Sports Marketing and the Psychology of Marketing Communication

By Lynn R. Kahle; Chris Riley | Go to book overview

Preface

Sports marketing is one of the fastest growing areas of marketing communication. It provides a different type of vehicle for communicating with consumers that does not necessarily follow all of the rules of other types of marketing communication (Burnett & Menon, 1993; Jones, Bee, Burton, & Kahle, 2004). Sport has (1) unique combinations of characteristics that (2) lead to unique patterns of psychological responses that therefore (3) demand out of the ordinary attention to a variety of marketing tactics. As Chalip articulated so well in the Foreword, sports marketing means different things to different people. We touch on most of those definitions during the course of this book.

Consider the unique characteristics of sports. None of these characteristics exists only in sports, but the combination of all of the phenomena in one place give sports a special situation in society. Sports provide real-time drama, often connected to a place or institution, which emphasizes strategy and skill, beauty and talent, competition and teamwork, winners and losers. Most sports appeal to the most basic human understanding, making sports a popular subject for media coverage and fundamental social interaction (Kahle, Elton, & Kambara, 1997). Special consumption communities arise surrounding sport (Chapters 1 and 14; Shoham & Kahle, 1996; Shoham, Rose, Kropp, & Kahle, 1997).

Because of these unique aspects of sports, as well as because of other aspects, several psychological characteristics are connected with sport marketing. Examples include basking in reflected glory (Chapter 3; Cialdini, Borden, Thorne, Walker, Freeman, & Sloan, 1976), consumption communities (Chapter 1), fanaticism (Chapter 2), special target markets (Chapter 14), identification (Hirt, Zillman, Erickson, & Kennedy, 1992; Kahle, Kambara, & Rose, 1996), heroism (Chapters 5, 6, and 7; Kahle & Homer, 1985), patriotism, eroticism, fear, bonding, symbolism (Branscrombe & Wann, 1992), values (Kahle, Duncan, Dalakas, & Aiken, 2001; Sukhdial, Aiken, & Kahle, 2002), child rearing, and risk taking (Chapter 4; Shoham, Rose, & Kahle, 1998, 2000).

-xvii-

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