Assessment of the Service Quality Measurement Model for Youth Football Academies

Yuchen Shi
Do Young Pyun
and Argyro Elisavet Manoli

While football in China is experiencing great enthusiasm from the broad masses due to the unprecedented promotion from the government, to encourage more youth participations in this sport has become an essential for Chinese football revitalization. Under this circumstance, the youth football training industry has been highly capitalized as both foreign and domestic youth football academies have sprung up. Guided by service quality literature, it can be argued that understanding what aspects influence player’s perceived service quality evaluation are necessary to be competitive to gain and sustain youth players for youth football academies in the long-term. Presented herein is a multi-dimensional and hierarchical service quality conceptualization, including four primary dimensions: physical aspects, program, personnel, and personal development. A total of nine sub-dimensions were designed to support these four higher-order dimensions. Data were collected from youth players (n=543) at two youth football academies located in two cities in south-eastern China. In phase one of the study, an exploratory factor analysis was conducted to specify and confirm the factor structure of the proposed measurement scale. Phase two implemented the confirmatory factor analysis to further validate the revised model based on EFA results. Th e results provide support for internal reliability, convergent validity, and discriminant validity, with 46 items retained and two sub-dimensions (i.e., employee expertise and employee attitude) merged and relabeled as employee trustworthiness. This study made an initiative attempt to provide both theoretical and practical insights in terms of perceived service quality assessment in the context of youth football academies.