This study attempted to uncover the paradoxical effects of an athlete’s negative publicity based on the theories of negativity bias, fuzzy trace, and processing fluency. The researcher tested a boundary condition in which repeated claims about an athlete’s negative publicity interacted with the temporal delay of consumers’ evaluation, which, in turn, led to a decrease in the adverse effects of negative publicity. The results of two online experiments demonstrated that dividing attention and cognitive resources in order to encode and retrieve various types of information caused the detailed contextual memory of each account of the athlete’s negative publicity to fade over time, leaving behind merely a gist memory of the celebrities. In the current study, infamy turned into fame, and the consumer’s judgment of the athletes became more positive. The current study may help expand existing research paradigms by further developing our theoretical understanding of the negative publicity effects.
When Infamy Becomes Fame: The Positive Side of Negative Athlete Publicity
Exploring the Patterns of Dual Attitude Changes in the Context of Athlete Endorsement: The Interplay of Fit, Evaluative Conditioning, and Introspection Focus
Through this study, the author aimed to elucidate the asymmetrical patterns of dual attitude changes in the context of athlete endorsement. The main experiment included a test of the interactions of: Fit (low vs. high fit) × Evaluative conditioning (endorsement–positive vs. endorsement–negative feelings) × Introspection focus (logics vs. feelings). Based on the results, fit changed explicit attitudes, leaving implicit attitudes unchanged, whereas evaluative conditioning changed implicit attitudes to a greater extent. Introspection focus on logics (feelings) led participants to operate syllogistic inferences (associative evaluations); consequently, the logicality of fit (the conditioned feelings) determined both explicit and implicit attitudes and behavioral intentions. The study helps broaden current understandings of endorsement effectiveness by identifying situations in which dual attitude shifts intentions. Managers should be aware of the manipulability of consumers’ evaluation systems, and it is recommended to strategically employ either logic-reflected or feelings-elicited endorsement campaigns to leverage a brand’s equity.
The Effects of Athlete Activism on League Credibility, Event Legacy, and Event Involvement: A Crisis Communication Perspective
Akira Asada, Yuhei Inoue, and Yonghwan Chang
The #TakeAKnee movement initiated by Colin Kaepernick and the measures taken by the National Football League (NFL) to handle the situation received mixed reactions from the public. The authors developed and tested a structural model using survey data collected from 698 residents of a Super Bowl host city. The results indicated a positive relationship between attitudes toward the movement and attitudes toward the league’s responses, which in turn influenced league credibility. However, after taking the indirect effect into account, attitudes toward the movement had a direct negative relationship with league credibility. In addition, people who viewed the NFL as a credible organization tended to perceive the Super Bowl as relevant to them and as impactful for the host city. Therefore, sport organizations should develop consistent, comprehensive communication strategies that enable them to maximize a positive synergy between their approach to crisis communication and their approach to other types of communication.
Remedying Stereotype Threat Effects in Spectator Sports
Yonghwan Chang, Vicki Schull, and Lisa A. Kihl
Attempts were made to explore the value of the multiple social identities approach in reducing the detrimental effects of stereotype threats in the context of spectator sports. A total of 150 females were recruited for a laboratory experiment. The following manipulations were implemented: (a) stereotype threat, (b) threat along with the implicit team identification activation, and (c) control. The results revealed that females in the threat condition showed a reduced level of psychological well-being; paradoxically, negative stereotypes positively influenced their self-esteem. The activation of implicit team identification alleviated the detrimental consequences of threat by inhibiting the spreading activation of harmful stereotypes regarding women in sports. The main theoretical frameworks of this study consisted of the process account of stereotype threat suggested in cognitive psychology. The authors attempted to offer a stronger understanding of the underlying mental processes of stereotype threat on women as well as an effective means to deal with its detrimental consequences.
The Effects of Implicit Team Identification (iTeam ID) on Revisit and WOM Intentions: A Moderated Mediation of Emotions and Flow
Yonghwan Chang, Daniel L. Wann, and Yuhei Inoue
Through this study, attempts were made to (a) define the concept of implicit team identification (iTeam ID), (b) examine the effects the interactions between iTeam ID and emotions exert on flow, and (c) examine the behavioral consequences of flow in the context of spectator sports. The opponent process and implicit memory theories served as the study’s main theoretical frameworks. An experiment was conducted in which we developed the team identification implicit association test (Team ID IAT) as a measure of iTeam ID and manipulated spectators’ emotions based on their retrospective spectating experiences. We conclude from the findings that anger, fear, and sadness paradoxically enhanced flow experiences and subsequent consumption behaviors for spectators with stronger iTeam ID, whereas happiness was universally appealing regardless of the level of iTeam ID. A recommendation is to strategically create experiences that elicit both positive and negative emotions in spectators to encourage flow.
Implicit and Explicit Affective Evaluations of Athlete Brands: The Associative Evaluation–Emotional Appraisal–Intention Model of Athlete Endorsements
Yonghwan Chang, Yong Jae Ko, and Brad D. Carlson
The researchers explore consumers’ emotional responses toward athlete brands by developing the associative evaluation–emotional appraisal–intention (AEI) model. The AEI postulates that unconscious (implicit attitudes) and conscious (explicit affective attitudes) levels of emotional responses systematically flow following assessments of perceived fit in athlete endorsements. Implicit attitudes were measured through the implicit association test, whereas pleasure, arousal, and pride captured explicit affective attitudes. Contrary to dominant beliefs about successful athlete endorsements, findings from a lab experiment indicate that low perceived fit affected implicit attitudes, which in turn affected arousal for consumers with high involvement. Pleasure, arousal, and pride were interrelated and systematically determined behavioral intentions of viewership and online friendship with athletes. Studies investigating athlete brands and endorsement success should consider the influence of both implicit and explicit attitudes on fan behavior. Managers should strategically utilize both low and high fit endorsements to facilitate emotional experiences and optimize desired consumption behavior.
A Hierarchical Approach for Predicting Sport Consumption Behavior: A Personality and Needs Perspective
Yong Jae Ko, Yonghwan Chang, Wonseok Jang, Michael Sagas, and John Otto Spengler
The present study was conducted to explore the influence of personality and needs of sport consumers on their sport consumption behavior. The proposed hierarchical model of sport consumption hypothesizes that individuals’ personality, need traits, and involvement interact through hierarchical stages and ultimately influence sport participation and spectatorship. The results of the structural model test using 471 sport consumers indicate that conscientiousness, openness, and extraversion were positively related to achievement need, whereas extraversion and neuroticism were significantly related to affiliation need. Conscientiousness was found to be positively related to arousal need. Needs for arousal and affiliation were significantly related to sport spectatorship involvement, whereas need for affiliation was related to sport participation involvement. Interestingly, sport spectating and participation are significantly related to each other in both involvement and behavioral intention levels. The results can offer valuable insights in understanding sport consumption behavior and developing effective segmentation strategies.