Marketing / Teams / Venues


Hard Rock experience

Author Frances Esguerra, University of San Francisco

Posted: April 25, 2017

McCarville and Stinson (2014) explain that consumers find value in a sport experience through the fulfillment of their desires. By enhancing the sportscape at Hard Rock Stadium, the Miami Dolphins deliver value to their fans by “providing a client-focused perspective” on the stadium’s renovations (McCarville & Stinson, p. 52). The Dolphins’ vision to “create a new template where all seats carry greater value regardless of location” materialized through the elimination of 10,000 of the stadium’s worst seats to make room for upgrades to the remaining seats (Muret, 2017, para. 2). Demonstrated by stadium improvements that cater to the needs and desires of the consumer, the Miami Dolphins fans find value in being valued by the organization they support.

McCarville and Stinson (2014) propose that enhancing the setting “creates a space that facilitates delivery of the sport product” (p. 55). A sportscape’s delivery variables are intended to remove difficulties so that consumers can fully enjoy the sport experience (McCarville & Stinson, 2014). The Dolphins organization delivered value to fans sitting further away from the field by enhancing the upper deck’s sportscape, promoting “perceptions of improved service quality and of increased perceptions of value” (McCarville & Stinson, 2014, p. 56). The installation of a roof canopy covers most of the upper seating level and protects fans from the discomfort of the sun and rain (Muret, 2017). The Dolphins deliver value to the fans that benefit from this renovation by demonstrating that “[i]t’s not just about whether [the consumer is] lower or closer to the 50-yard-line”, implying that all of their fans are important (Muret, 2017, para. 11). The construction of more concessions, restrooms, and outdoor bars in the upper deck also eliminates the inconvenience of having to walk far to access limited options (Muret, 2017).

The sport marketer’s goal in assessing experience variables is to “focus directly on [the] personal engagement” of the consumer to deliver his or her respective motive (McCarville & Stinson, 2014, p. 53). By making renovations to Hard Rock Stadium that encourage the enjoyment of the sport experience in a group, the Dolphins organization facilitates the fulfillment of social motives in particular. The stadium now has seating options in both premium and non-premium spaces that accommodate groups to sit together after tailgating in the parking lots instead of having to separate into different sections after going through the gates (Muret, 2017). McCarville and Stinson (2014) explain that, more often than not, sport-related related value comes from connections created between a client and the overall sport experience. For sport consumers with social motives, the ability to enjoy the event with friends and family both before and during the game enhances connections between the clients and the overall sport experience, ultimately creating and delivering value through “a deeper emotional connection with the sport” (McCarville & Stinson, 2014, p. 58).

When a client enjoys a sport-related event, he or she will attempt to repeat that experience by searching for new opportunities to do so (McCarville & Stinson, 2014). By “replac[ing] the least desirable seats” at Hard Rock Stadium’s upper deck corners with four new video boards, the organization decreased the amount of possible poor experiences due to a poor view of the field (Muret, 2017, para. 10). The video boards also help fans sitting in the upper deck feel closer to the action as they can watch the game more clearly, enhancing their experience despite being distant from the field. The stadium’s upgrades also actually accommodated “a retrofit with all new seats that are now 25 feet closer to the field”, which helps fans feel more immersed in the game (Muret, 2017, para. 3). McCarville and Stinson (2014) assess a higher reference price potential with “a greater perceived benefit from purchase” (p. 59). By creating a sport experience worth repeating, the Miami Dolphins influence reference price levels among consumers so that they continue to find value in attending games throughout the season and beyond.



McCarville, R., & Stinson, J. L. (2014). Creating value as part of sport marketing. In M. P. Pritchard, & J. L. Stinson (Eds.), Leveraging brands in sport business (pp. 51-65). New York, NY: Routledge.

Muret, D. (2017, January 16). Fewer seats mean greater value for Dolphins. SportBusiness Journal, 19(37), 21. Retrieved from

About Frances Esguerra, University of San Francisco

Frances graduated from UC Davis in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Biology. She is currently a graduate student in the University of San Francisco’s Sport Management program. While at UC Davis, she worked as a Student Athletic Trainer while volunteering at the Acute Rehabilitation Unit at Mercy General Hospital and Shriners Hospital for Children in Sacramento. Frances recently accepted a position as a Marketing Intern for the San Francisco 49ers. She is contactable via LinkedIn.

This is an edited version of a paper Frances prepared for Professor Michael Goldman‘s Sport Marketing course at the University of San Francisco.


IImage by Hard Rock Stadium, "State-of-the-art open air canopy",