Local Heroes and Superstars - An Empirical Analysis of Star Attraction in German Soccer
Recent studies of the demand for sports clearly indicate that stars play an important role in promoting fan interest. However, on theoretical grounds it is controversial if a starÕs talent superiority and/or a starÕs popularity drive match attendance and hence increase gate revenues. Using longitudinal match attendance data of all clubs in the Þrst German soccer league in a 9-year period, the authors analyze star attraction of national super- stars and of so-called ÔÔlocal heroesÕÕ deÞned as the most valued players of teams with- out national superstars. We Þnd empirical evidence that these groups differ in the way they attract fans: whereas superstars enhance attendance both at home and on the road, the star attraction of local heroes is limited to home games. In addition, superstars attract fans by outstanding Þeld performances, whereas local heroes facilitate fan sup- port by mere popularity.
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