities for revenue streams such as tickets, licensed merchandise, media content, and unique experiences.
High Involvement Fans
Self-Concept-Based Identification. Fans with self-concept-based identification have the greatest involvement with a sports brand. They place great importance on their relationship with the brand, and it is a significant part of their self-concept. This segment may be equated with fanatics such as the group that sit in “The Black Hole” at Oakland Raiders games. One tactic for marketing to fans with self-concept-based identification is to promote a dedicated seating area at events, appealing to their desire to communicate team identification to other people.
Learning Objective #4:
Describe the factors and strategies that influence fan relationships with sports brands
In order to develop customer relationships, a starting point must be established.

Fan Relationship Connection Points
Star Power
One connection point that holds great potential as a marketing tool is star power. It holds great potential because a sports brand can possess star power in a variety of ways. The most obvious form of star power is players or athletes. However, other sources of star power can be tapped including coaches, former players and coaches, team, organization executives, mascot, and facilities. An organization should recognize the star power it possesses as marketing assets and incorporate star power into marketing campaigns.
Family
Family was identified previously as a type of social motive for sports consumption. Recognition of the importance of family as a connection point should be reflected in marketing tactics designed to appeal to families. Bundled pricing for families (e.g., all inclusive price for tickets, concessions and souvenirs), availability of family section seating, kids clubs, and interactive experiences for kids are examples of tactics that relate to this connection point.
Socialization
Another social motive for sports consumption, group affiliation, is based on the power of sports to be a connector of people with common interests. Sports marketers can nurture this connection point by making available socialization opportunities at live events, off-site, and online.
Community
The discussion of geography-based identification establishes that there is a segment of customers that can be attracted through an organization’s marketing efforts to forge a strong link to the local community. Establishing the market footprint for a sports brand is an important marketing task in developing community as a connection point. Depending on the population density and competition, the geographic footprint could be a city, multi-county area, region, or state. In addition to defining the market footprint, demonstrating relevance to the community through strategic philanthropy is vital to developing this fan connection point.
Participation
Following a sport often stems from one’s involvement in that sport as a participant. People who play a sport become more knowledgeable and interested in the sport. This first-hand involvement as a participant can lead to connecting with a sports brand as a spectator. Youth sports participation is a point of emphasis for many sports brands. Attracting youth to a sport at an early age creates the potential for a long-term relationship that extends into adulthood. Conversely, decreased youth participation in a sport is generally interpreted as a threat to that sport. And, when kids are attracted to a sport their parents are usually ensnared, too.
Learning Objective #5: Contrast the characteristics and benefits of indirect and direct sports consumption
Sports consumption can be classified as either direct consumption or indirect consumption. Direct consumption refers to attending live sporting events or first-hand usage of sports products or sporting goods. Direct consumption is a valuable revenue stream for sports properties as attendance at a sporting event triggers spending on complementary purchases such as food and beverage and merchandise. The costs associated with sporting events can dissuade some people from direct consumption, or other circumstances may prevent attendance at sporting events. Indirect consumption includes consuming sports through broadcasts of sporting events, news and entertainment media, and interactions with other people. Indirect consumption should be encouraged to keep fans engaged who cannot attend events, to attract new fans, and to maintain interest among fans.
Learning Objective # 6: Describe the variables that affect an individual’s decision to attend a sports event
Perceived Options
Choice is a factor affecting consumer behavior for most buying decisions we make—Should I buy Brand A or Brand B? In a sports context, choice may be whether to attend a college football game on a Saturday afternoon or NFL game on Sunday. Choice also involves decisions about the opportunity cost of a brand choice. For example, if one decides to buy tickets and incur travel expenses to go to the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day that decision may affect dollars available for debt reduction, Christmas gifts, or savings.
Future Availability
. The decision to attend a sporting event can be affected by consideration of whether there are opportunities to attend at a future date. The number of events that make up a sports property’s product offering influence how customers perceive future availability. For example, MLB teams have 81 “products” to market, meaning that someone considering attending a Tuesday night game in April may realize that if that game is missed there will be many other opportunities to take in a game. In contrast, the Daytona 500 happens only once a year and at the same time of year. If a NASCAR fan has an interest in attending that event, the decision cannot be postponed until later.
