UBC Theses and Dissertations
Attitudes, interests and sport spectator profiling : variables affecting game attendance in a NHL franchise Bae, Sang Woo
ATTITUDES, INTERESTS AND SPORT SPECTATOR PROFILING: VARIABLES AFFECTING GAME ATTENDANCE IN A NHL FRANCHISE This study examined the literature on spectator profiling and evaluated current survey methodologies being used to profile hockey spectators and their preferences regarding NHL hockey game attendance. The research had two inter-related objectives. One was to investigate the consumer profiles of sport spectators associated with a specific NHL franchise, the Vancouver Canucks, and to relate these to game attendance. The second objective was to test and evaluate a questionnaire designed to incorporate latest thinking on variables that affect professional sports game attendance. Survey data were collected from 907 attendees at four Vancouver Canucks games and from 203 students at the University of British Columbia during the 2001-2002 NHL season. Two separate studies were conducted using the data. Study 1 investigated reasons for game attendance, and respondents' activity patterns and interests. Data analyses for study 1 included a confirmatory factor analysis for testing the validity of the game attendance items (reasons for game attendance), and a decision tree analysis for classifying spectators based on their reported game attendance frequencies, activity patterns, and interests. Results of study 1 indicate that the respondents' game attendance rates were affected by income, use of hockey websites, playing baseball when young, job, being accompanied by co-workers, ethnic background, perception of T.V. as the best promotional medium, personal fan history, and playing hockey when young. Study 2 investigated the relationship between spectators' opinions about sports and their game attendance, and attempted to identify potential predictors of game attendance levels. A confirmatory factor analysis was used in Study 2 to test the validity of the sport opinion items (opinions about sports), and a cluster analysis was used to identify unique spectator groups. Three distinctive spectator segments were identified, and the three groups varied on a number of dimensions including game attendance rates, sports participation history, and their opinions about the benefits of sports, community pride, cynicism about professional sports, attitude toward professional athletes, perceived time costs, role of government, and attitude toward amateur sports. The research found evidence of national cultural differences between Canadian sports spectators and their American counterparts. It is recommended that future research investigate national and regional cultural differences as well as differences between major and minor league sports and competitive factors in local sports markets.
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