Feeling That In-Group Feeling at a Sponsored Sporting Event: Links to Memory and Future Attendance

in Journal of Sport Management
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Sports, the arts, and events are products in their own right, and when sponsored, they become marketing and communication platforms. The current research examines the role of event emotions on sponsor recall and intent to attend the event in the future. An important theoretical argument is that feeling to be part of an in-group, measured as in-group entitativity, moderates the relationship between emotions and outcomes of memory and intentions. To test our theoretical model, we surveyed attendees at a multiday international track and field event. A total of 282 individuals were surveyed, and 232 of these attendees qualified as audience members and were included in the analysis. Moderated regression analyses revealed that excitement, joy, boredom, and overall tone of the group atmosphere impact event outcomes for the sport and the sponsor, and furthermore, that in-group entitativity can function as an important moderator. Contributions to theory and practice are discussed.

Cornwell and Suh are with the University of Oregon, Eugene, OR. Jahn is with the University of Goettingen, Göttingen, Germany. Xie is with the Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI.

Address author correspondence to T. Bettina Cornwell at tbc@uoregon.edu.
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