Sports events grand slams for spend­ing


Sport­ing events can help give the re­tail sec­tor a lift, es­pe­cially at a grand slam event like the Aus­tralian Open, ac­cord­ing to Mastercard’s mar­ket in­sights based on cus­tomer trans­ac­tion data.

Apart from the ob­vi­ous boost to tourism, big events like the Aus­tralian Open also ben­e­fit lo­cal busi­nesses and the econ­omy as a whole, said Sarah Quin­lan, se­nior vi­cepres­i­dent for mar­ket in­sights.

The two-week event that con­cluded a fort­night ago kept the en­tire econ­omy vi­brant prior to and af­ter the event, as peo­ple from around the world trav­elled to Mel­bourne.

“Peo­ple’s spend­ing pat­terns were sig­nif­i­cantly dif­fer­ent dur­ing the event than at other times of the year,” she said.

The spend­ing data shows real con­sumer be­hav­iour, in­di­cat­ing changes dur­ing big events, said Ms Quin­lan.

The re­tail sec­tor and lo­cal econ­omy in Mel­bourne en­joyed a 3.6% surge in over­all do­mes­tic spend­ing dur­ing the event com­pared with the pre­vi­ous two weeks.

Spend­ing in par­tic­u­lar was up 28% at bars, 21% at restau­rants and 9% at ho­tels.

High-end re­tail­ers also got a boost from in­ter­state-vis­i­tors, with watch and jew­ellery store spend­ing dou­bling dur­ing the tour­na­ment.

She said cu­rat­ing a mem­o­rable ex­pe­ri­ence is the key to in­creas­ing cus­tomer spend­ing dur­ing big sport­ing events.

When peo­ple are trav­el­ling they are spend­ing more. If you can make the ex­pe­ri­ence “price­less” for them, trans­ac­tions will fol­low, said Ms Quin­lan.

“The more you can cu­rate mem­o­rable ex­pe­ri­ences that peo­ple en­joy, the more peo­ple are will­ing to spend,” she said.

Ms Quin­lan also said there had been a shift away from lux­ury spend­ing, a trend which be­gan dur­ing the eco­nomic down­turn 10 years ago.

“Peo­ple are ac­tu­ally spend­ing less on lux­ury goods, but are more will­ing to spend on mem­o­rable ex­pe­ri­ences,” she said.

“Travel and mem­o­rable ex­pe­ri­ences are the new lux­u­ries peo­ple de­sire.”

Ms Quin­lan said 2017 was an­other record-set­ting year for the Aus­tralian Open, with over 728,000 vis­i­tors. Of the to­tal, in­ter­state Aus­tralian vis­i­tors ac­counted for 26%.

In­ter­na­tion­ally, New Zealand was the most com­mon ori­gin coun­try for in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors, with the UK and the US sec­ond and third, re­spec­tively.

Tourists from New Zealand and the UK were the big­gest spenders dur­ing the pe­riod.

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