What makes the motorsport event product enjoyable?

Authors: Couto, U., Tang, W. and Boyce, P.

Conference: Making Waves, International Conference on Events 2013

Dates: 3-5 July 2013


Previous research has identified that there can be significant benefits from hosting a major sporting event but that appropriate leveraging of the event is important in realising these (Chalip, 2004, O'Brien and Chalip, 2007). Unlike convention marketing, the three levels of an ‘event product’ are classified into three levels: the core service, the tangibles and the augmented (Allen et al., 2010). In case of the Macau Grand Prix, the obvious factors, notably the ‘tangibles’ and ‘augmented’ aspects of the product, determine how enjoyable a motorsport event is include the difficulty and dangers of the circuit, the mix of racers, number of accidents, the vehicles involved in the races, the glamour, and so on. However, these are not formally documented in academic literature while published studies on motorsport event are largely focused on host-guest relationships and impacts (Fredline and Faulkner, 2002b, Fredline and Faulkner, 2002a), and just one on Macau (Zhou, 2010).

A sporting event consists of two main elements which can affect the satisfaction of those attending: the event experience as the core sport product; and its extensions, such as ticketing, food and beverage and parking. Marketers have little or no control over the former but it is the latter that they should concentrate much of their efforts. As noted by Wakefield & Blodgett (1994), it is therefore important to get the whole offering right to ensure satisfaction with not just the primary activity but the whole leisure service experience. Event spectators who travel specifically to attend an event are likely to be focused on the event itself and may not undertake other activities or tours while at the host destination (Pennington-Gray and Holdnak, 2002). The spectator comes purely for the event and is restricted to the other attributes of the host venue. Therefore, the quality of the environment, within which the event takes place is of paramount importance as it has the potential to influence customer perception of the event (Bitner, 1992) and on a larger scale, produces positive influences, such as length of stay, purchase behaviour and repeat intentions. Using data collected in 2010, a factor analysis was conducted on fifteen variables that spectators were asked of their level of agreement to how these elements constitute an enjoyable event. The analysis returned four major variables that fall within both the tangible and augmented aspects of a product that spectators believe will make an enjoyable motorsport event. The study concludes with a number of thoughts and provides some directions for further research in the area.

Source: Manual

Preferred by: Paul Boyce