Sport management: theory & practice
Managing service quality is the most important task facing managers of sport organizations
According to Morris and Johnston (1987) the difference when dealing with managing services as opposed to manufacturing management is that the customer is in attendance at the actual production processes. Sport is considered to be a service, when talking about a sport game, a gym, a leisure activity, or even an event. Each spectator experiences the service in his own way, keeping in mind that the product of sport is unpredictable, an aspect that to the sport manager means having little control over the final product (Mullin et all, 2002). In addition to these characteristics others can be added such as: intangibility - a service can not be seen, inseparability - a service can not be separated, heterogeneity - every time a service is delivered it has differences, perishability - if a service is not fully booked that could result to losses for the organization.
Mullin et all (2002) suggest that "partly due to sport's salience and also strong personal identification, sports consumers have remarkably high involvement with the product" and that's the reason why managers must identify and categorize the organizations customers, and in the case of sport the fans.
When defining spectators it is important that they are divided into various groups. By knowing the customers it is easier for a manager to set a target group and deliver a service as convenient as possible to them, which will possibly result to meeting customers expectations. The categorizing into groups is called segmentation. Kotler (1980) refers to segmentation as "the subdividing of a market into distinct subsets of customers, where any subset may be selected as a target market to be reached with distinct marketing mix". When consumer preservation is considered...