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

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.

State v. Professional: A Case Study of How Chinese New Media Construct Elite Female Athletes

Qingru Xu and Peggy J. Kreshel, (Forthcoming). “State v. Professional: A Case Study of How Chinese New Media Construct Elite Female Athletes.” International Journal of Sport Communication.

Abstract: In this case study, we examined media representations of two Chinese female athletes in China, a nation undergoing social transformation and a sports-reform initiative: state athlete Ding Ning and professional athlete Li Na. Analyzing stories from two Chinese web portals (i.e., Sina and Tencent), we analyzed how (a) gender, (b) nationalism, and (c) the individualism-collectivism continuum entered into media representations of these two female athletes. Notable differences emerged in all three conceptual areas. A fourth theme, which we have identified as “commercialized athlete,” also emerged. Possible explanations and implications are discussed.