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Decision Factors that Influence Spectators Attending Arena Football Games Eddie T. C. Lam, Ph.D. (Department of HPERD, Cleveland State University) Introduction.

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Presentation on theme: "Decision Factors that Influence Spectators Attending Arena Football Games Eddie T. C. Lam, Ph.D. (Department of HPERD, Cleveland State University) Introduction."— Presentation transcript:

1 Decision Factors that Influence Spectators Attending Arena Football Games Eddie T. C. Lam, Ph.D. (Department of HPERD, Cleveland State University) Introduction Professional spot franchises have two primary sources of revenue: ticket sales and broadcasting rights. These two areas account for over 80% of team revenue (Zhang, Lam, & Connaughton, 2003). In the last two decades, there has been a strong interest in studying different factors that affect spectator game consumption. These factors include (a) game attractiveness (e.g., athlete skills, team records, league standing, record-breaking performance, closeness of competition, team history, schedule convenience, and stadium quality), (b) marketing promotions (e.g., publicity, special events, entertainment programs, and giveaways), and (c) economic consideration (e.g., ticket price, substitute forms of entertainment, income level, and competition from other sport events). Game attractiveness and marketing promotion variables have generally been found to be positively related to game consumption; whereas economic variables such as ticket discount and income level have consistently been shown to be positively related to game consumption (Baade & Tiehen, 1990; Noll, 1991; Zhang, Pease, Hui, & Michaud, 1995; Zhang, Pease, Smith, Lee, Lam, & Jambor, 1997). In spite of this, little is known about other variables that may have an impact on game consumption by spectators.Purpose The purpose of this study was to explore and identify variables that might have a strong influence on spectators decision to attend arena football games.Method Development of the decision variables was based on a thorough review of related literature and field observation. A panel of experts, which included two university professors in sport management and two senior administrators of the arena football team, determined the face and content validities of those developed items in terms of their relevance, clarity, and representativeness. As a result, 18 decision variables were generated. The 18-item Decision Factor was administrated to spectators during an arena football game in May The team was located in a large metropolitan area in the Midwest region of the United States. The questionnaire was distributed before the start and during the game using the random cluster sampling technique to make sure different sections of the arena had been covered. Results Item responses of the Decision Factor were based on a 7-point Likert scale (e.g., 1 = Not at All, and 7 = Very Much). A total of 363 questionnaires were useable for data analysis. Descriptive statistics (based on the ranking of the mean scores) of the 18 variables that had influenced spectators decisions to attend arena football games is depicted in Table 1. Twelve of the 18 variables had a mean score higher than 4; whereas four variables had a mean score larger than 5. The four variables with the highest mean score included Football Fan, Entertainment Value, Affordable Ticket, and Indoors. One-sample t-tests showed that 12 variables were significant (p <.05) from the median score.Conclusion Among all the 18 variables, Football Fan had the highest mean score (i.e., 6.04). This indicated that most of the spectators who attended arena football games simply because they were fans of the sport, most likely fans of both the National Football League (NFL) and Arena Football League (AFL). The next two variables with the highest mean scores were Entertainment Value and Affordable Ticket. One major factor that differentiated AFL from NFL was the ticket price. For example, the average ticket price of NFL in 2007 was $67, compared to only $24 for AFL. Among other things, the reasonable ticket price was one of the major reasons fans went to the game. The results also showed that spectators enjoyed the indoor atmosphere provided by the AFL. In fact, one advantage of AFL over NFL was the proximity of the game (i.e., the closeness between spectators and athletes). This factor was critical in enhancing fans experience and enjoyment of the game. Though the arena football team in this study provided such entertainment as fireworks and pre-games shows, what the fans enjoyed most was the performance of the dancing team and cheerleaders and they should be well presented during the games or included in game promotion materials. On the contrary, things like Video Board Content was not important and had no influence on spectators decision to go to the game. Table 1: Spectators Ranking of Decision Variables that Affected Their Decisions in Attending Arena Football Games (N = 363) RankMeanS.D.p Football Fan * Entertainment Value * Affordable Ticket * Indoors * Crowd Enthusiasm * Family Environment * Ticket Discount/Promotion * Goddesses Dance Team * Kickoff Crew Cheerleaders * Half-time Entertainment * Pre-Games Show In-Arena Contests Mascot (Rudi) Fireworks Kickoff Crew Autograph Session Video Board Content * Emcees Munch & Leah * * p <.05


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