An examination of the effects of outsourcing ticket sales force management

Author ORCID Identifier

Chad McEvoy:

Publication Title

International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship





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Purpose: The purpose of the study is to ascertain whether sport organizations which outsource ticket sales force management outperform sports organizations which manage their ticket sales force internally, relative to ticket revenue and attendance. Design/methodology/approach: Thirteen years of ticket revenue and football attendance data were collected for National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Football bowl subdivision (FBS) Division I Athletics Departments (n = 126), as well as data on whether the organization employed an external (outsourced), internal or no ticket sales force. The number of salespeople employed was also captured. Within-subjects, fixed effects regression models, which included several control variables such as number of home contests, prior season attendance, team success and population, were run to assess the relationship between sales force type and both ticket revenue and attendance, for one year, two years and three years after sales force establishment. Findings: All models were significant. While both internally managed ticket sales forces and those managed by outsourced firms saw significant increases in ticket revenue (compared to not employing a sales force), internally managed departments outperformed third parties. In addition, departments utilizing outsourcing companies reported lower attendance for the first two years after outsourcing, but attendance differences were negligible by the third year of outsourcing. Practical implications: The results of the study provide data to help sport managers determine whether outsourcing sales functions within an organization will lead to greater ticket revenue and/or attendance. Originality/value: While several sport management studies have examined the decision-making process of outsourcing organizational functions, no prior studies have examined the financial implications of doing so.

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Business process, College athletics, Outsourcing, Sales management, Ticket revenue, Ticket sales


Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education (KNPE)