Academic journal article Sport Marketing Quarterly

Brand Recall and Recognition: A Comparison of Television and Sport Video Games as Presentation Modes

Academic journal article Sport Marketing Quarterly

Brand Recall and Recognition: A Comparison of Television and Sport Video Games as Presentation Modes

Article excerpt


In today's cluttered marketplace it is essential that corporations seek new and innovative ways to reach their target audience. Sport video games represent an emerging media forum for brand management as corporations are now engaging in brand placement within sport video games in an attempt to reach consumers in a non-traditional way. Despite the growth of this practice little research has been conducted to determine its effectiveness, particularly as it compares to placement within more traditional mediums. As such, the purpose of this study is to compare the recall and recognition rates for brands appearing in a sport video game and brands appearing in a televised sport contest. The results have important implications for corporate marketers and indicate that recall for brands that appeared in a televised NASCAR race were higher than those in a NASCAR themed video game; however, recognition rates were not statistically significant.


From 1996 to 2006 computer and video game sales in the United States grew from $2.6 billion to $7.4 billion (Entertainment Software Association, 2007). Of that $7.4 billion in sales, sport video games are one of the most popular genres, ranking second in total number of units sold in 2006, accounting for 17% of industry sales (Entertainment Software Association, 2007). Due to the growth of the industry, video games now seem to be a major competitor for traditional forms of entertainment, discretionary income, and consumer leisure time. In fact, 2004 sales of video game items surpassed movie theater box office receipts in the US market (e-Strategic Research, 2005), and millions of Americans own some type of video game system. A large portion of US households (33%) own a console video game system, and 41% of Americans indicated that they planned to purchase one or more video games in 2007 (Entertainment Software Association, 2007).

This growth has also led many professional and collegiate properties to consider sport video games as an innovative tool to reach existing sport consumers, attract new customers, and access younger market segments by incorporating their brands into interactive games (Arrington, 2003; Lefton, 2005). In addition to league video game licenses, corporate marketers are utilizing this new medium by engaging in brand placement within video games. The technology research firm The Yankee Group estimated that $70 million in advertising revenue was generated via in-game ads in the US in 2003, and that number is predicted to increase to more than $700 million by 2010 (Yankee Group, 2006). Despite this growth little research has been conducted on the effectiveness of corporations placing their brand within sport video games, in particular as it compares to more traditional brand placement methods utilized during a live sporting event such as venue signage, logo placement, and sponsored segments.

Brand Recall and Recognition

When corporations place their brand within sport video games their likely end goal is to positively impact brand equity, and in turn have an effect on some marketplace outcomes such as image enhancement, product sales, and brand exposure. In order to have an impact on brand equity Aaker (1996) suggests that factors such as brand awareness, brand loyalty, perceived quality, and brand associations must be impacted in a positive way. Keller (1993) also proposed that brand equity relies on the knowledge one has for the brand, which consists of brand awareness and brand associations.

In sport, the study of brand equity has been a focus in recent literature, primarily due to the shift of many professional sport teams and leagues from the realization of short-term profits to more of a strategic focus on managing a team's brand (Gladden, Irwin, & Sutton, 2001). Gladden, Milne, and Sutton (1998) were the first to provide a framework for brand equity in sport and posited that there are a number of antecedents in collegiate sport that could impact perceived quality, brand awareness, brand associations, and brand loyalty. …

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