Total $0.00

Ithaca, NY, December 17, 2014 - The most loyal sports fans have very different expectations from first-time customers, according to a study published by the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research (CHR). The survey of more than 7,000 patrons of a major professional U.S. sport found that the most loyal customers took into account both core services (e.g., the game itself, food and beverage, and concessions) and supplementary services (e.g., parking, distances needed to travel at the event, the entrance gate) when they considered buying another ticket. By contrast, first-time customers focused mostly on the core service. The study, "It's More than Just a Game: The Effect of Core and Supplementary Services on Customer Loyalty," by Matthew Walsman, Michael Dixon, Rob Rush, and Rohit Verma, is available at no charge from the CHR.

"This particular sport has a notably loyal fan base," observed Walsman, who is a doctoral student at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. "So, we wanted to know what aspects of the event services are most influential when the fans buy their next ticket. It turns out that all the services, both core services and supplementary services are important. They go for the full experience, starting from the moment they arrive and walk through the gates."

The picture is different for customers who are attending the event for the first time, which was about 250 people in this survey. "We found out that first-time customers are most interested in the core service-primarily the sporting contest itself and the services immediately connected with that event," said Verma, who is Singapore Tourism Board Distinguished Professor at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. "We also found out that these first-timers make something of a snap decision on repeated ticket purchase-either they enjoy all the services and buy another ticket or else the service package doesn't meet their needs."

He added: "This is an important study, since we had such solid data. I greatly appreciate the contribution of our co-author Rob Rush and LRA Worldwide."

One implication of this study is that all service firms should focus on their customers' full experience, but the core services are critical for both loyal customers and first-timers. "Most service businesses have control over their core experience, but this is not always true in sporting events," Walsman pointed out. "Sometimes the event includes dramatic moments and sometimes not. This is where the related services come in. If the venue managers provide a full event package, the customers will still have an enjoyable time even if their team or contestant had a tough day."

About The Center for Hospitality Research

A unit of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, The Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) sponsors research designed to improve practices in the hospitality industry. Under the lead of the center's corporate affiliates, experienced scholars work closely with business executives to discover new insights into strategic, managerial and operating practices. To learn more about the center and its projects, visit

Contact: Carol Zhe / 607.254.4504

Related News

Thanks to Erika at Omni Resort at ChampionsGate for a Perfect Front Desk Welcome!

Building Customer Loyalty – How Easy Is It?

5 Things the Hotel Industry Can Learn from Cruise Lines

When Guests Complain, Be All EARS!

The ProSo Method to Achieving Service "Wows"

Local Measure Partners with Cisco to Offer a New Social Sign On, Building Richer Customer Experiences, Understanding Guest Behavior, and Gathering Valuable Data

The 2017 Cornell/ICHRIE Howard B. Meek Award Presented to Dr. Fred DeMicco

Cornell CHR Report Asks: "Do Property Characteristics or Cash Flow Drive Hotel Real Estate Value? The Answer Is Yes”

Courtyard by Marriott Earns Top Customer Experience Ratings for Hotels, in Temkin Group's Annual Survey

Cornell Research on Hotel Brand Standards: How to Pick the Right Amenities for Your Property

Cornell Study on Labor Law: When Rules Are Made to Be Broken: The Case of Sexual Harassment Law

Cornell Study Highlights Diversification Benefits of REIT Stock Investments

Roundtable Focuses on High-Tech Adoption in Hospitality Industry

Avoid These Worthless Questions in Customer Service or Pay the Price

Aimed to Help Hotels Reduce Restaurant Food Waste, Cornell Offers New Tool, FRESH: A Food-service Sustainability Rating

Hospitality Money Managers Should Avoid Short-term Trading According to New Cornell Study

How to Handle Customer Complaints Properly to Build Business

Why Customer Loyalty Should Not Be Your Goal and What You Want Instead

Cornell Tool Allows Restaurants to Evaluate Early Bird & Night Owl Menu Specials Effectiveness

Improved Hotel Sustainability Benchmarks Outlined by Cornell Study

All News »

Please login or register to post a comment.