CrossFit Athletic Identity’s Relationship to Sponsor Recall, Recognition, and Purchase Intent

Daniel J. Larson, Jordan C. Wetherbee, Paul Branscum

Abstract


Background: The CrossFit Open is a physical activity competition that allows athletes from across the world to compete in fitness challenges online, whereby participants document their progress via an event website. No apparent studies have examined participant event sponsorship in a case where sponsor messages are delivered primarily via an event website. Furthermore, current research has yet to consider the differential impact of audience athletic identity on sponsor messaging in such a context. Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between CrossFit Athletic Identity (CAI) and the ability to recall and recognize official sponsors of a participant event conducted on an online platform. Methodology: A cross-sectional research design was used with a convenience sample (n=170) of CrossFit Open participants from 36 affiliates in the South Central United States. A concurrent treatment validation with a subset of four participants utilized laboratory eye-tracking to evaluate the attention and viewing patterns within the CrossFit online platform. Results: CAI was not a significant predictor for sponsor recognition or recall (α = 0.05). Only one of the case study participants had a recorded brand image fixation (0.29 seconds) during the eye-tracking assessments of their typical website interaction. Conclusion: While CAI was not associated with improved sponsor recognition and recall, the assessment of the participant website interactions suggest that participants in this study were not likely exposed to sufficient sponsor images. This highlights the need for critical evaluation of event website designs using eye-tracking or some other metric of visual exposure.

Keywords


CrossFit, Athletic Identity, Sport Sponsorship, Eye-Tracking, Web Design

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijkss.v.7n.3p.6

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