Academic journal article International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship

Consumer Patriotism and Response to Patriotic Advertising: Comparison of International vs. National Sport Events

Academic journal article International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship

Consumer Patriotism and Response to Patriotic Advertising: Comparison of International vs. National Sport Events

Article excerpt

Executive summary

With an increase in the sentiment of patriotism in major international sporting events, advertisers and marketers have utilised patriotic advertisements to take advantage of advertising that appeals to consumers' patriotic emotions (Yu & Jung, 2004). Despite the growing interest in the role of patriotism in the field of marketing and advertising, little empirical research has been conducted to explore consumers' response to patriotic advertisements in a special social context, such as an international sporting event.

Based on theories related to social identity, involvement and attitude, the current study develops a conceptual model that delineates the relationships between consumers' patriotism and their response to patriotic advertisements and advertised brands. In the research model, it is hypothesised that, in a special social situation such as an international mega-sporting event, consumers' patriotism positively influences their interest, and involvement, in the sporting event. Also, that both patriotism and sports event involvement are positively related to attitudes towards patriotic advertisement associated with the event and that, eventually, this leads to consumers' positive response to the advertised brand. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) is employed to test the research hypotheses in the model. Data is collected from three different soccer event contexts: The 2006 FIFA World Cup, the 2008 Olympics and the 2008 Korean professional soccer league. The surveys were undertaken during the sports events. Firstly, the proposed model is assessed with data collected during the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Multiple-group path analysis is then conducted to examine if the model has the same pattern across two different sporting event contexts (international vs. domestic event). Soccer events in the 2008 Olympics are considered as stimulus of an international mega-sporting event; and the 2008 Korean professional soccer league (K-League) represents a domestic sports context.

The results of a series of Confirmatory Factor Analyses (CFA) indicate that the measurement models are a good fit to data collected in three sporting events. The results of a series of SEM tests suggests that all hypotheses, except path linking Sport Event Involvement (SI) to Brand attitude (Ab), were supported (see Table 3). This provides empirical evidence of the positive relationship between consumers' pre-existing patriotism and their positive response to patriotic advertisement and its brand during international mega-sporting events. Invariant pattern of the structure model test are conducted across three sporting event contexts (international vs. domestic sporting events). Results show that hypothesised relationships between research variables similarly operate across different sporting events. However, the direct effect of patriotism on SI was evident only in the international sporting events, but not a domestic (or national) sporting event.

Based on the results of this study, we conclude that consumers' patriotism during international mega-sporting events significantly increases their involvement in those events, and that heightened level of patriotism and SI positively influences their attitudes towards patriotic advertising. Eventually, this leads to positive attitudes towards the advertised brand.

The findings of this study provide marketers and advertisers with several meaningful implications. Firstly, this study provides empirical evidence that the use of patriotic advertisement is particularly effective when it is associated with international sporting events. This strategy is deemed appropriate particularly for domestic brands targeted at sports fans who share similar national and ethnic backgrounds. Secondly, sports consumers' SI plays a significant role in predicting their positive attitudes towards patriotic advertising. Thus, both sports organisations and corporate marketers should make collaborative efforts to create consumer interests in the sport itself and promote sporting events to maximise the effectiveness of marketing communication associated with sport. …

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