Segmenting Consumers Of Professional Soccer: Identifying The Enthusiast
Extant literature on the football association's (soccer) consumers tend to focus on supporters of top-tier teams, or on psychological or experiential factors. Contrastingly, this study was concerned with identifying customer segments based on consumer value and benefits sought, particularly to supporters of the lower-league clubs. Using survey data from the three tiers of English professional football, the English Premier League (the Championship, League 1, and League 2), we refine and update Tapp and Clowes (2002) framework of Premier League fans, exploring the behavior of supporters of lower-tier professional clubs.From our findings, we provide a segmentation framework that can be applied by marketers as part of the business and marketing planning process. We provide a detailed picture of the views and consumption habit of lowerleague soccer supporters, and identify an additional segment, the 'Enthusiast'. We believe that this is important because, much of the existing research has focused on the English Premier League (EPL) which we argue represents the a typical elite in comparison to the majority of other professional tiers of football in the UK or the rest of the European area. By focusing on lower-league football, we provide a more universal study.