Are Fans Proud of the WNBA’s ‘Pride’ Campaign?

Ceyda Mumcu and Nancy Lough

In May 2014, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) launched its Pride campaign and became the first professional sport league in the US to explicitly reach out to gay fans. As the public opinion toward homosexuality has been changing, sport marketers need to understand how to reach and respond to heterosexual and gay fans without alienating one or the other. The purpose of this study was to investigate heterosexual and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) fans’ attitudes toward the Pride campaign, and the impact of fandom, attitude toward the Pride campaign and sexual orientation on consumption intentions. One-way ANOVAs, a one-way ANCOVA, and hierarchical multiple regression analyses were performed to investigate the hypotheses. The main finding of the study was that LGB fans had more favorable attitudes toward the Pride campaign than heterosexual fans, yet their consumption intentions were comparable, and attitude toward the Pride campaign had no influence on fans’ consumption intentions.