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Masayuki Yoshida, Brian Gordon, Makoto Nakazawa and Rui Biscaia

In the sport management literature, limited attention has been devoted to the conceptualization and measurement of fan engagement. Two quantitative studies were completed to validate the proposed fan-engagement scale composed of three defining elements (management cooperation, prosocial behavior, and performance tolerance). The results from Study 1 provide evidence of convergent and discriminant validity for the threefactor model of fan engagement. In Study 2, we assess nomological validity by examining the antecedents and consequences of fan engagement and found that team identification and basking in reflected glory played a particularly important role in increasing the three dimensions of fan engagement. Furthermore, the results indicate that performance tolerance has a positive effect on purchase intention. These findings highlight the importance of the sequential relationships between team identification, performance tolerance, and purchase intention.

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Noni Zaharia, Rui Biscaia, Dianna Gray and David Stotlar

The growth of sport sponsorship has led to an increase in the number of studies measuring sponsorship outcomes in different sport settings. Most studies, however, have focused on understanding the factors leading to purchase intentions. A more accurate assessment of sponsorship effectiveness would come through measuring actual purchase behaviors. The purpose of this study was to examine a sport sponsorship model that included awareness, fit, attitude toward the sponsor, past purchases, purchase intentions, and actual purchases. Data were collected via longitudinal web surveys conducted with soccer fans from the United States. The results of a structural equation model provided evidence that the relationships among the analyzed sponsorship outcomes did not have a significant effect on actual purchase behaviors. The discussion includes questions about the impact of sponsorship variables such as awareness, fit, attitude toward the sponsor, purchase intentions, and past purchases on actual purchase behaviors.

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Thilo Kunkel, Rui Biscaia, Akiko Arai and Kwame Agyemang

This research explored the role of athlete on- and off-field brand image on consumer commitment toward the athlete and associated team, preference by the athlete’s sponsor, and the mediating effect of consumers’ self-brand connection on these relationships. Data were collected from fans of soccer players through a cross-sectional survey promoted on social media platforms. A partial least squares structural equation model examined the direct effects of both athlete brand dimensions on athlete commitment, team commitment, and athlete sponsor preference, and the indirect effects mediated via self-brand connection. The results indicate that an athlete’s on-field image is significantly related to athlete sponsor preference, while the off-field image influences athlete commitment and team commitment. Self-brand connection is influenced by athlete off-field image and mediates the relationship between off-field image and athlete commitment. This study contributes to a better understanding of how to manage athlete brands and linkages between fans, athletes, and associated entities.

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Rui Biscaia, Abel Correia, Antonio Fernando Rosado, Stephen D. Ross and João Maroco

Sponsorship studies have generally been focused on attitudinal measures of fan loyalty to understand the reactions to abstract sponsors. This study examines the relationships between both attitudinal and behavioral loyalty with sponsorship awareness, attitude toward two actual sponsors, and purchase intentions. Data were collected among fans of a professional soccer team, and the results of a structural equation model provide evidence that attitudinal loyalty impacts the attitude toward both sponsors and purchase intentions. Behavioral loyalty influences sponsorship awareness, and impacts differently the attitude and purchase intentions toward each sponsor. Sponsorship awareness influences significantly the attitude toward both sponsors, while the attitude toward the sponsor was the strongest predictor of purchase intentions. These findings highlight the importance of examining actual sponsors and suggest managerial implications, such as the need for sponsors to help attract fans to the stadium and to design additional activation strategies to improve sponsorship value.