Title: Do endorsements by sports celebrities positively influence consumers' purchase intentions? Endorser-product congruence and the amplifying influence of consumers involvement in the sport

Authors: Aaron Von Felbert; Christoph Breuer

Addresses: Institute of Sport Economics and Sport Management, German Sport University Cologne, Am Sportpark Muengersdorf 6, 50933, Cologne, Germany ' Institute of Sport Economics and Sport Management, German Sport University Cologne, Am Sportpark Muengersdorf 6, 50933, Cologne, Germany

Abstract: Companies use product endorsements in over stimulated markets as a marketing tactic to gain consumers attention and increase their product sales. Extant studies have indicated that a sports celebritys endorsement can have an overall positive influence on advertising outcomes like purchase intentions. However, research lacks a holistic perspective, such as the combined influence of endorsers characteristics, brand credibility, and endorser-product congruence on purchase intentions. To address this limitation, the present study reports on the results of 262 responses from an online survey that were analysed using a multigroup structural equation model. Findings show that endorsers direct influence on consumers purchase intentions is negative, independent of endorsed product category, but outweighed by a positive influence of endorser-product congruence in a sports-related endorsement. The study also shows that a consumers significant involvement in the sport amplifies the negative effect of a non-sports-related product endorsement.

Keywords: sports marketing; sports celebrity endorsement; endorser-product congruence; consumers sports involvement; structural equation modelling.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2021.118811

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2021 Vol.21 No.3/4, pp.190 - 208

Accepted: 28 Oct 2020
Published online: 29 Oct 2021 *

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