A New Approach to Stadium Experience: the Dynamics of the Sensoryscape, Social Interaction, and Sense of Home Essay

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A New Approach to Stadium Experience: the Dynamics of the Sensoryscape, Social Interaction, and Sense of Home

Abtract
The purpose of this study was to develop a reliable, valid instrument of the sensory experiences of sport attendees. It identified 22-items to represent five dimensions of the sensoryscape; they are sight, smell, sound, taste and touch. The authors used CFA ( confirmatory factor analysis) and SEM ( Structural Equation Model ) to confirm the reliable of Sensoryscape. The sensoryscape, social interaction, and sense of home each had a positive, direct impact on fans’ satisfaction for both major (N = 259) and minor {N= 218) league venues; and they also had correlation among each other. Satisfaction with the stadium experience had a positive and direct impact on intention to revisit. Implications for sport marketing practice and future research are discussed.

1.0 Introduction
The importance of the experience economy has been widely recognized in consumer research. According to Holbrook & Hirschman (1982), experiences have always been at the heart of the entertainment business including in sporting events. When fans have good experiences in the facility, there is greater inducement to their repeat attendance Many studies have begun to pay close attention to consumers’ experiences via their five senses: sight, sound, touch, smell and taste (Gobé, 2001, et al). A higher quality or more powerful sensory experience has been shown to influence the extent of the purchase and, when positive, result in a higher level of customer loyalty. Anderson and Sullivan (1993), consumer satisfaction is one of the most important predictors of consumer retention. Traditionally, product or service quality is one of the most powerful determinants of customer satisfaction and behavioral, however, more recent work has focused on sustaining the brand and customer experience. On the other hand, sport
marketing researchers have primarily focused on two types of antecedents that lead to customer satisfaction and behavioral intention: * Core product

* Customer service
According to Westerbeek and Shilbury (1999), in the professional sports industry, a stadium is an important venue in which sport consumers directly consume and experience sports, and social interaction is a key element that affects spectators’ stadium experience. Sigmon et al, 2002, researched that fans also report experiencing a feeling of home in their home stadium, to some fans, a professional team’s stadium is not just a facility; it is their psychology home. The purpose of this study is to provide a more complete understanding of the sensual, social, and psychological aspects of the sport consumption experience within the stadium. Specifically, the purpose of this research is to develop a reliable, valid scale of the sensoryscape. 2.0 Theoretical Background and Hypotheses

2.1 Sensory Experience
Consumers’ sensory experiences play an important role in their perceptions of the value companies provide; however, the sensory experience alone may not guarantee that consumers remember the experience A stadium can be considered a “sensoryscape“ which provides a memorable experience by appealing to all five senses. Gaffney and Bale (2004) suggested five sensual factors that affect stadium experiences: sight, sound, touch, smell, taste. Gaffney and Bale (2004) suggested five sensual factors that affect stadium experiences. It is likely that more positive experiences of the sensoryscape lead to higher levels of satisfaction with the stadium experience. Based on the literature we suggest the following hypothesis: H1: More positive experiences of the sensoryscape will lead to higher levels of satisfaction with the stadium experience.

2.2 Social Interaction
The effect of social interaction on stadium satisfaction may be more direct and salient. Further, there is some evidence that social interaction can stimulate communisis, but this effect has been shown only in the case of
mega-events. It is not clear whether social interaction can and does evince the same experience at smaller, more regularly occurring events. Recognizing the lack of knowledge regarding the effect of social interaction, the following hypothesis is proposed: H2: Social interaction will have a positive and direct impact on stadium experience satisfaction.

2.3 Sense of Home
According to Crawford (2004), professional sport teams have a significant link to the specific place where they are located. Further, at the societal level, the sport venue becomes an “emblem of locality” that represents a town and its residents Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that when fan’s experience their team’s stadium as home, their overall stadium satisfaction with the venue will increase. H3: A sense of home will have a positive and direct impact on stadium experience satisfaction. 2.4 Relationship Among Sensoryscape, Social Interaction, and Sense of Home Research clearly suggests that the sensoryscape, social interaction, and sense of home should each affect fan’s satisfaction with the stadium; however, There are grounds for expecting the three factors to be related with one another. It is reasonable to expect that the sensory scape may contribute to spectators’ experience of the stadium as home. On the other hand, those who seek to feel a sense of home are more likely to be receptive to the sensory scape. H4: Sensoryscape, social interaction, and sense of home will be correlated with one another. 2.5 Stadium Satisfaction and Repeat Attendance.

