Audience Research: Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards 2008 Visitor Survey
The Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards approached Randi Korn & Associates, Inc. (RK&A) to conduct visitor research. This project was one of several the Museum engaged in to better understand its audience. Data were collected between May and July 2008 through 319 standardized questionnaires and 34 in-depth interviews with groups of visitors. While a "sports museum" is a focused type of museum, one major consideration was whether sports museum visitors are homogenous, prompting us to ask, what types of sports fan does the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards attract? To answer this, RK&A conducted a cluster analysis, in which four visitor clusters, or visitor types are derived from visitors' ratings of ten statements about sports on a scale from 1 ("Does not describe me") to 7 ("Describes me very well"). We named the clusters according to their intensity of sports enthusiasm. From the largest cluster to the smallest cluster, they are: "Middle-Road Fans," "TV Enthusiasts," "Active Enthusiasts," and "Indifferent Companions." Surprisingly, the largest cluster of visitors is not comprised of sports fanatics ("Active Enthusiasts"), but rather Middle-road Fans. Middle-road fans enjoy sports but are not emotional, die-hard sports fans, and they do not regularly participate in sports. Results also indicated that the majority of visitors are men. Findings from the audience research were revealing in many ways. First, as noted above, men constitute the majority of the Museum's audience--a finding that was not surprising to the Museum, as for quite some time the Museum had wanted to cultivate a new audience. Revealing, however, is that having a core constituent is not a bad thing, but rather, a unique quality of the Museum. Also revealing was that the largest visitor cluster is the Middle-Road sports fan. Male middle-road sports fans deserve the Museum's undivided attention. RK&A suggested that the Museum play to its strength and wholeheartedly embrace their male, "middle-road" sports fans because by doing so staff is valuing the Museum's unique quality and providing a place for like-minded people to congregate.
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