Little is known about the comparative effectiveness of official sports event sponsorship, sports team sponsorship and ambush marketing (AM). The purpose of this paper is therefore to examine and compare the effectiveness of those three types of sports event-related marketing.
This research draws on a field experiment analyzing the effects the three types of sports event-related marketing during the FIFA Soccer World Cup 2014. To test the proposed main effects, the authors conducted a field experiment in two product categories (airlines and beer) testing for differences in brand attitude, customer-based brand equity and word-of-mouth (WOM), and testing moderating effects of advertisement creativity and sponsorship recognition.
Drawing on a field-experimental study on the occasion of the FIFA World Cup 2014, this research shows that team sponsorship has a stronger positive effect on consumers’ attitudes than AM and event sponsorship. Brand attitude emerges as a central mediator of the sponsorship effect on WOM and customer-based brand equity. The authors find, surprisingly, that sponsorship recognition does not significantly moderate the relationship between sponsorship and customer attitudes, whereas advertisement creativity even weakens the positive effect of sponsorship on brand attitude, WOM and customer-based brand equity.
Consumers do not seem to form their brand attitude on the fact whether they recognize the particular brand as a sponsor or ambushing brand. This can be attributed to the theory of moralistic fallacy, which describes the phenomenon that makes individuals ignore the existence of something they perceive immoral, explaining the similar effectiveness of both.
This research contributes to the literature in several ways. First, it tests a causal model that examines brand attitude, customer-based brand equity and WOM -intentions as outcome variables of AM effectiveness. This goes far beyond the proxy-measure of “sponsorship awareness,” which previous studies used in order to quantify AM effectiveness. Second, taking into account and comparing the specific effects of event sponsorship, team sponsorship and AM, the study broadens the knowledge about the effectiveness of alternative sports event-related marketing approaches. Third, previous studies advised event sponsors to design humorous and creative advertisements to defend themselves against ambush marketers and beat them at their own game, which is tested by including ad creativity as a moderating variable.
Ertz, E., Frey Cordes, R. and Buettgen, M. (2019), "Does ambushing pay off?", International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSMS-03-2018-0021Download as .RIS
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