SMQ Issue 29:2

Contents for SMQ Issue 29:2

Abstract: Sport Marketing Quarterly, Volume 29, No. 2, June 2020.

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Modeling Environmental Antecedents of Online Word-of-Mouth on Team Social Media: A Perspective of Information Value
Authors: Jerred Junqi Wang and James J. Zhang
Abstract: This study explored environmental antecedents of online word-of-mouth (WOM) within the realm of information value and empirically assessed their influences on both low- and high-informativeness WOM behaviors (i.e., like and share behaviors, respectively) in a natural online setting (i.e., Facebook pages of professional sport teams). With survey data and online secondary data, content analysis and negative binomial regression were conducted. The results revealed the significant impacts of environmental antecedents associated with content provision and game attractiveness on fans’ like and share behaviors. The findings confirmed the importance of information value in determining online WOM behavior and shed new light on the investigation of this consumer behavior in sport marketing communications. Actionable suggestions are implicated in terms of utilizing the identified environmental variables to maximize the marketing benefits of fans’ online WOM behavior.

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Repeat Registrations of a Running Event: Applying Customer Base Analysis
Authors: Carol A. Finnegan, Thomas J. Aicher and Robert A. Block
Abstract: While the running community has experienced tremendous growth over the past several decades, increased competition and plateauing participation rates have made effective race marketing an imperative. This study examined the repeat registration behavior of running event participants through the lens of Ehrenberg’s (1988) repeat-buying theory. We used Customer-Base Analysis on combinations of observed frequency and recency patterns in runner registrations over a seven-year period. Based upon registration data (N = 26,625), we found that runners with the highest probability of registering for future races have run the race within the previous two years. Results from the current study offer insights about repeat purchase behavior of race participants that can help determine allocation of scarce marketing dollars.

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Sport Brand Positioning Strategies and Position-Congruity on Financial Performance
Authors: J. Lucy Lee, June Won and Donald G. Farr
Abstract: Despite the importance of positioning in marketing, we have little empirical evidence about the characteristics of positioning strategy that influence effectiveness and the relationship between position-congruity and positioning efficiency. By applying multiple methodologies, we examined six golf brands to discover the effectiveness of brand positioning strategies and the relationship between position-congruity and efficiency. We found that (1) feature positioning strategy was as effective as benefit positioning strategy; (2) surrogate positioning strategy was most effective; and (3) a linear relationship exists between positioning efficiency and brand position-congruity between intended and perceived positioning.

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An Assessment of Fans’ Willingness to Pay for Team’s Environmental Sustainability Initiatives
Authors: Greg Greenhalgh and Joris Drayer
Abstract: The current study aims to understand if sport organizations can utilize environmental sustainability (ES) efforts to increase revenue in addition to saving money. To do this, fans of the Philadelphia Eagles were surveyed. Findings indicate fans were willing to pay an average of US$6.50 in the form of a sustainability fee to help the organization implement an environmental initiative. Furthermore, this study found that nearly none of the prevailing thoughts on predictors of fan behavior significantly positively predicted fans’ willing-ness to pay an environmental sustainability fee. The findings of the current study challenge the conventional theoretical thinking with respect to fan behavior. Furthermore, respondents in the current study were equally likely to financially support the sustainability efforts of their favorite team no matter their income, loyalty to the team, personal values, or conative loyalty associated with environmental sustainability. Theoretically, the current study advanced the triple bottom line theory, the Contingent Valuation Model, and the Model of Sport Fan Sustainability Behavior.

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Losing Weight with Charles and Dan: Examining Potential Liability for Endorser Claims in Weight Loss Advertisements
Authors: Natasha T. Brison, Andrew C. Pickett and Katie M. Brown
Abstract: The weight loss industry in America accounts for billions of dollars annually. Many products and programs are endorsed by sport celebrities and promote quick-fix (ineffective) remedies. As a result, these advertisements are often involved in investigations by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for false or misleading claims. Unfortunately, endorsers may not understand they can be held liable for these claims. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the statements made by athletes that may give rise to potential liability for false claims in weight loss management advertising. A content analysis of weight loss management program advertisements featuring athletes was conducted (N = 42) to determine the presence of deceptive or potentially misleading statements using FTC guidelines. Results demonstrate multiple potential FTC violations regarding false or misleading claims by athletes. In turn, the authors provide recommendations for sport celebrity endorsers regarding best practices for weight loss program endorsements.

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“I Still Support My Favorite Team”: The Effects of an Athlete’s Transgression and Post-Response Strategy Using Visual Cues on In-Group Bias
Authors: Wonseok (Eric) Jang, Joon Sung Lee, Janice Cho and Jeoung-Hak Lee
Abstract: Using an in-group bias effect as a theoretical framework, this study examined how scandal-ridden athletes may obtain forgiveness and continuous support from highly identified sport consumers depending on the visual strategy used in the official statement and the severity of the scandal. The results indicated that for a high-severity scandal, an angular shape is more effective than a circular shape in eliciting positive evaluations from highly identified sport consumers. In contrast, for a low-severity scandal, a circular shape is more effective than an angular shape in obtaining positive evaluations from highly identified sport consumers. The underlying mechanism is that each type of visual shape is associated with different types of perception (softness vs. hardness), and the in-group bias effect occurred only when the perception of the visual shape matched the severity of the scandal.

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