Barriers to Repeat Patronage: The Impact of Spectator Constraints

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit


Publication Date



Purpose – The reason patrons cease to attend sporting events is not well understood. The purpose of this paper is to examine how factors motivate and inhibit patronage from continuing.

Design/methodology/approach – A random sample of a sport franchise’s fan database (n ¼ 308) is drawn. First, respondent data refines measures and tests a structural equation model of direct and indirect links to patronage. Next, content analysis classifies spectators according to self-stated barriers to continuance. These groupings then check the moderating role constraints have on patron attitude and behaviour.

Findings – Structural work confirms both direct and indirect links but notes that consumption primarily took an indirect route, with motivational desires rousing fan involvement and media use before increasing attendance. Group differences verify constraints and limit patronage but do not dampen product-related attitude.

Research limitations/implications – The study helps clarify the connection between media use and attendance, describing how constraints impede spectator consumption. Study limitations include a focus on one hedonic service setting and the use of cross-sectional data to examine ongoing phenomena.

Practical implications – Negotiating barriers to repeat purchase remains largely overlooked as a foundation for guiding strategy. Practical implications consider integrating both motives and constraints when marshalling efforts that build continuance.

Originality/value – Despite early interest from marketing practitioners, factors that inhibit patronage have drawn little attention. This study employs content and path analysis to address the matter.


This article was originally published in European Journal of Marketing. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

Due to copyright restrictions, this article is not available for free download through ScholarWorks @ CWU.


European Journal of Marketing


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