Financial Responsibility
The financial outlay to take in a sporting event can have a strong effect on attendance decision. Tickets are a major expenditure but not the only cost consideration. Figure 2.6 provides some data from the Fan Cost Index (FCI), a measure of financial requirements for a typical sporting event experience. Sports properties can use marketing to minimize financial requirements as a barrier and add value. For example, ticket packages that include parking privileges can eliminate an additional cost and create perceptions of more benefits received for the price paid.
Convenience & Comfort
Several variables influence beliefs about the convenience of attending a particular sporting event. The day of week an event is held, the time of day it begins, access to parking nearby, travel time and distance, and weather are variables that a consumer may weigh when considering attending a sporting event. Some of these variables can be controlled by management (e.g., day and time of events and perhaps control over parking), while other variables are beyond their control.
The most prominent convenience variable is the availability to consume a sporting event indirectly through TV, Internet, or some other medium.
Team Identification
As discussed earlier in the chapter, the star power of a team, player, or coach can bring consumers to sports. This connection includes sporting event attendance. High involvement fan segments in particular are attracted to attend sporting events given the importance of a team in their lives. People influenced by team identification are more likely to attend regardless of a team’s performance—wins and successes are not necessarily an important component of their decision to attend events.
Team Identification
As discussed earlier in the chapter, the star power of a team, player, or coach can bring consumers to sports. This connection includes sporting event attendance. High involvement fan segments in particular are attracted to attend sporting events given the importance of a team in their lives. People influenced by team identification are more likely to attend regardless of a team’s performance—wins and successes are not necessarily an important component of their decision to attend events.
Personal Incentives
Individuals’ desires to consume a sport because of their interest in the aesthetic characteristics of a sport or engage in social interactions are personal incentives that can lead to the decision to attend sporting events.
Socialization with family, friends, or a group of other people with shared interests is not only a motive for consuming sports, it can be a strong influence on the decision to attend events. It should be noted that socially-oriented incentives for attending may attract people to a particular event, but it may not be strong enough to create an enduring relationship between patron and sports brand. For example, some people may decide to attend a college football game because of socialization opportunities like pre-game tailgating or a post-game concert.

Marketing Communications
Marketing Communications. Messages sent to consumers about sporting events can influence the decision to attend. The impact may be indirect in that advertising could create awareness of an event (e.g., opponent, date, and time) but does not necessarily lead to a decision to attend. In other words, marketing communications may not be powerful enough to influence attendance decision-making simply because a person was exposed to a marketing message. Marketing communications provide a cumulative benefit, meaning that message repetition can build brand awareness and image. These impacts are valuable in persuading consumers to ultimately take action such as attending an event.
Promotions. Influencing an action response like event attendance can be done through offering promotions or incentives. These value added incentives can be price based, benefit based, or reward based. Price based incentives reduce the sacrifices required to attend (e.g., buy 1 ticket/get 1 ticket free promotion). Benefit based incentives provide more value for buyers without discounting price. Access to special events or providing perks like parking are examples of reward based incentives. The trend of “all you can eat seats” is another form of benefit based incentives. Reward incentives provide tangible value in exchange for event attendance. The long standing sports industry tradition of giveaways is an example of using reward incentives to encourage event attendance.
Physical Environment. Part of the total “product” of a sporting event is the physical environment in which it occurs. Sensory stimulation and escape were identified earlier in the chapter as personal motives for sports consumption. Managing the physical environment is a strategy for enhancing value. Design and functionality of a sports venue can contribute to one’s decision to want to spend time at a sporting event. One of the reasons many sports properties have pursued building new stadiums in recent years is to incorporate modern design and technology to enhance the physical environment. Design considerations are referred to as aesthetics (e.g., architectural design and scoreboards), while functionality considerations are called spatial layout (e.g., room in seating area and width of concourses).
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