Academic journal article Journal of Contemporary Athletics

Predicting Sponsorship and Advertising Effectiveness in Sport: A Case Study of the Super Bowl

Academic journal article Journal of Contemporary Athletics

Predicting Sponsorship and Advertising Effectiveness in Sport: A Case Study of the Super Bowl

Article excerpt


The Super Bowl is a mega sporting event that is worthy of further exploration. With the rising cost of 30-second advertisements, increasing viewership and the practical platform that exists between investors and fans are all reasons why the Super Bowl can provide a research context regarding sport consumer behavior. For these reasons, the current study selected Super Bowl fans as the research target. The Super Bowl remains an appealing, mega-special event because of its reach; its marketing potential continues to be attractive to sponsors. Due to the vast reach and attentive audience, sponsors are willing to spend high sponsorship fees and invest millions more on design and creating fascinating commercials. Not only can the Super Bowl drive sales, it can also create unique research circumstances to study sponsorship issues.

The purpose of this study was to comprehend when and how sponsorship and advertising worked during Super Bowl XLVI. The current study began from a fan's perspective to understand whether fan involvement and attachment toward Super Bowl XLVI could influence sponsorship and advertising effectiveness (brand image, word of mouth, and purchase intentions). Aware that 50% of consumers in previous studies could not recall a sponsor of specific events (Crompton, 2004; Pham & Johar, 2000; Poknywczynski, 2000), the current study considered -consumer confusion" an important interfering factor. Limitations in previous works indicated that the sponsorship model was examined with insufficient items and literature support, multicollinearity problems, or it ignored the consumer confusion factor altogether. In completing the current study and addressing the previous limitations, a broad range of fans' attitudes toward the event and sponsorship and advertising effectiveness factors were considered. More specifically, structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to examine the hypothesized model to provide comprehensive and holistic information regarding consumer behavior during Super Bowl XLVI. The results indicated some clear patterns and supported the hypothesized model.

The results of this study demonstrated that the sport consumer behavior scale possessed reliability and validity by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Overall, the research scale consisted of five latent variables with a total of eighteen items. The sport consumer behavior model passed the threshold standards and fit the data well. Relative to the direct effects, involvement significantly affect sport attachment. While sport attachment positively influences brand image and purchase intentions, sport attachment does not significantly influence word of mouth. Lastly, brand image influences word of mouth stronger than purchase intentions and word of mouth positively affects purchase intentions as well.

Based on these results, sport marketers should properly use fans' positive perception toward sports or teams to transfer to companies. For example, sport managers could establish blogs, discussion boards, or send emails to fans regarding the results of the games. Moreover, before companies aspire to increase fans' positive word of mouth and purchase intentions, they should improve their own brand image, which will in turn firmly build fans' intention to say positive things and buy their products and services. For instance, companies can invite stars of teams or sports to be spokespersons or hosts for adolescent sporting events to aid in developing brand image.


Sponsorship activity has been viewed as a critical part of the mix that developed rapidly in the marketing field (Kotler, 2000). International Events Group (IEG; 2012) demonstrated that worldwide sponsorship expenditures reached $13.4 billion in 1996. However, sponsorship expenditures globally grew by 5.1% in 2010 to $48.6 billion in 2011; sponsorship expenditures by North American corporations increased by 5.5% in 2011 to $18.11 billion (IEG, 2012). …

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