Examining territorialization in competitive sport markets

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Sport in Society, 2022, 25, (2), pp. 369-389
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Drawing on both sociological and consumer behaviour literature, this study explores the influence of territorial geographic boundaries on shaping localized football preferences. Survey responses of 16,515 Australian metropolitan residents were demarcated to perform analysis across 43 territories, with four football codes analyzed (Australian rules, rugby union, rugby league and soccer). Preferences were evaluated utilizing chi-square tests, with football interest in Sydney found to vary significantly across territorial boundaries. Territories associated with a highly localized team typically exhibited higher interest toward their respective sport, with the inverse found in deterritorialized regions. Although most sport teams have a city based identity, consumer interest can vary widely within such cities. Given that teams typically retain one venue, they must therefore be conscious of maximising their physical availability across a desired population catchment. The findings support the theorized positive relationship between physical product availability and product popularity in a sport setting. Supplemental data for this article is available online at https://doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2020.1807953.
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