The More You Win, The Less You Believe? An Examination of the Moderating Effect of Team Performance on Attitude Toward Message of Sport Fan’s Superstitions

Paper to be presented at the North American Society for Sport Management Annual Conference.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to revisit the Bud Light “Superstitions” campaign, for which we examined how superstitious fans’ inferences of manipulative intention might influence their responses to the sponsor’s persuasion attempt in the sponsorship-linked advertising (SLA). Given that team identification was robustly found to be a powerful predictor of a variety of fan’s superstitious behaviors (Wann et al., 2013; Wann & Goeke, 2018), the current study tested the moderating effect of perceived team performance on subsequent inference of manipulative intention and attitudes toward the SLA featuring superstitions. Data were collected by using a student sample (N=145). Multiple regression analyses were conducted on the model depicting the hierarchical relationships among sport fan superstitions, team identification, team performance, inference of manipulative intention, and advertisement attitudes (i.e., preference and credibility of advertisement). The findings revealed that sport fan’s superstition level was highly correlated with the level of team identification although the correlation was not moderated by perceived team performance. For those fans who had higher superstition level, they had a higher inference of manipulation intention after watching the SLA featuring superstitions although the SLA was more preferable and credible for them. Discussions are centered on theoretical and practical implications of channeling fan’s superstitions toward marketing effectiveness.

Jeong-Yeob Han 

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