The Effect Of Promotions On Attendance At Major League Baseball Games

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Anthony G. Barilla
Kathleen Gruben
William Levernier


Marketing, MLB, attendance


The determinants of attendance at professional sporting events come from a variety of team- specific, game-specific, and stadium-specific factors. Using data from the 2,431 major league baseball games played during the 2005 season, this study employs a multivariate regression model to determine the effect that the previously mentioned factors have on game attendance. The focus of the study is on the effect that promotions, such as product giveaways, have on attendance. The findings of this study indicate that having a promotion at a game increases attendance by about 1,532 fans. The findings also indicate that both the timing of a promotion and the type of promotion is important. Specifically, promotions held on weekends have a much smaller impact on attendance than promotions held during the week, with promotions held on Friday or Sunday having a particularly small effect. In terms of the type of promotion, this study finds that bobblehead giveaways have by far the largest impact on attendance and that several types of giveaways actually have no effect on attendance.


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