This paper empirically examines whether endorsement effects differ across consumer types–expert vs. novice. The study uses aggregate sales data from the golf equipment industry covering two unique retail channels (on-course and off-course) to estimate endorsement effects for Tiger Woods. The study finds that Tiger Woods’ endorsement of Titleist woods had a greater effect in the off-course retail channel frequented by novice golfers than the on-course channel frequented by experts. I determine that such an effect led to over 28 thousand more Titleist woods being sold and an additional $9.2 million in revenue for the 9 months prior to Tiger Woods switching to endorse Nike apparel and equipment. I also determine that Tiger Woods’ endorsement led to over $500,000 in additional profit for each of the last 5 months of his endorsement contract with Titleist, which provided a 49% Return on Investment from US sales of Titleist woods, putters, and irons. Lastly, I present preliminary evidence to explain a possible reason why the observed endorsement effects varied by consumer types—Tiger Woods’ endorsements were informative to consumers. Specifically, I find support indicating Tiger Woods’ endorsement was more informative to novice golfers than experts.
Marketing Letters – Springer Journals
Published: May 3, 2018
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