A needs analysis of supporters accessories at large sporting events
Wessels, Abraham Albertus
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The point of departure of the assumption that sporting spectators are interested in buying accessories, is the affiliation that they feel to the sport, competitors and group members from which a great deal of emotional significance and value are derived from. The social identity theory suggests that individuals use social groups and group membership to maintain and support their personal and collective identities. These interactions lead to feelings of personal needs that may be satisfied by the acquisition of status enhancing accessories so to be accepted as part of a group or to stand out in a crowd. The term "need set" is used to reflect the fact that most products satisfy more than one need. Customer needs are not restricted to product features, but also include types and sources of information about the product, outlets where the product is available, the price of the product, services associated with the product, the image of the product, and even where and how the product was produced. A total of 109 respondents to this study's research questionnaire gave information on the most pressing marketing questions and the needs felt by sporting spectators when attending a live sporting event. Most respondents mentioned their need for refreshments which include water, beer, cold drinks, different kinds of snacks, better quality of food and faster service when buying refreshments. Softer and more comfortable seats proved to be the most desired accessory to buy when attending a sporting event. The results from this study recommends selling accessories that will satisfy two or more possible needs such as a seat cushion or a scarf with the host nations name printed on it to give it memorabilia value. Such items' purposed functionality can be enhanced by also printing the word "GOAL" on it to display when a goal has been scored. When marketing practitioners consider how consumers make their product decisions it influences all the subsequent decisions in the marketing process. The company that really understands how consumers will respond to different product features, prices and advertising appeals has a great advantage over competitors and will be able to satisfy the needs of sporting spectators profitably.