Is FIFA an Antecedent to Soccer Team Brand Loyalty?

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Is FIFA an Antecedent to Soccer Team Brand Loyalty?

  1. 1. Is The FIFA Video Game anAntecedent to Team Loyalty? Evan Baechler Adviser: Whitney Wagoner !1
  2. 2. How many team brands? ... !2
  3. 3. Team Sport Marketing Environment• Strong association with place • Like any business growth is goal • Geographic expansion is an opportunity• Digital technologies make geographic more accessible !3
  4. 4. Digital & Geographic Expansion • Content production is cheap • Distribution is Free • Create out-of-market brand touch points • BUT...sports marketers must choose between many digital spaces spaces • Proliferation poses danger !4
  5. 5. Branding & Sport Video Games • Product placement and digital signage common • BUT...sports teams overlook huge potential • Players take control of the core brand experience • Games facilitate achievement and actions people cant do themselves Brand intimacy and achievement potential !5
  6. 6. Games Are Extremely Realistic Little disparity between virtual brand experience and real brand experience. !6
  7. 7. Test The Viability of Team Sports Video Games: • Is playing FIFA an antecedent to developing brand loyalty to an out-of-market soccer club with which an individual has no other "real" connection? • If yes, how can sports organizations use FIFA as a marketing tool to elevate their brand among gamers? • What further research does this project reveal? !7
  8. 8. What is FIFA?• Club soccer video game produced by Electronic Arts • 29 leagues from 22 countries; 42 national teams; 56 stadiums• Available on all major game consoles and mobile devices• Players manipulate teams in a variety of scenarios• Social: play with friends and community• $50-60 !8
  9. 9. The FIFA Experience Play single match Create player Customize /help Play online Extended exp. As a team Tutorials Single games Live Season As a single player Profile MGMT Tournaments Manager mode With the computer Game manualAligned with real events Offline tournament With friends !9 Friends records
  10. 10. Why FIFA?Best research platform for team sports and loyalty• Most successful sports game - 100 million copies• Exclusive licenses • Most teams arent American / best teams arent American• Decreases previous, close contact with teams prior to play !10
  11. 11. What is Brand Loyalty? Two-dimensional Construct Attitudinal Behavioral• Psychological commitment to • Demonstrates commitment team through brand interactions• Bias in favor of one team • Such as purchases, watching relative to similar teams games, consuming news... Satisfaction is an antecedent and sustainer of loyalty !11
  12. 12. Why is Brand Loyalty Important? Soccer team example: Mechanism of profitability: • An increase in out-of-market • Repeat purchases loyalty leads to increased • Willingness to pay more to stay • Licensed product purchases with one brand over another (jerseys, etc.) • Increase in word of mouth, online • Media consumption sharing, referrals, socialization • More lucrative licensing, media, • Growth of per customer revenue and sponsorship partnerships !12
  13. 13. Existing Video Game Research• Violent Video game play leads to aggressive emotion, cognition, and behavior.• More graphically real games lead to stronger effects.• Players develop tangible relationships with game characters • Virtual success = self-esteem = satisfaction.Research proves video games caninfluence satisfaction, behavior,and attitude - components of brandloyalty !13
  14. 14. Methodology First survey Second survey• Identify a sample of viable • Measures loyalty - attitude and research participants behavior• People who have played a lot • Psychological commitment to team and often scale (attitude)• People who play with one team • Open-ended questions about team brand interactions outside FIFA• People who werent loyal to team (behavior) before playing FIFA (basic awareness OK) • Series of yes/no and how often questions about brand interactions• People who are skilled (behavior) 35-50 participants !14
  15. 15. MethodologyTargeted online distribution• Qualtrics• Through LCB classes (Whitney to help)• Through EA campus rep. • Second survey is a follow-up• Incentives!!! !15
  16. 16. Hypothesis Based on existing research proving video games do influence behavior and attitude, and because of the self-esteem parallel between sports fandom and video game play, I anticipate players who fit the profile determined by the first survey will show signs of loyalty toward the teams they manipulate in the FIFA video game. !16
  17. 17. Implications • Clubs can use FIFA to grow brand • FIFA becomes a bona fide branding medium • Elevate team within game through EA partnership (be on • Can sell exclusives to clubs cover, integrate other media) who want to boost loyalty • Increase jersey sponsor and license fee value • Can sell data about where pockets of loyalty exist • Locate foreign pockets of loyal fans - align other markets there. • Interview to determine other possible implications • Manchester City example... Interviews with other sports organizations: media (ESPN), footwear / apparel (NIKE) !17
  18. 18. Exclusive jersey release in FIFA 12 using this video distributed through game platformElevated brand experience: stadium detail, game content aligned with real events, more detail in MCFC players !18
  19. 19. Further ResearchThis study focuses only on FIFA, soccer, specific gamingplatforms, American gamers, and if FIFA leads to team loyalty.A new study could alter each of these variables:League brands: Other games: Body movement- How / Why players Relevent to Relevent to non-US controlled video Select teams: building MLS? Basketball loyalty? games Inform Specific tactics for elevating teams !19
  20. 20. Questions please! !20

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