Sport publicity: Commitment’s moderation of message effects

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Investigations of publicity’s effects on companies and their customers have often been neglected. Few industries incur greater exposure than professional sports, yet work on publicity’s effects is scarce. Following a vein of research on Elaboration Likelihood Theory and the effects of advertising, this inquiry examined the nature of responses to publicity, and the effect newspaper coverage has on readers. A repeated measures prepost design (N =194) tested the impact positive and negative print communication had on attitudes toward professional sport teams. Reader beliefs and feelings could be shaped in the direction advocated by columnists. However, commitment moderated message effects as less committed readers tended to recall more facts from negative articles, while committed fans tended to counter-argue with more favorable thoughts.


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Journal of Business Research


Copyright © 2005 Elsevier