Ad Nauseam? Sports Fans’ Acceptance of Commercial Messages During Televised Sporting Events, pp. 193-202

Aron Levin
Joe Cobbs
Fred Beasley
Chris Manolis

Advertising, sponsorships, and other marketing communications are commonplace in the contemporary world of sports. Are sports fans irritated and annoyed by this commercial bombardment or are they accepting of the role of sports advertising? This study investigates consumers’ perceptions of commercial messages during televised sporting events. The results indicate that fans of two of the most popular US sports (NFL and NASCAR) generally have high levels of sport commercial acceptance (SCA) in televised broadcasts. NASCAR fans—particularly those highly identified with the sport—are the most tolerant of commercial messages. While older fans are more likely to be annoyed by commercial messages, women are more tolerant. To test the potential implication for sports marketers, the study also measured customers’ brand perceptions of Miller Lite beer—a prominent NFL and NASCAR advertiser. Beyond greater commercial acceptance, NASCAR fans who drink Miller Lite also demonstrated higher perceptions of brand equity and emotional attachment to Miller Lite compared to the brand’s customers who were NFL fans.