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Configuring perceived fit to mitigate consumer animosity in the context of cross-border sport sponsorships

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Matthew GortonORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Taylor and Francis , 2021.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Research question: While cross-border sport sponsorships are widespread, such partnerships introduce a notable complication – consumers in one country may dislike the sponsor’s country of origin (COO). This raises the question as to whether animosity towards a sponsor’s COO negatively affects sponsorship outcomes, and if so, how it can be addressed. For the latter, we examine holistic sponsor-object fit as well as a set of its constituent elements. Research methods: Data collection pertained to a brand engaged in a hypothetical sponsorship. Study 1 involves a Serbian brand sponsoring the Croatia national football team and for Study 2 German sponsors of the England national football team. Survey data are analyzed using a latent modeling approach. Results and findings: Study 1 shows that animosity reduces consumers’ attitude towards the sponsorship. However, higher perceived sponsor-object fit weakens this effect. Study 2 replicates this finding, and on a more granular level establishes the moderating properties of several sub-dimensions of fit. Congruence in color, personality and status ameliorate animosity. Implications: We outline implications for sponsors operating in environments where their COO invokes animosity and how sponsor-object fit may mitigate this.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Angell R, Bottomley P, Brecic R, Filipovic J, Gorton M, Logkizidou M, White J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Sport Management Quarterly

Year: 2021

Volume: 21

Issue: 4

Pages: 605-624

Online publication date: 20/05/2020

Acceptance date: 04/05/2020

Date deposited: 05/05/2020

ISSN (print): 1618-4742

ISSN (electronic): 1746-031X

Publisher: Taylor and Francis


DOI: 10.1080/16184742.2020.1765828


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