This paper reports on a four-stage study that investigated the motivations and future intentions of recently lapsed members (season-ticket holders) of professional sports organizations, and the marketing responses of those organizations to the issue of customer retention. Survey responses from over 1,000 recently lapsed members across five large sporting clubs were collected. A further study on one club was then conducted to compare attitudes and demographics of lapsed members to those who renewed. The responses suggests that although these lapsed members report that they joined to financially support and feel more involved with the club, they let their membership lapse primarily due to an inability to attend games. Despite joining for intangible, altruistic reasons, it seems that if these members could not get to games, they believed that the membership was not worth maintaining. These members were satisfied with the membership; however, measures of overall level of satisfaction had only a weak positive relationship with the likelihood of members rejoining in the future. These sport organizations were greatly concerned by lapsed members but have only ad hoc relationship marketing strategies in place to either prevent members lapsing or renew lapsed members.
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