Driving first-time and repeat spectators to a motor sport event

Giacomo Del Chiappa (Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Sassari and CRENoS, Sassari, Italy)
Cem Tinaz (Assistant Professor at the Okan University, Istanbul, Turkey)
Douglas Michele Turco (Professor at Neumann University, Aston, Pennsylvania, USA)

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research

ISSN: 1750-6182

Publication date: 30 September 2014



This paper aims to examine the differences in expenditure and satisfaction level between first-time and repeat spectators to a motor sport event, as well as differences in their intention to return and to recommend the host destination.


A structured questionnaire was developed and data were collected on-site during the 2012 Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) World Rally Championship (WRC) in Sardinia via 210 interviews. A series of descriptive analysis, independent t-tests, chi-square tests and regression analysis were run for the purposes of the study.


Findings showed first-timers spend more and are more satisfied than repeaters, even if no significant differences were reported. Repeaters reported to be more willing to return and to recommend, with significant differences, only in the intention to return.

Research limitations/implications

The study is based on a convenience sample of a relatively small size, and it might be influenced by the idiosyncratic characteristics of the location. Further, it does not consider the mediating effect that the budget of spectators and their travel/event career ladder can exert over their behaviour.

Practical implications

Destination marketers and event organizers need to run their marketing operations to renew their customer mix and/or to increase the standard level of quality to be delivered to repeaters. Further, their marketing and communication strategy should be personalized, and incentives should be given to encourage both groups to purchase multiple products simultaneously.


The paper adds to the growing, and often still inconsistent, research aiming to compare first-timers’ and repeat visitors’ behaviours by offering insights from the context of motor sport events, where no published paper exist so far.



Del Chiappa, G., Tinaz, C. and Michele Turco, D. (2014), "Driving first-time and repeat spectators to a motor sport event", International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 388-400. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCTHR-03-2014-0023

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