Anderson & Sullivan (1993) and Oliver (1980), consumer satisfaction bas been the subject of much attention in the context of spectator sports, because of its influence on consumers’ behavioral intentions and customer retention. Satisfied consumers tend to report stronger repurchase intentions, and are more likely to recommend the products or services purchased to others This study focuses on consumers’ stadium experience satisfaction rather than their game satisfaction. Stadium satisfaction will be defined as a sport consumer’s overall evaluation and associated emotions based on all experiences within the stadium. H5: Stadium experience satisfaction will have a positive and direct impact on future intention to revisit. 3.0 Methodology

Minor context: Data were collected in person for the minor league context, the sampling for the Round Rock Express. A total of 218 completed. Males were 59%, age from 11 to 85 years (M = 40.7). Most respondents were White (71%) followed by Hispanic (16%). Major context: Data for the Houston Astros were collected via an online survey.A total of 259 completed responses were obtained for the study. Males were 64%, and age ranged from 15 to 77 years (M= 34.6). most respondents were White (67%) followed by Hispanic (21%). 3.1 Measurement

Spectators rated each item on a 7-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree). The questionnaire for the scale validation study included five measures: the sensoryscape, social interaction, sense of home, consumer satisfaction at the stadium, and repeat attendance. Total items are 33. 3.2 Data Analysis

Structural equation models (SEM) using AMOS were conducted separately for each context (i.e., major league and minor league) to test the hypothesized relationships among the sensoryscape, social interaction, sense of home, stadium experience satisfaction, and intention to revisit in both major and minor league settings.

4.0 Result
4.1 Major League Context
The structural model indicated that the sensoryscape, social interaction, and sense of home explained 71.1% of the variance in satisfaction with the Houston Astros’ stadium, and that these four factors predicted 45.1% of the variance in spectators’ intention to retum to the stadium. Correlations among the sensoryscape, social interaction, and sense of home were significant: 0.35 < r < 0.49, p < . H4 was supported. The four paths were all significant: 0.22 < g < 0.68,, P < 0.01. Therefore, H1, H2, H3, and H5 in the major league setting were supported, 4.2 Minor League Context

The structural model indicated that the sensoryscape, social interaction, and
sense of home explained 70.5% of the variance in satisfaction with the Round Rock Express stadium experience; these four factors predicted 55% of the variance in spectators‘ intention to retum to the Round Rock Express’ stadium. The correlations among the sensoryscape, social interaction, and sense of home were significant: 0.19 < r < 0.44, p < 0.01 H4 was supported. All the four paths between latent variables were significant: 0.17 < g < 0.15, p < 0.01. H1, H2, H3, and were supported.

5.0 Discussion
The Sensoryscape scale , including 22-item, five-dimension scale is a reliable and valid instrument to measure fans’ stadium experience. The most significant factor affecting spectators‘ overall stadium satisfaction was the sensoryscape for both major and minor league contexts. Although the magnitude of the effect was much higher in the minor league context than in the major league context, social interaction had a positive impact on stadium satisfaction Spectators’ satisfaction is positively and meaningfully impacted by sense of home with the stadium experience in both major and minor-league context. This also offers suggestions for enhancing fans’ sense of the stadium as home: * First, marketers should find more ways for spectators to come into contact with the stadium and images of the stadium. * Further, sport teams can host more fantasy camps where fantasy camp participants can play with or have lessons from the team’s players. It found that the correlation between the sensoryscape and social interaction in both contexts was similar in its magnitude, the correlation between social interaction and sense of home was much higher in the minor league context than in major league context, and the correlation between sensoryscape and sense of home was much higher in major league context than in major league context. 6.0 Limitations

Future research should explore other ways in which fans use their five senses to experience the stadium, to continue to improve the Sensoryscape scale and seek to confirm the proposed model with data collected from major league sites, or to compare fans’ responses to the same facility via on-line and on-site methods. To this end, other contexts could be explored (e.g., college sport, individual sport settings such as golf and tennis, road
races) 7.0 Conclusion

The overall sensoryscape construct explained the most variance in spectators’ satisfaction with the stadium experience. This research suggests a new direction for experience marketing in sport that leverages each of the five senses. By cultivating the sensoryscape, facilitating social interaction, and providing a sense of home, sport consumers can have a more enjoyable and memorable game experience, regardless of the game outcome.

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