Items related to the intercollegiate athletic ticket purchasing behavior of current and former football season ticket holders: Implications for institutional market planning

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Higher Education

First Committee Member

Harry Mallios - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Anne Hocutt - Committee Member


Few studies exist today in intercollegiate athletics that closely examine the characteristics of college sports fans, their reasons for purchasing or not purchasing tickets to collegiate sporting events, their interest in college sports, and the best way to target this particular segment of the market. Thus, the purpose of this study was to describe and compare the characteristics of current and former college sports spectators and their reasons for purchasing or no longer purchasing college football season tickets. The implications of the findings as they apply to institutional market planning were discussed.The athletic department at a private research university in the southeastern United States provided a list of customer accounts for the 1996, 1997, and 1998 football seasons from which the sample was drawn. Two random samples were drawn from the list. The first sample, current ticket holders, consisted of 200 customers that were either first time season purchasers for 1998 or continuous season ticket holders who renewed their football season tickets for the 1998 season. The second sample, former ticket holders, consisted of 200 customers that purchased football season tickets in 1996 and/or 1997, but not in 1998. Of the 400 season ticket holders surveyed, 141, or 70.5%, of the current and 117, or 60.0%, of the former responded to a mail survey. Descriptive statistics were used to describe and compare the characteristics of each group and their ratings of importance on reasons relating to their decision to either purchase or no longer purchase season tickets. The Mann-Whitney U test was utilized to compare groups regarding their reasons for purchasing or no longer purchasing season tickets.No significant differences were found in the characteristics and media habits of the two groups. People who bought football season tickets can be described as predominantly white males between the ages of 40--49 who resided in south Florida for over ten years, were well educated, and were employed professionals or managers with annual incomes greater than $100,000.Significant differences did exist between the groups in their ratings of importance of reasons for either purchasing or no longer purchasing football season tickets. With the exception of the schedule, nearly every item was deemed "unimportant" in influencing ticket buying behavior by former season ticket holders. The following items were more important in the decision to buy and were unimportant in the decision not to buy football season-tickets: seat locations, price of tickets, team's performance, opponents, parking availability, game times, day of games, weather, stadium location, and condition of facility.


Business Administration, Marketing; Education, Administration; Recreation

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