The Alcohol–Sport Nexus and How Consumers Are Affected Through Sponsorship

in International Journal of Sport Communication
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  • 1 University of Queensland, Australia
  • 2 University of Southern QLD, Australia
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Alcohol-linked sponsorship of sport represents a significant and growing investment as a popular strategy for brand communication. The current study confirms a relationship between exposure and hazardous consumption and provides insight into this relationship by examining the mediators responsible. Specifically, brand-image transfer (i.e., the mirroring of positive image attributes from the sponsored event to the sponsoring brand) and implied endorsement (i.e., the consumer assumes that the team or athlete favors the sponsor by virtue of the sponsorship relationship) were tested as mechanisms that explain these effects. The study involved a cross-sectional online survey across 8 sports that examined this relationship between exposure to alcohol-brand sport sponsorship and associated alcohol consumption in young Australian sport consumers (N = 2,033). Findings support a link between alcohol-sponsorship exposure in sport and alcohol consumption, mediated by image transfer and implied endorsement. Implications for sponsors, sports, and regulators concerned with consumer protection and national health are discussed.

Kelly is with the UQ Business School, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia. Ireland is with the School of Psychology and Counselling, University of Southern QLD, Brisbane, Australia.

Kelly (s.kelly@business.uq.edu.au) is corresponding author.
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