Handbook of Research on Sport and Business
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Handbook of Research on Sport and Business

Edited by Sten Söderman and Harald Dolles

This Handbook draws together top international researchers and discusses the state of the art and the future direction of research at the nexus between sport and business. It is heavily built upon choosing, applying and evaluating appropriate quantitative as well as qualitative research methods for practical advice in sport and business research.
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Chapter 17: Lessons from the field: spectator research for sport businesses

Douglas Michele Turco


There are a number of reasons why sport businesses conduct market research. Sport spectator market profiles, economic impact studies and sponsorship effectiveness research allow organizations to understand consumer behaviors, quantify sport benefits and determine the value of their operations. For example, Brandon Igdalsky, President of the Pocono 500 Raceway, queried his NASCAR race fans in Pennsylvania during the 2009 economic recession to determine their spending patterns, brand loyalty and trip characteristics. He then compared 2009 research findings with previous race research as well as national NASCAR fan data to gain further market insights (Turco, 2009). The body of knowledge in sport business research is diverse and considerable. Organizational theory and human resource management, coaching, finance and economics, law, marketing and sponsorship, and sport tourism are among the general research areas covered in sport business. Sport business research is presented in several publication outlets focused on these specialty areas, including the Journal of Sport Management, International Journal of Sport Finance, Journal of Sports Economics, Journal of Sport and Tourism, International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, Sport Marketing Quarterly and the Journal of Sport and Social Issues.

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