Imaging the Game Day Experience: A Case Study of the National Rugby League (NRL)

Abel Duarte Alonso, Michelle O’Shea

Year: 2014 Volume: 13 Issue: c

Pages: 38-62

Abstract: The study investigates the sport game day experience, including commitment to the club and sense of belonging from the perspective of fans and enthusiasts of a professional National Rugby League (NRL) team. Overall, it is noticed that the entertainment value of the game, and its importance as an escape from day to day activities are considered crucial aspects. These elements are further supported by comments underlining the importance of the game’s atmosphere, the game itself and the excitement and spectacle associated with live sport experiences. In contrast, half-time entertainment and team on field performance are sources of frustration and disappointment, potentially discouraging investment in the organisation. Given the increasingly competitive nature of the professional sports environment, including emergent entertainment alternatives for consumers, the findings have important implications for the future marketing of the NRL, and potentially for other professional sport teams and leagues.