Effectiveness of In-Game Advertisements in Sport Video Games: An Experimental Inquiry on Current Gamers

in International Journal of Sport Communication

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Beth A. CianfroneGeorgia State University, USA

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Galen T. TrailThe Ohio State University, USA

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James J. ZhangUniversity of Florida, USA

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Richard J. LutzUniversity of Florida, USA

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Sport video games (SVGs) are a popular form of sport media and sponsorship, and advertising in SVGs is increasingly common. This study assessed the effectiveness of SVG in-game advertisements in 3 consumption domains: cognitive, affective, and conative. An experimental study was designed with 89 gamers randomly assigned to 1 of 2 conditions: (a) experimental, playing an SVG with advertisements, or (b) control, playing an SVG without advertisements. Consumption background and identification level were incorporated as covariates to ensure group equivalence. Participants responded to a questionnaire measuring brand awareness, brand attitude, and purchase intentions. MANCOVA revealed that after controlling for the effect of covariate variables, the experimental group had a significantly (p < .05) greater mean brand-awareness score than the control group. Mean brand-attitude and purchase-intention scores were not significantly (p > .05) different between groups. The findings indicated that SVG in-game advertising was effective in creating awareness.

Cianfrone is with the Dept. of Kinesiology and Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30302-3975. Zhang is with the Dept. of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management, and Lutz, the Dept. of Marketing, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611. Trail is with Sport Management, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210-1224.

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