The aim of this study is to analyze the impact of sports sponsorship in virtual brand communities (VBCs) on consumers' engagement within these communities. We used a professional team in the Scotiabank National Opening Championship (Chile) as the study context and collected data from participants (N=268) on the team's social networks. We used structural equation systems and the Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) technique to test the hypotheses. The results present five causal combinations, considering factors inherent to the team sponsor that influence engagement within a VBC. The QCA model and SEM explain 78.5% and 71% of engagement, respectively. The most noteworthy variables that have an impact on engagement include attitude towards the sponsor, congruence, and the relationship quality of the VBC. This study is the first attempt to examine the influence of sports sponsorship on consumers' engagement within VBCs. Theoretical and managerial implications are also discussed.
Journal of Business Research – Elsevier
Published: Aug 1, 2018
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