Segmentation of Ticket Holders in Minor League North American Professional Sport


  • Norm O'Reilly University of Maine
  • David Finch Mount Royal University
  • Gashaw Abeza Towson University
  • Nadège Levallet University of Maine
  • John Nadeau Nipissing University
  • David Legg Mount Royal University
  • Bill Foster University of Alberta



Market Segmentation, Relationship Marketing, Ticket Sales, Fandom, season tickets


Minor professional sport in North America includes the many leagues that are not part of the “Big Five.” For these leagues, ticket sales, especially season ticket sales, are one of the major sources of club revenue. Segmenting customers into homogenous groups is well established as an effective means to render efficient marketing. In addition, market segmentation has been well researched in a variety of contexts; however, further research in the area of minor professional sport in North America will advance our knowledge and offer practical value to practitioners. Therefore, this research, in collaboration with a minor league professional sport club, provides a framework for season ticket holder segmentation application by minor professional sport leagues and clubs, and offers practical recommendations to reach niche markets.

Author Biographies

Norm O'Reilly, University of Maine

Norm O’Reilly, PhD, is dean of the Graduate School of Business and a professor of marketing and sport management at the University of Maine. His research interests include sponsorship, sport management, and business analytics.

David Finch, Mount Royal University

David Finch, PhD, is a professor of marketing in the Bissett School of Business at Mount Royal University. His research interests focus on exploring the empirical link between stakeholders and organizational performance.

Gashaw Abeza, Towson University

Gashaw Abeza, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology at Towson University. His research interest is in marketing communication, with specific areas of expertise in digital media related to sponsorship, ambush marketing, branding, and relationship marketing.

Nadège Levallet, University of Maine

Nadège Levallet, PhD, is an assistant professor of management and information systems in the University of Maine Business School. Her research interests include examining the role of data and digital technologies for organizational strategy in small businesses, especially in times of turbulence.

John Nadeau, Nipissing University

John Nadeau, PhD, is dean of the Faculty of Education and Professional Studies at Nipissing University. His research is generally rooted in consumer behavior by exploring the influence of images on consumer decision making and has examined related questions in the applied marketing areas of sport and tourism.

David Legg, Mount Royal University

David Legg, PhD, is a professor of sport management and adapted physical activity in the Department of Health and Physical Education at Mount Royal University. His research interests include sport management, Paralympic sport and sport legacy.

Bill Foster, University of Alberta

Bill Foster, PhD, MBA, is a professor of management at the University of Alberta. His research interests include strategic management, sport management and sport fans.


Mark Nagel, University of South Carolina -

Benoit Seguin, University of Ottawa -


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Research Articles