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The Internet has become a competitive platform from which organizations can market their services and consumers can garner information through electronic word of mouth (eWOM). While eWOM has been examined in many different contexts, little research has been done on the impact of eWOM in a sport setting. This study examined the persuasiveness of eWOM on the attitudes and behaviors of consumers through online reviews of the Chicago Bears Bar, a hypothetical brand extension of the Chicago Bears. Through an online experiment with the elaboration likelihood model providing a theoretical framework, 2 major findings emerged from this research. First, it was found that the attitudes of highly identified fans are influenced by high-quality reviews. Second, the behaviors of highly identified fans were significantly influenced by high-quality reviews. Both findings suggest that highly identified fans prefer to align with messages that are refective of their attitudes toward a brand and its extensions. The results of the study provide significant theoretical and managerial implications.
The author is with the Dept. of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY. Address author correspondence to email@example.com