Current knowledge on the behavioral response to sponsorship is to a large degree based on field studies measuring self-reported purchase intentions. In an effort to provide more solid evidence for the impact of sponsorship-linked communication on brand choice behavior, a controlled lab study was carried out. A fictitious brand was created and virtually embedded into real sport broadcasts serving as stimulus clips. To measure the cognitive, affective, and behavioral outcomes, multiple methods such as eye tracking, a brand feeling scale, and a spontaneous choice test were applied. Compared with the control group, participants in the stimulus group were significantly more likely to choose the fictitious target brand. Moreover, the study finds that brand choice behavior is sensitive to changes in brand feelings. The results can be regarded as a next step in predicting the behavioral outcomes from sponsorship as the basis to calculate its financial return.
Focus on Brand Choice: Assessing the Behavioral Response to Sponsorship-Linked Communication
Christopher Rumpf and Christoph Breuer
The Impact of Color and Animation on Sports Viewers’ Attention to Televised Sponsorship Signage
Christoph Breuer and Christopher Rumpf
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.
Increasing Human Capital of Coaches—An Investigation Into Individual and Organizational Factors
Christoph Breuer, Svenja Feiler, and Lea Rossi
Coaches play a vital role in providing sports programs. Investing in formal coach education can serve to increase coaches’ human capital, which in turn, has a positive effect on their coaching practice. The present study investigates factors influencing coaches’ intention to get training for their coaching activity on an individual and organizational level. Nationwide online surveys were conducted in Germany on both nonprofit sports clubs and coaches being active within these clubs. Data were analyzed using multilevel regression analysis on a sample of n = 2,384 coaches in n = 1,274 clubs. Results show that especially the expiring validity of the coaching license, aspects of personal development, and low transaction costs are crucial factors for the intention to obtain a qualification. The results lead to several implications for theory and practice. Clubs could enhance the qualification intention and, thereby, the quality of sports programs by appointing a contact person who informs about qualification possibilities.
Does the Game Matter? Analyzing Sponsorship Effectiveness and Message Personalization in Sport Live Broadcasts
Elisa Herold and Christoph Breuer
This study aims to increase the effective use of in-stadium sponsor message placement by analyzing the influence of various run-of-play characteristics on television viewers’ visual attention allocation. Sports broadcasts constitute one potential platform for sponsors to place personalized messages. However, literature still questions the effectiveness of in-stadium sponsor messages, and the influence of game-related factors on viewers’ visual attention has received little consideration in this context. In addition, researchers call for more reliable and realistic measures concerning the effective evaluation of sponsorship-linked marketing. Therefore, this study uses real-time adaptions (eye-tracking, in-play betting odds, etc.) utilizing live soccer broadcasts as one of the first. Data were analyzed second by second (n = 100,298) using generalized linear mixed models. Results indicate significant associations of several run-of-play characteristics with viewers’ visual attention to sponsor messages depending on the characteristic, the games’ degree of suspense, and playing time. Findings provide hands-on advice for practitioners to enhance sponsor message placement during live broadcasts.
Elite Athlete Well-Being: The Role of Socioeconomic Factors and Comparisons With the Resident Population
Pamela Wicker, Sören Dallmeyer, and Christoph Breuer
Given the increasing importance of athlete well-being in the sport policy debate, this study investigated the effects of socioeconomic factors on elite athletes’ well-being in less commercialized sports and provides comparisons with residents of similar age (18–30 years). This study used survey data from athletes who are supported by the German Sports Aid Foundation (n = 709) and from the German Socio-Economic Panel, containing comparable variables for residents (n = 2,455). Subjective well-being was measured with life satisfaction as a whole and satisfaction with important domains in life, including health, income, leisure time, and family life. The athletes scored lower on all well-being measures compared with young residents. The regression analyses revealed significant differences between athletes and young residents with regard to the effects of age, income, education, and sport hours on different well-being dimensions, suggesting that more needs to be done that the athletes’ investments into sport and education yield well-being benefits.
The Viewer’s Reception and Processing of Sponsorship Information in Sport Telecasts
Christoph Breuer and Christopher Rumpf
Although enormous sums are spent on sport sponsorships, knowledge of sponsorship information processing is still limited. For a continuing growth of sponsorship as a field significant improvements in our understanding of sponsoring effectiveness are required. Whereas the direct effect of sponsor signage exposure on sponsor recall has been identified in several studies, attention to sponsor signage as the mediator of sponsorship information has not been investigated thoroughly. Based on spotlight theory and the associative network model of memory, the present paper addresses this research gap and investigates the viewer’s visual attention to sponsorship information by applying eye tracking methodology. Regression models have been estimated to analyze information reception and processing in sport telecasts. The results reveal that the capture of attention is determined by the placement of sponsor signage and by exposure variables. Furthermore, sponsor recall is found to be a function of attention and brand-related variables.
Does Club Size Matter: An Examination of Economies of Scale, Economies of Scope, and Organizational Problems
Pamela Wicker, Christoph Breuer, Markus Lamprecht, and Adrian Fischer
Size is a central characteristic of organizations. While previous studies point to size differences among nonprofit sport clubs, size effects have not yet been investigated systematically. The concepts of economies of scale and economies of scope are used to explain size advantages. Yet, club theory stresses that benefits from sharing production costs only exist until some point and decrease afterward. The purpose of this study is to examine size effects in sport clubs using data from two nationwide online surveys in Germany (n = 19,345) and Switzerland (n = 6,098). The results support the existence of economies of scope, since costs decrease with increasing number of different sports (not codes) offered in the same club. Yet, clubs only benefit from reduced costs until some point supporting club theory. Organizational size has a significant effect on various organizational problems. The findings have implications for the management of sport clubs and for policy makers.
Sport Participation and Subjective Well-Being: Instrumental Variable Results From German Survey Data
Jane E. Ruseski, Brad R. Humphreys, Kirstin Hallman, Pamela Wicker, and Christoph Breuer
A major policy goal of many ministries of sport and health is increased participation in sport to promote health. A growing literature is emerging about the benefits of sport participation on happiness. A challenge in establishing a link between sport participation and happiness is controlling for endogeneity of sport participation in the happiness equation.
This study seeks to establish causal evidence of a relationship between sport participation and self reported happiness using instrumental variables (IV).
IV estimates based on data from a 2009 population survey living in Rheinberg, Germany indicate that individuals who participate in sport have higher life happiness. The results suggest a U-shaped relationship between age and self-reported happiness. Higher income is associated with greater self-reported happiness, males are less happy than females, and single individuals are less happy than nonsingles.
Since the results are IV, this finding is interpreted as a causal relationship between sport participation and subjective well-being (SWB). This broader impact of sport participation on general happiness lends support to the policy priority of many governments to increase sport participation at all levels of the general population.