This paper focuses on customer discrimination in the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL). Using the 2005–2017 annual spectator attendance data, we first show that inverse customer discrimination exists for international players. We next explore the roots of customer discrimination from the perspective of economics alongside social psychology. We find customer discrimination in the CPBL a combined outcome of taste-based and statistical discrimination, and can be explained by reference group theory. This study thus aims to develop a sports fans’ customer discrimination scale, which is demonstrated to consist of three major elements: players’ characteristics, prestige and experience, and spectators’ confidence.
- Professional sports
- Reference group theory
- Statistical discrimination
- Taste-based discrimination
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business, Management and Accounting(all)
- Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)