Sports ingroup love does not make me like the sponsor’s beverage but gets me buying it

Sara Franco, Ana Maria Abreu, Rui Biscaia, Sandra Gama

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Abstract

Previous literature has shown that social identity influences consumer decision-making towards branded products. However, its influence on ones’ own sensory perception of an ingroup (or outgroup) associated brand’s product (i.e. sponsor) is seldom documented and little understood. Here, we investigate the impact of social identity (i.e. team identification) with a football team on the sensorial experience and willingness to buy a beverage, said to be sponsoring the ingroup or the outgroup team. Ninety subjects participated in one of three sensorial experience conditions (matched identity: ingroup beverage; mismatched identity:
outgroup beverage; control: no group preference). Each participant tasted the new sponsoring beverage and answered a questionnaire about their subjective sensorial experience of the beverage. EEG and BVP were synchronously collected throughout. Analyses revealed that team identification does not influence subjective responses and only slightly modulates physiological signals. All participants reported high valence and arousal values while physiological signals consistently translated negative affects across groups, which showed that participants reported to be happy/excited about trying the beverage while their physiological signals showed that they were feeling sad/depressed/angry. Crucially, despite a similar sensorial experience, and similar socially desirable report of the subjective experience, only participants in the matched identity group demonstrate higher willingness to buy, showing that the level of team identification, but not taste or beverage quality, influences willingness to buy the said sponsor’s product.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0254940
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume16
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2021

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