Do humanized team mascots attract new fans? Application and extension of the anthropomorphism theory

Yong Jae Ko, Akira Asada, Wonseok Jang, Daehwan Kim, Yonghwan Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Most sport teams utilize mascots as a distinctive brand element to draw the attention of existing and potential fans and to deliver optimal fan experiences. We investigated the effects of anthropomorphic promotion using team mascots on the potential fans’ psychological and behavioral responses. We employed a 2 (figure: logo vs. mascot) × 2 (background color: cool vs. warm) between-subjects factorial design, using the Miami Marlins in the experimental scenario. After controlling for baseball involvement and brand familiarity, analysis of data obtained from 239 potential fans demonstrated the positive effect of anthropomorphic promotion using team mascots on participants’ psychological closeness and media consumption intentions. To explain the psychological mechanism of this effect, we tested and confirmed a causal model containing a sequential mediation (figure type → perceived anthropomorphism → psychological closeness → media consumption intentions), in conjunction with perceived loneliness.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSport Management Review
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Mascot
  • Team branding
  • anthropomorphism
  • construal level theory
  • social media
  • sport fans

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Do humanized team mascots attract new fans? Application and extension of the anthropomorphism theory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this