Sponsors are expected to spend more than $60.2 billion in 2016 worldwide (IEG, 2016). Sports fans and consumers are exposed to the sponsorship activities of brands via various media formats. These activities are designed to elicit brand awareness and ...
Sponsors are expected to spend more than $60.2 billion in 2016 worldwide (IEG, 2016). Sports fans and consumers are exposed to the sponsorship activities of brands via various media formats. These activities are designed to elicit brand awareness and cultivate positive feelings toward particular brands, ultimately increasing sales. Among media formats, television (i.e., televised sports broadcasting) is the most powerful, most effective medium with respect to exposing sports fans and consumers to sponsorship activities (Lardinoit & Derbaix, 2001).
Despite this, the top status of television has been challenged by the growth of smartphone usage. For example, many sports fans and television audiences use smartphones while they watch sports on television (i.e., multi-tasking) (Lee, 2015). They send texts to friends, search for information related to the game, or even just play a smartphone game. This multi-tasking raises questions regarding the communication effectiveness of the primary medium (i.e., television) when smartphones are considered as a secondary medium. Therefore, research has been conducted to evaluate and compare communication effectiveness between multi-tasking (e.g., television and smartphone) and single-tasking (e.g., television only) habits (e.g., Voorveld, 2011; Zigmond & Stipp, 2010). However, these studies are limited to advertisement and PPL issue areas, and no study has been conducted on sponsorships. Accordingly, the purpose of this study is to examine sponsorship effectiveness for multi-tasking viewers.
This study utilizes the limited capacity model, which asserts that human cognition has a limited capacity. As such, humans cannot process all of the information received from their senses when too many stimuli are present (Kahneman, 1973; Yoon, Choi, & Song, 2011). Based on the limited capacity model, a secondary medium such as a smartphone will negatively impact the communication effectiveness of the primary medium (i.e., television). In other words, reduced sponsorship effectiveness (e.g., brand awareness, attitude toward the brand and purchase intention) is expected when sports fans use their smartphones while they watch sports.
To test the hypotheses, an experiment was conducted. Total of 251 Research participants were randomly divided into three groups: a control group (single-tasking), experimental group one (low level multi-tasking), and experimental group two (high level multi-tasking). The participants from all three groups watched the same 9-minute video (a portion of a Korean National Soccer Team’s match). While the control group participants watched the video without multi-tasking, the experimental groups was asked to use their smartphones. The low level multi-tasking group sent three text messages, and the high level multi-tasking group responded nine text messages. After the experiment, all three group participants were asked to answer a questionnaire designed to measure sponsorship effectiveness. Dependent variables included brand recall, attitude toward the brand, purchasing intention, and sport involvement.
Statistical analyses indicated that multi-tasking negatively influenced brand recall and attitude toward the brand. However, the influence of multi-tasking on purchase intention was not statistically significant. In addition, moderating effects of sport involvement was not found. This research concluded that multi-tasking negatively influences sponsorship effects such as brand recall and attitude toward the brand. As business implications, sponsors, sponsees, and media should reduce multi-tasking among their sport fans and television audience by making a sport event more exciting. In addition, a sponsor and sponsee needed to use new digital media and technologies such as a smartphone, VR, and AR more proactively to expose their sponsorship activities.