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Sports Marketing Quarterly

Issue 33.2 – June, 2024

By June 27, 2024No Comments


From Sensation to Emotion: A Neuromarketing Study of Sport Sponsorship Effects

Authors: Sanghak Lee, Kitae Kim, Yong J. Hyun, Byungho Park

Abstract: This study investigated the sport sponsorship effects by applying the traditional response hierarchy models. Measured by a neuromarketing technique (i.e., electroencephalogram [EEG]), the study analyzed how sport fans’ sensation and emotion influence sponsorship effects. The Korea Republic National Football Team’s A match videos were shown as experiment stimuli to manipulate participants’ arousal and emotion in the experiment. Based on alpha blocking and hemispheric laterality theories, the current study found that alpha blocking occurred when participants were exposed to sensational senses (e.g., scoring goals) and that left frontal alpha dominance (LFAD) was reported when participants watched their supporting team’s winning games and had positive emotions. However, alpha blocking by brand recall and LFAD by brand attitude were insignificant. These findings support the use of neuromarketing and traditional response hierarchy models in understanding the effects of sport sponsorship. Managerial implications and study limitations will be discussed.
Keywords: sponsorship, neuromarketing, EEG, alpha blocking, hemispheric laterality, Korea Republic National Football Team

An Experimental Investigation Into the Efficacy of Sport Intellectual Property: Exploring the Effects of Congruence, Brand Equity, and Articulation

Authors: Jonathan A. Jensen and Danielle Kushner Smith

Abstract: Marketers allocate significant resources to purchase the rights to the sport intellectual property (SIP) of sponsored properties. However, the effectiveness of SIP in influencing sponsorship-related outcomes, such as brand attitudes and purchase intentions, are lacking in empirical studies. Further, it is unknown whether moderators such as congruence, brand equity, and articulation influence SIP usage outcomes. Therefore, between-subject experimental designs involving the manipulation of package designs were undertaken across three studies. Results indicate the use of SIP on packaging was ineffective and did not vary based on congruence,

brand equity, and articulation. However, a significant direct effect of sport identification was found, confirming that SIP is effective at influencing sport fans. Results may be discouraging to marketers who assume that SIP affects all consumers, regardless of existing levels of sport identification, and suggest that additional resources may be necessary to impact consumers who are not highly identified sport fans.
Keywords: between-subjects experimental design, sponsorship-linked marketing, sport intellectual property, congruence, brand equity, articulation

Team Identification in Esports: The Benefits of Localizing an Esports Team

Authors: Yongjin Hwang, Wil Fisackerly, and Bob Heere

Abstract: Associating esports teams with a particular city has gained significant attention, with the assumption that es- ports teams receive benefits from the local fanbase as traditional sports teams take advantage of the local com- munity. The researchers examined whether team identification was important in esports as it is in traditional sports and tested if local and nonlocal fans showed different levels of team identification after localization. The results of path analyses revealed that team identification had a positive impact on team loyalty and consumer behavior. Additionally, team loyalty mediated the positive impacts of team identification, and local residency was a significant moderator, strengthening the effects of team identification. Furthermore, a mixed-model ANCOVA showed that local fans’ team identification was higher after localization but no changes occurred in nonlocal fans’ team identification. The findings provide empirical evidence that localizing in esports could be beneficial yet occurs without the expected tradeoffs of estranging nonlocal fans.
Keywords: esports, localization, team identity, fan identity, branding

Look What We Have Here: Exploring Brand-Related Sport Consumer Twitter Conversation Topics

Authors: Liz Wanless, Heather Kennedy, Melissa Davies, Michael L. Naraine, and Ann Pegoraro

Abstract: As sport organizations leverage social media as a critical component of marketing strategy, tools for exploring the large volume of sport consumer social media conversations are vital. This scholarship demonstrates the value of unsupervised latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA) as a tool for exploring consumers’ digital conversations. Specifically, unsupervised LDA was applied to derive latent topics among Women’s National Basketball Association-related Twitter conversation over the course of the 2020 season. Quantitative (cv and umass scores) and qualitative (two expert reviews) approaches were utilized to delineate topic configurations. Marginal topic distance established topic importance. Results from 118,518 tweets revealed 18 conversation topics spanning two overarching themes: social justice issues and on-court performance. The range and depth of the results highlight the importance of the unsupervised topic modeling method (without semi-supervised predetermined topic leads) for considering holistic rather than subsampled or snapshot datasets. This empirical investigation extends the conversation surrounding natural language processing to sport management re- search and practice, delivers a foundation for unsupervised LDA application to sport consumer conversation, and explores social media conversations during a critical moment for the WNBA.
Keywords: topic modeling, Twitter, WNBA

Fan Networks in Women’s Sport: An Egocentric Analysis of Social Fans and IsoFans

Authors: Matthew Katz, E. Nicole Melton, Risa F. Isard, and Nola Agha

Abstract: Guided by network theory, the purpose of this paper is to explore the consumption networks of Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) fans. Through an egocentric network analysis, the authors utilize hierarchical linear modeling to examine the strength of consumption ties among WNBA fans during the 2019 season. Initial results revealed an unexpected finding: the presence of participants who reported having no fan-to-fan ties, whom we term IsoFans. A second sample of men’s basketball fans was then collected to serve as a comparative confirmation of the unexpected result, whereby IsoFans occurred in the men’s sport sample at a much lower rate. In the third step of the study, the authors examine the differences between WNBA fans consuming in isolation, IsoFans, and WNBA fans consuming with alters, whom we call Social Fans. Results from the hierarchical linear modeling of Social Fans revealed that attributes of both ego (i.e., focal fan) and alter (i.e., individual with whom ego shares a tie) affect the strength of fan-to-fan ties within the women’s sport context.
Keywords: network theory, social network analysis, fan networks, women’s sport, women’s sport fans

Worth a Shot? The Impact of Athletes’ Vaccine Advocacy on Fan Attitudes and Behaviors

Authors: Molly Hayes Sauder, Michael Mudrick, and Melissa Davies

Abstract: Sport activism and advocacy have received substantial attention in both academic and popular literature. However, recent years brought controversy, and corresponding advocacy, around a new topic—COVID-19 vaccines—which offers an interesting research opportunity since fans may view athlete engagement with health topics differently from other causes. Thus, this study explored the effect of athlete health-related advocacy on the corresponding fan attitudinal and behavioral changes directed toward both the athlete and the athlete’s team. A quasi-experimental design was utilized and both National Basketball Association (NBA) fans (n = 210) and Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) fans (n = 218) with a variety of perspectives on vaccines were recruited. Quantitative analysis demonstrated that the interplay between fan vaccine perspectives and athlete messages on the topic stimulated a variety of changes in fan attitudes and consumption intentions toward the athlete and, in some cases, the athlete’s team. Collectively, the findings have important practical and theoretical implications within sport marketing.
Keywords: activism, advocacy, sport consumer behavior, balance theory, marketing

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