Nothing but net : examining the introduction of advertising sponsors on NBA jerseys
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Beginning in the 2017-18 season, the National Basketball Association will be the first of the four major American sports to monetize official, regular-season game jerseys and implement an advertising program in the form of sponsor patches. This study examined the effects that the presence of these advertisements had on attitude toward the team and the sponsoring corporation. Additionally, the effect of setting on attitude toward the sponsor was examined, and whether the presence of a sponsor logo during a socially responsible team activity resulted in a more positive attitude toward the sponsor than the presence of a sponsor logo during an active gameplay setting. This hypothesis was not supported, and significantly lower attitude toward the sponsor in the CSR setting indicated a potential skepticism toward sponsors when present in these environments. Lastly, the relationship between attitude and what participants attribute the implementation of jersey ads toward were examined, including differing attributions toward improved fan experience, team performance, profit-driven motivations, and socially responsible motivations. Results indicated that with fan or socially oriented attributions, sponsors enjoyed more pronounced improvements in attitude than teams. Practical implications and directions for future research are also discussed.