Center for Sport Marketing Research

"The Center for Sport Marketing Research conducts cutting-edge and innovative research in the areas of marketing, sponsorship, new media, and gaming that not only adds to the theory but is also practically relevant. The Center aims to function as a sport marketing-related research hub to furthering knowledge and advancing understanding of today's sport consumers in a variety of sport and entertainment consumption contexts. We seek to disseminate our research through professional journal publications, books, workshops, and conference presentations."
Dr. Dae Hee Kwak, Director and Associate Professor of Sport Management

Learn more at:

Dr. Kwak is recruiting for a doctoral student to mentor, beginning Fall 2020. Details:

Big House under the lights


OBL 2118
1402 Washington Hts.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2013
(734) 615-2884
(734) 647-2808



NBA Jersey Sponsorship Study

The NBA will become the first big-league to have a corporate logo on their uniforms starting this new season. There is no doubt that this new inventory will be one of the key sponsorship assets to most teams – the Golden State Warriors are asking for $15M to $20M per year for the rights to put its small patch logo on their jersey while the Philadelphia 76ers became first NBA team to ink a three-year deal with StubHub. However, some critiques argue that there will be consumer backlash or at least some level of resistance toward jerseys with corporate logo. While there are many speculations how basketball fans would respond to sponsors and the new uniform, no evidence exist to tell us how fans would respond. Thus, we conducted an experiment to find answers to the following questions that might be interesting to teams and sponsors: Does NBA fans’ origin (domestic vs. international) have an impact on responses to the jersey sponsor? Does team’s playoff status from the previous season impact fans’ responses to the jersey sponsor? Does brand prominence (Fortune 500 company vs. non-Fortune 500 company) impact fans’ responses to the sponsoring brand? Does having a manufacturer logo (i.e., Nike’s swoosh) on the jersey elevate brand evaluation for sponsors? Does individual fan’s team identification level (casual fans vs. avid fans) matter?

Savoring Events

Previous work in savoring theory has established that individuals tend to utilize internal cognitive strategies to emotionally strengthen (boost) or diminish (dampen) reactions to an event. Although this line of research has provided valuable insights into anticipatory and ruminating behaviors, other factors influencing boosting and dampening reactions have yet to be examined. In two experiments, we assessed the effects of emotional involvement, savoring, and externally manipulated stimuli (boosting and dampening messages) on anticipation and reminiscence of a sporting event. We found that these factors can individually and significantly influence anticipation, reminiscence, and emotional reactions toward an emotionally charged sporting event. We also found that savoring and involvement can moderate the effects of boosting and dampening on anticipation and reminiscence toward a high-stakes event.

Organization's Philanthropic Giving

This study examines whether an organization's charitable donation will prompt consumers who closely identify with the organization to give to the charity as well. We posit that identifying with a benefactor will enhance the perception that consumers are involved in the donation process, which evokes grateful feelings. We also predict that the amount of the organization's donation will positively moderate the influence of organization identification on charity-evoked feelings of gratitude, while attitude toward the organization's charity will positively moderate the gratitude–donation relationship. In Study 1, we show how gratitude arises in the context of corporate social responsibility by demonstrating the mediating role of perceived donation contribution in the relationship between organization identification and gratitude. In Study 2, we demonstrate that organization identification has a significant indirect effect on donation intention through gratitude. Multigroup analyses show that the identification–gratitude link is more salient when the organization commits to donating a larger amount of money to a charity. Furthermore, the impact of gratitude on donation intent is significantly stronger for individuals who hold a favorable attitude toward the organization's corporate social responsibility activity. Our findings indicate that an organization's charitable giving also encourages consumers to give to the community via vicariously felt gratitude.

Sponsorship Activation in NASCAR

The current study examined the mediating and moderating roles of sponsorship-linked marketing on the relationships among cognitive, affective, and behavioral sponsor evaluations. A panel of National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) fans (N = 249) participated in an online survey, and the survey included multi-item scales including sponsor-brand recognition, consumer perceptions of property-based articulation, sponsorship-themed advertising, sponsorship-themed promotion, sponsor attitude, and purchase intention. Visit to sponsors' exhibits experience was incorporated as a moderator. This study provides empirical support for the full mediating role of sponsorship-linked marketing efforts in leveraging high levels of sponsor brand recognition into more desirable brand outcomes.

Athlete Scandal and Recovery

A celebrity athlete’s transgression damages the public’s trust in that celebrity. However, little is known about whether demonstrating an outstanding performance after the transgression mitigates the negative consequence of that transgression. It also remains unexplored whether engaging in reparation can restore consumer trust and generate forgiveness. Taking a longitudinal approach, we found that post-transgression performance slightly increased competence-based trust but had no impact on increasing integrity-based trust and forgiveness. However, post-transgression reparation efforts enhanced both integrity-based trust and forgiveness over time. Findings also suggest that performance has little impact on generating forgiveness, countering the popular notion that winning takes care of everything.