The Impact of Color and Animation on Sports Viewers’ Attention to Televised Sponsorship Signage

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Christoph Breuer German Sport University Cologne

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Christopher Rumpf German Sport University Cologne

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Although competition for viewers’ attention to sponsorship signage in sport telecasts has become a growing issue in sponsorship-linked marketing, sport management research has not yet investigated how to create eyecatching sponsorship signage in the cluttered visual surroundings of sport events without negatively affecting the viewers’ first objective: watching sports. This research takes into account the peculiarities of televised sport sponsorship platforms by including (1) the concurrent appearance of sport action and sponsor signage, (2) the color contrast between signage and sport surroundings, and (3) viewer confusion as a reaction to an overload of sponsorship information. Based on a laboratory study, it was found that both color and animation significantly impact sports viewers’ attention. However, animation can lead to visual confusion for television sport viewers, and may jeopardize intended sponsorship effects. These findings provide scientific evidence for the opportunities and risks of visual features in sponsorship-linked marketing.

Christoph Breuer and Christopher Rumpf are with the Institute of Sport Economics and Sport Management, German Sport University Cologne, Cologne, Germany. Address author correspondence to Christopher Rumpf at c.rumpf@dshs-koeln.de.

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