Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to investigate sports participants’ choice behaviour and draw useful conclusions about the ideal features of small-scale sporting events that maximize attractiveness and desirability among potential competitors to attend and compete. Design/methodology/approach– Conjoint analysis was used to determine how participants value different elements and features of two small-scale cycling events, one in Taiwan and the other in Greece. A questionnaire was developed and distributed to 195 cyclists during the event in Kaohsiung, Taiwan and to 169 competitors of a similar competition in Sfendami, Greece. It consisted of two basic parts. The first presented 19 alternative scenarios that have been associated with such sporting events while the second assessed the socio-economic and demographic characteristics of participant’s in order to provide an average profile of the participants in each location. The conjoint data collected was analysed using the SPSS “Conjoint Module” at the aggregate level (i.e. pooled data). Findings– Based on the preferences of these amateur cyclists the most important factors for Taiwanese events are “preferred season to organizing the event”, “registration cost”, and “preferred time period”, while those participating in the Greek event emphasized “registration cost” and “scenery”. Overall, the analysis highlights five differences and five similarities that exist between these two countries. Research limitations/implications– The study is small-scale and although sample sizes are sufficient to be representative of the participants in each event there are limitations in generalizing these results to larger sports meetings and other countries. Practical implications– The findings of this study provide event coordinators and sport marketers practical insights into small-scale event planning and the development of effective marketing strategies designed to appeal to a greater range of participants. Furthermore, the comparative nature of the study can facilitate a transfer of know-how which can be used for development of sport events in Mediterranean area, whose sport events’ organizers can, in the future, more effectively approach potential East Asian participants. Originality/value– This is the first study to use a combination of seven parameters in conjoint analysis to examine amateur cyclists’ preferences and is one on the few studies to examine the differences between Asian and European participants.
EuroMed Journal of Business – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 4, 2016