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When fan engagement with sports club brands matters in sponsorship: influence of fan–brand personality congruence

Debasis Pradhan (), Ritu Malhotra () and Tapas Ranjan Moharana ()
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Debasis Pradhan: XLRI – Xavier School of Management
Ritu Malhotra: XLRI – Xavier School of Management
Tapas Ranjan Moharana: XLRI – Xavier School of Management

Journal of Brand Management, 2020, vol. 27, issue 1, 77-92

Abstract: Abstract Sport fans engage themselves in several forms of behaviour to lend support to their favourite sport clubs. Brands, officially sponsoring these sport clubs, are keen on attracting and building relationships with these highly engaged club fans. Drawing on congruity theory, the study examines the influence of fan personality–sponsor brand personality (FP–BP) congruence on fan engagement with sport clubs, sponsor brand attitude, and purchase intention towards the sponsor brand. Data were collected from stadium spectators during professional football games (n = 503) in India. The findings indicate a positive influence of FP–BP congruence on sponsor brand attitude and brand purchase intention. The study reveals that in-role behaviours (such as buying tickets, watching club games, and BIRGing) and extra-role behaviours (such as wearing club apparel, displaying logo of club) are two necessary yet distinct components of fan engagement. Consequently, the study demonstrates that only in-role fan engagement with clubs significantly contributes to the formation of a favourable attitude towards the sponsor brand, whereas surprisingly, extra-role fan engagement does not. This study extends the stimulus–organism–response model to brand management literature by linking the brand personality and fan engagement concepts. Overall, this aids brand managers and sports clubs in cementing the engagement of fans with sponsor brands and clubs, respectively.

Keywords: Sponsorship; Fan–brand personality congruence; Brand engagement; Extra-role; Congruity theory; Stimulus–organism–response model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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