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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.

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Christopher Rumpf and Christoph Breuer

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.

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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.