Customer satisfaction is one of the most important factors in ensuring the long-term financial success of any organization. Previous marketing research suggests that customer satisfaction is influenced by the quality of an organization’s core offerings. Customer satisfaction is developed by ensuring product quality in goods based industries, and it is facilitated by delivering quality services in service based industries. Spectator sport is a unique sector of business that includes both product and service delivery. The game experience is at the core of spectator sport consumption. The core sport product is a unique aspect of the marketing mix that is not controlled by sport managers. However, core product quality is critically important to customer satisfaction. Additionally, team sport consumers develop unique psychological and emotional attachments to the organizations they support. This attachment, team identification, is an important construct that influences the team sport consumer in a variety of ways. Team identification has been shown to influence perceptions of service quality and overall customer satisfaction. This study is one of the first to attempt to develop, and test, a theoretical model that explains customer satisfaction in team sport by including core product quality, team identification, and service quality perceptions.
This study utilized a non-experimental survey design to test the proposed team customer satisfaction model (TCSM) in two contexts. Data were collected at a NCAA Division I-FCS football game and men’s basketball game. Participants completed a questionnaire comprised of measurement scales assessing customer satisfaction, core product quality perceptions, team identification, and service quality perceptions. A confirmatory factor analysis was conducted in an attempt to examine the fit for the TCSM to each sample. The model was evaluated for overall fit and path coefficients were examined to determine the degree to which independent variables were predictive of the dependent variables in the model.
The results indicated that the TCSM did not fit the data collected in either sample. However, analysis of the structural paths within the model indicated that core product quality holds a weak causal influence over customer satisfaction, team identification, and service quality. Additionally, it was found that team identification was only a causal predictor of customer satisfaction and service quality evaluations in one model test. The results of this study suggest the model should be re-specified and further tested with the available data.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2011. Major: Kinesiology. Advisor: Dr. Stephen Ross. 1 computer file (PDF); x, 146 pages, appendices A-B.
Warren, Clinton J..
Understanding the impact of core product quality on customer satisfaction, team identification, and service quality.
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