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Article
Publication date: 31 May 2021

David J. Finch, Gashaw Abeza, Norm O'Reilly, John Nadeau, Nadège Levallet, David Legg and Bill Foster

The segmentation of customers into homogeneous groups is well researched, reflecting its importance to marketers. Specific to professional sports, published research on…

Abstract

Purpose

The segmentation of customers into homogeneous groups is well researched, reflecting its importance to marketers. Specific to professional sports, published research on customer segmentation first occurred in the early 2000s, but no studies exist based on internal data from season ticket holders, an attractive and loyal customer group which is the most important customer for professional sports teams. Thus, the purpose of this research was to fill this gap in the literature through a sequential study of season ticket holders of a professional sports club.

Design/methodology/approach

Study 1 employed six focus groups (n = 56) to determine the constructs, understand the issues, and sequentially inform the survey instrument for the second study. Study 2 used an online survey (n = 1,007) to collect data on factors including socio-demographics, consumption, media engagement, fan satisfaction, future intentions and sports fan motivation.

Findings

The results identified the engagement factors and selection variables which drive season ticket holder purchase and allowed for the segmentation analysis, which identified fourteen unique fan segments for a professional sports club, generalizable to other clubs.

Originality/value

The identification of 14 segments of season ticket holders based on a sequential study framed by the sports relationship marketing model is a needed contribution for practice (i.e. a specific direction on how to efficiently allocate resources when marketing to season ticket holders) and advances our conceptual knowledge by applying the model to the context of the most loyal customers in professional sports season ticket holders.

Details

International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1464-6668

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Eric MacIntosh, Gashaw Abeza and Jennifer Lee

The purpose of this paper is to explore how the National Hockey League (NHL) Ottawa Senators’ Twitter activity influences (if at all) their followers’ activity online…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how the National Hockey League (NHL) Ottawa Senators’ Twitter activity influences (if at all) their followers’ activity online, examine whether followers’ Twitter activity level consequently influences their perception of and perceived inclusion within the online central fan group that surrounds the Senators, assess whether membership can potentially influence followers’ enrichment of social identity, and investigate if fans’ identity – and thereby commitment to the team – is impacted by their level of Twitter activity.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a case study method focusing on the NHL’s Ottawa Senators, and collected data through a two-phase approach. In the first phase, a focus group was conducted to obtain breadth and depth, as well as to inform and refine the development of questions to be used in the second phase: survey method. In the second phase, a survey was employed to enrich the explanations and attain deeper and broader understanding regarding the research questions.

Findings

The results showed that time spent in reading and engaging in tweets are predictive of commitment. This study also showed that it is not strictly an individual’s Twitter activity in relation to the Senators (i.e. replying and retweeting) which dictates their membership within the fan group. Rather, it is a person’s activity level with other Senators community members which determines their membership in the team’s fan nation. Findings also suggest that both the evaluative and emotional components of forming a group are lacking within the Twitter communication. This only furthers the argument as to why the Senators need to engage in dialogue with their followers.

Research limitations/implications

This was a study of one team over several months of only one season and, therefore, does not take into account a more long-term-oriented strategy to help formulate social identity and team commitment.

Originality/value

The findings of the study informed us that the only predictor that reflected a significant impact on the construction of a Senators fans’ social identity was the number of minutes an individual spent reading the team’s tweets per day. However, the study also showed that the expansion of the network with other fans is a critical feature of increasing the fan group identity; thus, sport organization’s should play a role in helping to foster further engagement with others.

Details

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-678X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Gashaw Abeza, Norm O’Reilly, Benoit Séguin and Ornella Nzindukiyimana

The purpose of this paper is to examine the practice of celebrity athletes’ product endorsement in the context of social media, guided by meaning transfer model.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the practice of celebrity athletes’ product endorsement in the context of social media, guided by meaning transfer model.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a content analysis method based on data gathered from the official Twitter account of 17 of the highest-paid athletes over a period of five months.

