Volume 8 (2021)

What is Driving Younger Fan Experiences? Exploring Generational Differences in Large Event Consumption at the “Battle at Bristol”

 

Amy Greene, East Tennessee State University

Kylie Russell, East Tennessee State University

Natalie Smith, East Tennessee State University

Charles Jones, East Tennessee State University

ABSTRACT

Given the aging fan base across spectator sport (Fischer, 2017), and the decline in attendance at NASCAR races (Gluck, 2016, July 2), live sport consumption is of high interest among sport marketers as they explore new ways to increase attendance and revenue for motorsport organizations.  As a result, sport marketers of motorsport venues are now seeking non-traditional events to generate interest in their venues and drive revenue.  This study focused on a one-off event, the Battle at Bristol, which was created to bring spectators to Bristol Motor Speedway, a NASCAR sanctioned racetrack.  The event required the speedway to transform the infield into a football field for a collegiate football game. With nearly 160,000 in attendance, this event was the most highly attended NCAA football game in history.  Marketing researchers examined the fan experiences at the Battle at Bristol including; generational differences, consumption of ancillary events, and communication of this crossover event.  As motorsport facilities continue to explore ways to increase interest and improve fan experiences, especially with an aging fan base, there is a need for practitioners to understand different generations, their interests, and how they experience non-traditional events.

Data for this study was collected on-site at Bristol Motor Speedway before the Battle at Bristol event.  Participants (N = 728) completed a survey which explored many facets of fan behavior and generational differences.  Results indicated differences among the generations and how they consumed this event.  The study looked at generational differences among social, technological, and ancillary elements that were part of the event’s overall success. Millennials emerged as the most active generation when looking at the ancillary events.  Attending in groups of five or more emerged as another trend among the different generations, suggesting the social atmosphere was of high importance to all age groups. It is vital for sport marketers to recognize these trends as motorsport organizations continue to explore these types of one-off events. 

 

Keywords: NASCAR; College Football; Generations; Fan Experience

Greene, A., Russell, K., Smith, N, & Jones, C. (2021). What is Driving Younger Fan Experiences? Exploring Generational Differences in Large Event Consumption at the “Battle at Bristol." International Journal of Motorsport Management, 8, Article 1.

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The Role of the Psychological Costs of High Cohesion on Motorsport Team Performance: Exploring the Nature of the Costs


Jennifer Milne, University of Glasgow, UK
Pete Coffee, University of Stirling, UK
David Lavallee, Abertay University, UK

 

ABSTRACT

Cohesion is a multi-dimensional dynamic process, incorporating task and social cohesion, occurring at both the group and personal levels. Cohesion is essential for team harmony and performance. It is universally sought in sport teams. The benefits have been extensively studied and are a requirement of team success. Counter to wide held belief, cohesion is not an intrinsically positive phenomenon. The purpose of this study, part one of a two-part investigation, was to develop understanding of the important psychological costs of high cohesion in motorsport. Fourteen categories of costs were identified from an open questionnaire to 51 motorsport competitors. Sixty-three percent of co-acting motorsport athletes considered there to be disadvantages to high social cohesion. Fifty-nine percent considered there to be disadvantages to high task cohesion. Twenty-nine percent considered there to be disadvantages to a team that was highly task and socially cohesive: the idea of achieving a balance between social and task was considered important. Motorsport competitors perceived similar costs resulting from high social cohesion to participants in other sports. However, high task cohesion was viewed as more problematic than in other sports. Important costs experienced were pressures, both performance and conformity pressures, rigidity and communication issues. These costs inter-relate and give possible mechanisms for high cohesion’s complex influence on team performance.

Keywords: Elite, Communication, Motorsport, Pressures, Rigidity
 

Milne, J., Coffee, P., & Lavallee, D. (2021). The role of the psychological costs of high cohesion on motorsport team performance: Exploring the nature of the costs. International Journal of Motorsport Management, 8, Article 2.

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Benefit or Cost? A Rookie Driver’s Perception of High Cohesion

 

Jennifer Milne, University of Glasgow, UK

Pete Coffee, University of Stirling, UK

David Lavallee, Abertay University, UK

  

ABSTRACT

Cohesion is a multidimensional dynamic construct incorporating both task and social elements of a team: how members come together and remain unified in pursuit of team goals. Cohesion is vital for team harmony and the many advantages have been extensively studied. Some other research has evidenced the disadvantages of high team cohesion. Cohesion’s impact on performance is unclear. Cohesion can impact performance both positively and negatively. High cohesion contributes to harmful group processes such as deindividuation and group think: this could negatively affect performance. The purpose of this investigation was to develop understanding of how the important psychological costs of high cohesion in motorsport impacts performance. This was a mixed method case study of a World Rally Championship team across an entire competitive season. Narrative theory framed the case study process with the main qualitative data derived from interviews with the motorsport driver after each competition of the season and at the end of the season. 7.5 hours of data were thematically analyzed. Performance and cohesion were measured by self-rating across the season. Cohesion was consistently high, but performance wasn’t reciprocated accordingly. High cohesion produced 4 psychological costs: pressure to conform with normative influence, rigid demands and methods with narrow goal focus, communication issues and pressure to perform. This case study supports previous literature that proposes that high cohesion potentially negatively impacts performance through these psychological costs which can work to disrupt effective communication. A new model is offered to minimize the detrimental impact on performance produced through the psychological costs of high team cohesion.

 

Keywords: Case study, Communication, Conflict, Elite, Motorsport

Milne, J., Coffee, P., & Lavellee, D. (2021). Benefit or cost? A rookie driver’s perception of high cohesion. International Journal of Motorsport Management, 8, Article 3.

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