Event Marketing Research

Question: What professional sport event would you most like to attend?Implications:- Baseball Leads in Ontario - Following 16 years of skillful market development by the Toronto Blue Jays, baseball has edged ahead of hockey as the number one sport attraction in...

Question: What professional sport event would you most like to attend?

Implications:

- Baseball Leads in Ontario – Following 16 years of skillful market development by the Toronto Blue Jays, baseball has edged ahead of hockey as the number one sport attraction in the Southern Ontario market. By creating new markets for their product. Toronto’s Blue Jays have drawn over 4 million fans in one season. The marketing of hockey in Toronto has great potential, but it has some serious catching up to do. Even with the dismal performance of the Maple Leafs, results indicate that consumer demand to attend professional hockey events is four times greater than the current available arena capacity. The Ottawa Senators NHL franchise will meet some of Ontario’s demands (Ottawa CMA represents 6% of the Ontario population), however, Southern Ontario’s residents must keep hoping for a change. The conclusion that we draw is that one or more of the following three scenarios appear feasible in the 1990′s. First, a substantially expanded hockey facility in Toronto, with capacity for 20,000 to 30,000 spectators (the new Forum in Montreal will seat 21,000); second, another NHL franchise in the Southern Ontario market (Hamilton’s bid was refused in the last round of NHL expansion); third, a legitimate major league sport franchise to compete with hockey in the winter season, namely basketball (up to five different groups are reported to be seeking an NBA franchise for Toronto). The interest and involvement in basketball is strongest with those under 30 years of age. and, as the Blue Jays have proven, new audiences can be developed through skillful event marketing.

- Sport and Entertainment – Both baseball and hockey enjoy significant consumer demand. While the hard core sport fans will argue about the ‘share of heart’ for baseball versus hockey in Toronto or any other Canadian city, evidence suggests that entertainment is the largest motivator of consumer sport attendance behaviour. In fact 1 of every 2 people who expressed interest in attending a professional sport event cited entertainment/social outing as the motivator. The future success of any professional sport franchise hinges on entertainment experience and value relative to other entertainment choices.

- Food for Thought – To corporate marketers, assessing which entertainment properties to associate with is becoming more complex. Finding the right fit with a property is critical. The rising cost for rights fees, stadium signage and celebrity endorsements – led by professional sport – continues to increase the cost of entry for corporate marketers. Evidence suggests that the Toronto Maple Leafs will be able to raise their ticket prices, their media and sponsorship fees for rights and stadium signage fees. And even if the Maple Leafs do become an entertainment leader, the door is still very much open for another sport franchise in the Southern Ontario market.