The paper aims to compare two general team identification processes of consumers’ in-group-favor and out-group-animosity responses to sports sponsorship.
The paper draws on two studies and four samples of professional baseball fans in Taiwan (N = 1,294). In Study 1, data from the fans of three teams were analyzed by using multi-group structural equation modeling to account for team effects and to consider parallel in-group-favor and out-group-animosity processes. In Study 2, the fans of one team were sampled and randomly assigned to assess the sponsors of one of three specific competitor teams to account for differences in team competition and rivalry. In both studies, these two processes were compared using patterns of significant relationships and differences in the indirect identification-attitude-outcome relationships.
Positive outcomes of in-group-favor processes were broader in scope and were more pronounced in absolute magnitude than the negative outcomes of out-group-animosity processes across all outcomes and studies.
The research was conducted in one country and considered the sponsorship of one sport. It is possible that the results could differ for leagues within different countries, more global leagues and different fan bases.
The results suggest that managers should carefully consider whether the negative out-group-animosity outcomes are actually present, broad enough or strong enough to warrant costly or compromising intervention, because they might not always be present or meaningful.
The paper demonstrates the comparatively greater breadth and strength of in-group-favor processes when compared directly to out-group-animosity processes.
This research was funded in part by the University of New Brunswick’s Faculty Development Fund, the Harrison McCain Foundation, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The authors would like to thank Jing Lin and Chenyang Ling for their thoughts and assistance with earlier phases of the research.
Lin, H. and Bruning, P. (2020), "Comparing consumers’ in-group-favor and out-group-animosity processes within sports sponsorship", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-03-2018-0195Download as .RIS
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