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