Behavioural reactions to the consumption of prestige in events

Authors: Moital, M. and Bain, A.

Start date: 15 December 2015

This paper examines the behavioural consequences of attending prestigious sports events. In their prestige motivation model, Correia and Moital (2009) argued that consumer reactions to the prestige attribute can be conceptually examined using the multicomponent model of attitudes (Rosenberg and Hovland, 1960), which conceptualises attitudes as comprising cognitive, affective and conative elements. To date few studies have empirically examined the behavioural consequences of consuming prestige. Those who have done it have focused on repurchase and word-of-mouth behaviour. Adopting a means-end approach to collect data but in an exploratory way, means-end chains for 30 events were obtained from a purposive sample of 10 individuals from across a range of ages and both genders. A variety of behavioural consequences could be identified, which can be broadly classified into experiential, financial, communication and patronage. The Patronage consequence refers to greater levels of intention/willingness to attend a prestigious event. Experiential consequences pertain to behaviours that enhance the experience of the participant and of other attendees. This includes putting more effort in order to comply with rules and etiquette expectations as well as willingness to role play, such as acting posh and rich. Communication consequences involved taking pictures and engaging in word-of-mouth behaviour. Finally, the study identified three financial consequences of consuming prestige: expectation of paying expensive prices, either for the ticket or at the event, save up for the event and buy the ticket more in advance. The results of the research indicate that adding prestige value to events brings about a variety of attendee behaviours which go beyond the more tangible patronage and financial benefits that the literature has considered, and include communication and experiential benefits. Implications for events marketing and scale development are discussed.

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