Sports Marketing and the Psychology of Marketing Communication

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

3
“We Are Number One!”
The Phenomenon of
Basking-in-Reflected-Glory and Its
Implications for Sports Marketing
Vassilis Dalakas
Berry College
Robert Madrigal
University of Oregon
Keri L. Anderson
Berry College

Valparaiso, Indiana is the site of Orville Redenbacher's success and home to the Valparaiso University basketball team—the Cinderella team of the Sweet 16 during the 1998 NCAA National Basketball Tournament. The team's success did not go unnoticed in the community; most of the town's 26,000 residents spent their time discussing the team's amazing run and purchasing team apparel. Stores stocking the college's merchandise could not keep the shelves filled; requests came from not only locals but also outside enthusiasts. Even staunch Kansas fans, bitter at the Rhode Island team that ousted them from the tournament, were requesting Valparaiso apparel. An association with a team strong enough to impact an entire town is not uncommon in sports.

People's desire to associate with successful teams and make such an association public is known as basking-in-reflected-glory (BIRG). This concept was first introduced by Cialdini et al. (1976). In this chapter, we take a closer look at this phenomenon in the context of sports. First, we describe the original studies that introduced BIRG, then we lay out the theoretical framework that can explain the phenomenon and discuss the conditions that make it more

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