Athletes’ Post-transgression Csr Communication Strategy in Sport

Date

2021-08

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Abstract

Sports are an effective vehicle for delivering corporate social responsibility (CSR) messages because of their established social significance (Hamil & Morrow, 2011). In addition, sport marketing practitioners have focused significantly on implementing strategic CSR initiatives, and expect various benefits including building an emotional bond with sports consumers and enhancing favorable attitudes toward the company (Cho & Kim, 2012). However, the ongoing positive consequences of CSR endeavors may vary per situation if athlete endorsers have committed transgressions. Thus, it is imperative to understand the potential risks created by athlete endorsers’ transgressions, especially given the lack of existing relevant studies (Wilson, Stavros, & Westberg, 2008). However, it has not been established with any clarity whether a post-transgression CSR initiative that corresponds with the transgression issue is a more effective strategy to restore a damaged reputation than one that does not (Rim & Ferguson, 2017). In addition, previous empirical studies with regard to post-transgression CSR have revealed mixed results. To fill this gap, this study empirically examined sports consumers’ actual reactions to an athlete endorser’s post-transgression CSR activities by focusing on the congruence effect between the pre-transgression CSR initiative and the transgression issue. In particular, this study explored the interaction effects between pre- and post-transgression CSR congruence with transgression type in Study 1 and level of transgression severity in Study 2. 409 sample for Study 1 and 404 sample for Study 2 were collected via an on-line consumer panel site (i.e., Amazon MTurk). All participants were aged 18 or older general sports consumers and they displayed awareness of CSR and sports involvement. Collected data were analyzed to test the proposed hypotheses using the Hayes (2017) PROCESS macro (Model 3; the simple slope analysis). The results showed that a post-transgression CSR initiative that is unrelated to the transgression issue is more effective CSR strategy when an athlete endorser’s transgression issue is related to their pre-transgression CSR initiative. Alternatively, when an athlete endorser’s transgression issue is not related to their pre-transgression CSR initiative, a post-transgression CSR initiative related to the transgression issue is more effective in consumer responses. Lastly, this study found that consumers’ decision-making patterns when evaluating athlete endorsers’ post-transgression CSR activities differ based on the types of transgression. This study suggests that the most effective post-transgression CSR strategy for both athlete endorsers and endorsed brands to minimize negative effects depends on CSR congruence/incongruence between a pre-transgression CSR initiative and the transgression issue.

Description

Keywords

Corporate Social Responsibility, Transgression, Athlete Endorser

Citation