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Evaluating behavioral loyalty in the team sport setting

John Stephen Clark, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Relationship marketing advocates point toward increased customer loyalty as their ultimate goal. While loyalty has been defined as having both attitudinal and behavioral components (Jacoby & Chestnut, 1978), what is most important for the professional franchise sport manager is the behavioral component; in other words, the purchase of tickets. In the professional sport setting, the consumers' displaying the highest degree of behavioral loyalty are ticket package holders. To that end, factors impacting behavioral loyalty in this consumer segment were created. The factors are: trust; service; product experience; value; success; pride in place; and, flexibility. In order to evaluate these factors, logistic and linear regression analyses were run using primary data about three groups of ticket package holders of a National Basketball Association franchise. The analyses examined the impact of the factors on these ticket package holder groups by years of package ownership. The analyses also examined the impact of the factors between the different ticket package groups. Results support the notion that if franchises initiate programs to build a relationship with their package holders, the importance of franchise-controlled factors become greater to ticket package holders. As years of package ownership increase, factors such as trust and product experience may have greater impact on ticket package holders' intent to renew their packages, while less importance is placed on the success of the franchise and the value of the ticket package. The results of this study suggest that sport managers must use different relationship building strategies to the different segments of ticket package holders. While full season package are at a higher level of the relationship than 7 game package holders; therefore, the franchise must implement relationship marketing strategies to increase the level of behavioral loyalty in the package holders with less than a full season ticket package.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Clark, John Stephen, "Evaluating behavioral loyalty in the team sport setting" (2001). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3027187.