Sport facility motives

Author Ashley Morello, University of San Francisco

Posted: October 10, 2017

Tagged: fan motives

Socio-demographic factors indirectly influence consumer behavior and event attendance, however, the geographic location of the Mercedes-Benz stadium has spurred the growth of a new fan group. The motivation model suggests that this location was specifically selected to revitalize Atlanta’s Westside, one of the United States poorest neighborhoods. This choice is an ideal marketing strategy that uses sports and entertainment events to bridge the gap between two different socioeconomic neighborhoods (Pons, Giroux, & Mourali, 2014). Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank believes, “it is a big initiative…to make sure the building is inclusive” (“Revolutionizing”, 2017, p. 7A). The hope is to grow support from the Westside’s ethnically diverse population and energize their community to watch a game in the Mercedes-Benz stadium and share the experience.

The design of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium fulfilled the aesthetic dimension discussed in the Sport Fan Motivation Scale. It is crucial to understand how recognition of artwork engages the community, connects kids, and motivates youth organizations to become a sport consumer (Pons et al., 2014). Approximately 150 pieces of artwork are displayed throughout the stadium, including beaded hand-painted murals from the Boys and Girls Club, shoelaces gathered from communities around Atlanta that spell out the words “ONE VOICE,” and local artist Radcliffe Bailey’s visual narrative of African American history (“Revolutionizing”, 2017). Each piece has a significant meaning that supports and raises awareness of Atlanta’s art community.

When designing Atlanta’s new stadium “every decision was made from a fan’s perspective” (“Revolutionizing”, 2017, p. 4A). Neighborhood bars built on all three levels of the stadium provide consumers with a unique social experience. Here fans and spectators are given the opportunity to interact and connect with fellow season-ticket holders, family, and friends. This unique type of layout shifts consumer behavior through socialization, sensation, and cognition. These three dimensions on the Orientation Toward Sporting Events Scale allow consumers with a shared interest to converse, celebrate, and interact in an exciting and intimate atmosphere (Pons et al., 2014). This stadium feature uses a key piece of the Sport Fan Motivation Scale to add value to the ticket price. Group affiliation, suggests that neighborhood bars will not only increase a sport consumers desire to attend games but also increase their satisfaction during the game (Pons et al., 2014).

The consumer socialization process is evident when analyzing Mercedes-Benz’s naming right partnership between the Atlanta Falcons’ and Atlanta United. Media content represents Mercedes-Benz as a global luxury automobile corporation that has shaped public attitudes and will influence fan behavior. Mercedes-Benz’s mission promotes state of the art technology, elegance, excellent customer service, and commitment to community involvement (“Revolutionizing”, 2017). Using the attitude theory as a psychological tendency, the attitude of Atlanta’s new stadium would go as follows: evaluation would be social interactions in relation to Mercedes-Benz as a company (i.e. if you purchased a new car from Mercedes-Benz and had a positive customer service experience you will have a desire to visit the new stadium in addition to associating positive feelings with the stadium). The entity is the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, a superior sport, and entertainment complex. Tendency refers to an individual’s commitment to attend the Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Funk & Lock, 2014). A food and beverage model was designed focusing on high quality, variety, accessibility, and affordable pricing that allows the Mercedes-Benz Stadium to be flexible enough to suit all kinds of fans. The Mercedes-Benz Stadium presents a dynamic opportunity to generate fan attendance and tap into unique ways to enhance the overall fan experience at all sport and entertainment events.





Funk, D. C., & Lock, D. (2014). Sport Consumer Attitudes: Formation, Function, and Effects on Information Processing. In M. P. Pritchard, & J. L. Stinson (Eds.), Leveraging Brands in Sport Business (37-50). New York, NY: Routledge.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium: Revolutionizing The Fan Experience. (2017, August 28 – September 3). SportsBusiness Journal, 20(19), 1A-12A.

Pons, F., Giroux, M., & Mourali, M. (2014). Consumer Behavior and Motivation: Why Are Sport Event Consumers So Special? In M. P. Pritchard, & J. L. Stinson (Eds.), Leveraging Brands in Sport Business (21-36). New York, NY: Routledge.

About Ashley Morello, University of San Francisco

Ashley Morello graduated from Pitzer College with a Bachelor of Arts in History & Demography, and a minor in Studio Art. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Sport Management at the University of San Francisco. She was a four-year NCAA student-athlete, playing softball for the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens. Ashley currently works for the University of San Francisco Athletic Department as a Graduate Assistant of Academic Support. Her plans are to continue working in collegiate athletics to help student-athletes excel both academically and athletically. This article is an edited version of a paper prepared for Dr. Michael M. Goldman’s Sport Marketing class at the University of San Francisco.

IImage by @MercedesBenzStadium, "Another beautiful day at #MBStadium #UniteAndConquer", Retrieved from