Investigating sport celebrity endorsement and sport event sponsorship as promotional cues
When detailed product information is not available to consumers inferences are made using product cues to reduce uncertainty and to form perceptions of products. Advertisers can make use of sport sponsorship and sport celebrity endorsement as extrinsic cues to influence consumers\' pre-purchase attitudes. These cues are expensive forms of advertising. Managers need to establish whether they provide a satisfactory return on investment. This study explored consumers\' attitudes and the effect of sport event sponsorship and sport celebrity endorsement on key brand/manufacturer related variables such as brand quality, product uniqueness, manufacturer esteem and corporate citizenship. A total number of 201 respondents participated in the study. A non-probability sample was used. Results indicate that sport event sponsorship was perceived by participants as a product uniqueness, manufacturer esteem and corporate citizenship cue, significantly enhancing responses on product related variables. The sport celebrity endorsement cue had a significant effect on uniqueness and esteem, but did not significantly influence brand quality. Using these results managers can substantiate the use of sport event sponsorship to increase consumers\' pre-purchase attitudes of product uniqueness, manufacturer esteem and corporate citizenship; and sport celebrity endorsement to increase their pre-purchase attitudes of product uniqueness and manufacturer esteem; thus positively affecting consumers\' pre-purchase attitudes that may influence buyer behaviour.
Keywords: Sport sponsorship; Celebrity endorsement; Brand quality; Product uniqueness; Manufacturer esteem and corporate citizenship.
South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation Vol. 30 (2) 2008: pp. 147-165