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Impact of International Sports Events on the Attendance of Domestic Sports League Games using Chinese Super League Data

by Yeujun Yoon, Jia Lv, Feng Yan

ARTICLE | International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship | 2018


Purpose Experiences of high quality games between top-class sports teams could influence sports fans’ decision to attend the domestic sports games. For example, soccer fans who watched the World Cup games between the best national teams are likely to be disappointed with the performance of their domestic league teams after the World Cup event, while more people might be attracted to watch a soccer game because of their increased interest in soccer games. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the international sports event (i.e. the World Cup) influences the demand of the domestic sports league games in the non-hosting country. Design/methodology/approach To test these antithetical hypotheses, the authors collect the Chinese Super League game-level data from 2004 to 2011. For analysis, the authors propose two empirical models rigorously developed based on previous sports marketing theories. Findings The findings are surprising compared to previous studies for the hosting countries or countries that performed spectacularly during the World Cup tournaments. The authors find that the international event negatively influences the attendance of domestic games. Specifically, it gives salience to the competitive quality of a match and helps enhance the impact of star players. Furthermore, the authors find evidence of dynamic effects of the international event. Originality/value The study contributes to the previous sports literatures by expanding our understanding of the effect of international sports events. Particularly, the results shed light on international events’ impact on the domestic sports league demand in more general conditions based on its influence on people’s behavior, rather than focusing on the effect caused by facility development or dramatic performance during the international event.
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