Single versus Multiple Team Sponsorship: A Study of Consumer Inferences
Kim, Young-Tae, 1968- (author)
James, Jeffrey D. (professor directing dissertation)
Turner, Jeannine (university representative)
Mondello, Michael (committee member)
Kim, Yu Kyoum (committee member)
Department of Sport Management (degree granting department)
Florida State University (degree granting institution)
Attribution theory helps explain how people infer an actor's characteristics or dispositions from his or her behavior. In the context of advertising, the theory has been used to explain how consumers infer the motives, intent, or disposition of a persuasive communicator such as an advertiser or a celebrity endorser. Only recently has there been some effort to explain corporate sponsorship in light of attribution theory (Rifon, Choi, Trimble, & Li, 2004). However, none of these recent studies have investigated attribution in the commercial sport sponsorship context. The main thrust of the current study was to examine whether attribution theory is applicable to the context of sport sponsorship. Based on Kelley's (1967) co-variation principle, predictions were made concerning consumer response to single versus multiple team sponsorship. Further, the relationships between attribution, attitudes toward the sponsor, and purchase intent were investigated. The results from four pilot studies (n = 45; 31; 150; 170) demonstrated that experimental stimulus materials for the main study were properly manipulated and that the measurement tools for the current study, including two newly developed attribution scales, were psychometrically sound. The main study (n = 204) employed a posttest-only control group design in which consumer responses to multiple versus single team sponsorship were compared. Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) demonstrated that a single team sponsor was perceived to be more team-serving whereas a multiple team sponsor was perceived to be more firm-serving. This supported the proposition that attribution theory is predictive of consumer response to a sport sponsor's actions and behavior. MANOVA also showed that sponsor favorability was significantly different across the treatment groups. No statistical difference was found in terms of purchase intent. Based on hedonic relevance theory, treatment (single-team versus multiple-team sponsorship) and covariate (team identification) interactions were hypothesized. The results were mixed. Attribute-Treatment Interaction (ATI) analysis revealed that the higher the level of team identification, the greater the magnitude of team-serving intent attribution. The level of firm-serving intent, however, did not differ across the levels of team identification. This non-significant finding might have resulted from a positivity bias toward the sponsor among the highly identified sport fans participating in the study. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) revealed that the hypothesized relationships between perception of team-serving intent, sponsor favorability, and purchase likelihood were significant. The effect of perception of team-serving intent on purchase intent was found to be indirect. Perception of firm-serving intent was found to be significantly associated neither with sponsor favorability nor with purchase intent. These results suggested that consumers are likely to respond positively to a sponsor perceived to be team-serving. They are, however, neutral about a sponsor perceived to be firm-serving. This study is believed to be the first to examine attribution in the context of commercial sport sponsorship. It expands the applicability of attribution theory to a new setting. This study also contributes to sponsorship research by providing a theoretical framework that explains the process of goodwill generation and identifies the determinants and consequences of goodwill.
August 16, 2010.
A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Sport and Recreation Management in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Jeffrey D. James, Professor Directing Dissertation; Jeannine Turner, University Representative; Michael Mondello, Committee Member; Yu Kyoum Kim, Committee Member.
Florida State University
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s). The copyright in theses and dissertations completed at Florida State University is held by the students who author them.