Marketing a Social Experience: How Celebration of Subculture Leads to Social Spending During a Sport Event, pp. 138-147

Xiaoyan Xing
Laurence Chalip
B. Christine Green

The social experience that attendees obtain at a sport event has been shown to play a vital role in their overall evaluation of an event and the likelihood that they will return in the future. The purpose of this study is to identify factors that determine the amount of spending to support social experiences at an event. Spending to support social experience includes nonessential spending to eat in restaurants, drink alcoholic beverages, shop, and take tours. These categories of spending (as a percent of total spendig) at an event are expected to derive from attendees’ identification with the sport’s subculture, their level of social motivation, and the sense of community that is fostered at the event. These expectations are tested using SEM on data collected from 218 adult women at a national women’s football tournament. Results revealed that identification with the women’s football subculture significantly predicted social motivation; social motivation significantly predicted sense of community; and sense of community significantly predicted social spending. Findings suggest that event management fostering a sense of community among attendees will enhance social spending, and that appeals to social motivation and subcultural identity are useful tools to promote a sense of community among attendees.