Findings

Results outline the state, involvement level, roles, modes, preferred content types, discernible differences, shared features, and best practices employed in endorsement tweets. A framework of athletes’ product endorsement on Twitter is presented.

Research limitations/implications

The study presented theoretical and practical implications, and limitations and impetus for future research.

Originality/value

The study investigated professional athletes’ use of their own media channel for the purpose of endorsement, presented a framework that illustrates the practice of celebrity athletes’ product endorsement on social media, and identified a best practice and an exemplary reference.

Details

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-678X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 February 2018

David J. Finch, Gashaw Abeza, Norm O’Reilly and Carola Hillenbrand

The purpose of this paper is to examine the drivers of independent sales contractor (ISC) performance. As independently contracted sales agents, the ISC model is a growing…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the drivers of independent sales contractor (ISC) performance. As independently contracted sales agents, the ISC model is a growing method of non-permanent employment utilized in many sectors. Specifically, this study seeks to fill a gap in the literature related to the under-researched link between ISCs and organizational identification.

Design/methodology/approach

This study conducts an exploratory, mixed-methods study based on data collected from 189 ISCs from a professional services firm.

Findings

Results demonstrate that outcomes related to sales performance, retention and advocacy are influenced directly and indirectly by organizational identification. It also shows that tangible benefits related to financial and marketing values are the strongest predictors of ISC organizational identification. Intangible dimensions such as value congruence, management trust and embeddedness play a limited role in the model.

Research limitations/implications

Results show that ISC sales performance is enhanced when an ISC views their identity and the identity of the firm as highly interdependent. These findings suggest that organizational identification can be a key performance indicator when evaluating the return on marketing investment for a firm.

Practical implications

This study provides some important guidance to managers responsible for ISCs. First, the study identifies the primary drivers of organizational identification. Specifically, the study demonstrates that financial and marketing benefits are the primary relational antecedents of organizational identification. Both value congruence and operational benefits play relatively minor roles. Similarly, the results show that both organizational identification and historic sales performance are critical predictors of sales performance.

Originality/value

Few researchers have examined the link between ISCs and organizational identification. Organizational identification is of particular importance in the study of ISCs, as they possess the dual identity of an independent agent and that of a sales representative of the firm they are under contract. This study contributes to existing literature by extending previous studies that examine antecedents of sales performance.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2020

Norm O'Reilly, Gashaw Abeza, Andy Fodor, Eric MacIntosh, John Nadeau, Lane MacAdam, Gary Pasqualicchio, Mark Dottori and Heather Jane Lawrence

The criticisms put forward against economic impact studies lead to a key question: “Is it possible to measure the impact of sporting properties and events in a holistic…

Abstract

Purpose

The criticisms put forward against economic impact studies lead to a key question: “Is it possible to measure the impact of sporting properties and events in a holistic, conservative, and reliable way?” This research endeavors to build on the academic literature to add to the scope and rigor of economic impact research by proposing an impact assessment process model for practitioners that facilitates employment of a holistic, conservative and reliable impact study and seeks to address these concerns.

Design/methodology/approach

Using seven identified key realities that highlight the challenges facing impact studies, and adopting a collaborative self-ethnographic methodological approach, the work highlights lessons learned from four empirical economic impact studies undertaken by the authors over a five-year period.

Findings

The study provides a broad view of impact studies, which extend beyond financial implications and provides a more inclusive methodology. Particularly, the proposed impact assessment process model seeks to improve the credibility of impact studies by facilitating a holistic approach that incorporates direct, indirect and intangible impacts.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed model has value to researchers and is designed to improve the overall credibility of economic impact methodology. It also provides a more accurate measure of direct impact while considering intangible and indirect impacts, including social/community impacts.

Practical implications

The proposed model has value to and practitioners and is designed to improve the overall credibility of economic impact methodology. It also provides a more accurate measure of direct impact while considering intangible and indirect impacts, including social/community impacts.

Originality/value

The proposed process model to measure the impact of a sports event is a needed element in the world of funding, managing and implementing events of all sizes.

Details

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-678X

Keywords

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