Effects of Commitment to CSR-Linked Sport Sponsorship on Consumers’ Fit Perception, Attitude toward Sponsor, and Word-of-Mouth Intention

Akira Asada
Meimei Yan
Yong Jae Ko
and Joon Sung Lee

Corporate social responsibility (CSR)-linked sport sponsorships attract attention from sport marketing professionals and scholars alike. Th e purpose of this research was to examine how the effectiveness of a CSR-linked sponsorship varies depending upon the sponsor’s commitment to the CSR program. Th e results of our experiment showed that a CSR-linked sponsorship could hurt consumers’ fi t perception if the sponsor shows only minimum commitment to the cause. We also found that a CSR-linked sponsorship is more effective than a standard sponsorship in inducing consumers’ positive attitudes toward the sponsor and word-of-mouth intentions only if the sponsor is strongly committed to the CSR program. Finally, our mediation analysis revealed that strong commitment to the CSR-linked sponsorship indirectly increases consumers’ word-of mouth intentions through enhanced fi t perception and attitude toward the sponsor. Therefore, sports organizations and their sponsors should incorporate CSR into their sponsorship only if they can be strongly committed to the program.