Understanding How Consumers Perceive Brand Personality through Sports Sponsorship
Abstract: Sports sponsorship has been considered a key branding strategy for various marketing objectives, but little research investigated how consumers perceived sponsor brands through sports competitions. This study aimed to examine whether team performance and gender difference jointly impacted consumers’ perceived brand personality and how team identification and self-brand connection moderated such impacts on perceived brand personality in the context of sports sponsorship. A two (Team performance: win/loss) by two (Gender: male/female) between-subjects experiment was designed with team identification and self-brand connection as two moderators. Results indicated that team performance, team identification, and self-brand connection yielded individual and joint influences on perceived brand personality. Specifically, team performance exerted significant effects on five dimensions of brand personality, while team identification yielded significant effects on brand responsibility, aggressiveness, and simplicity. Self-brand connection moderated the effect of team performance on brand responsibility and activity. The empirical evidence further illustrated that consumer-level factors came into play to influence perceived brand personality. In support of the affect-transfer hypothesis, team performance that evoked emotions greatly impacted consumers’ perceived brand personality, as they rated a sponsor brand as more positive in terms of brand responsibility, activity, aggressiveness, simplicity, and emotionality.