Research from AdPR: What draws a sports fan to a particular team - An examination of the "Linsanity" phenomenon

What draws a sports fan to a particular team? In many cases, geography is certainly a factor – but new research indicates that for international consumers, ethnicity and/or nationality might also play a role.

A study in Sport Management Review examined the 2012 “Linsanity” phenomenon, in which New York Knicks player Jeremy Lin became an NBA sensation after coming off the bench to lead his team to seven consecutive victories and set an individual scoring record. Lin, an Asian-American of Taiwanese descent, garnered considerable attention in Taiwan as well as the U.S., leading researchers to wonder how many of those fans he might have attracted based on shared cultural traits.

The study focused on the process of self-categorization – the extent to which a sports fan self-identifies with a particular team or sports league as an extension of themselves. The researchers deployed an online survey to a sample of Taiwanese college undergraduates and graduate students, as the demographic group most likely to engage in sports-related consumption and discussion. They found that international consumers might first become aware of a player due to his ethnic and/or national identity, and then transfer that attachment to the team for which he or she plays. Ultimately, the self-categorization can extend to the sports league itself.

“These findings have clear implications for the ability of a sports league to expand successfully into new international markets,” says co-author Joe Phua, assistant professor of marketing and advertising at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. “For example, teams might consider recruiting players with diverse socio-cultural backgrounds and leverage those associations via strategic marketing activities, such as hosting sporting events in the foreign countries that identify most closely with those athletes.” 

And whatever became of Jeremy Lin? It was a happy ending: On the strength of his record-setting performance, Lin earned a $25 million contract with the Houston Rockets. To view the full article, click here.

Kuan-Ju Chen, Joe Phua (2016). Self-categorization process in sport: An examination of the “Linsanity” phenomenon in Taiwan. Sport Management Review.


Brian Wong Presents Tips on Success from "The Cheat Code" to AdPR

Brian Wong, Founder and CEO of Kiip
On Friday, Sept. 14, the AdPR Department hosted guest speaker Brian Wong to discuss his new book The Cheat Code: Going Off Script to Get More, Go Faster, and Shortcut Your Way to Success. Wong is the founder and CEO of Kiip, an innovative approach to mobile marketing that helps connect brands to consumers through a rewards platform in mobile games and apps. Named by Forbes as one of the 4 Hot Online Ad Companies to Put on Your Watch List, Kiip has raised over $32 million in funding to date.

Before launching his own company, Wong played an instrumental role at the social news website Digg.com by forming relationships with key publishers and tech partnerships. Wong received his Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia by the age of 18 before he jump-started his career.  

Wong recently wrote and published a book titled The Cheat Code: Going Off Script to Get More, Go Faster, and Shortcut Your Way to Success to provide tips for success. While at UGA, Wong explained to students a few of his favorite tips from the book.

"Know your super power...put all your energy into your strengths to get noticed and get ahead, said Wong.

The students gained valuable knowledge for future success through this presentation. A huge thank you to Accelerate Athens for co-promoting this popular event.


AdPR's Executive Advisory Council welcomes new members

AdPR is honored to welcome the following new members to our Executive Advisory Council. The Council is a diverse group of leading communications professionals committed to supporting the vision of the Department of Advertising & Public Relations, and assist the department with activities that align with the most current industry drivers in both the commercial and public sectors worldwide. 

Chowning Johnson, Senior Vice President at Dodge Communications, is a leading strategic advisor to companies that range from new market entrants to early IPOs as well as multinational companies building out healthcare verticals.  Her passion in communications, positioning and business growth has spurred the department she oversees to break into new healthcare categories, carving out additional areas of expertise for Dodge, as well as elevating Dodge clients to the national and business media stage. 

During her career, Johnson has successfully ushered numerous companies to their ultimate goal of acquisition through thoughtful, fine-tuned strategic communications programs, branding and messaging initiatives, and lead generation campaigns that align with overarching business goals.

Natali Johnson works as a Marketing Director, supporting TNT and TBS networks, at Turner.  Natali joined the company in 2007 as a research analyst for TNT, TBS and TCM marketing initiatives. Natali has played an integral role in the development and direction of marketing campaigns for some of the networks' most successful series, including The Last Ship, Rizzoli & Isles, Wrecked and Conan.  The campaigns included traditional advertising tactics, as well as social, mobile and digital strategies.  Natali has also forged multi-tiered partnerships with various events/festivals that helped build audience engagement within tastemaker communities.

Natali is a proud alumni of the University of Georgia, where she graduated with dual degrees in Telecommunication Arts and Political Science.  She was highly active within the Honors program and participated as a student judge in the George Foster Peabody Awards program.  Upon graduating,, Natali held account and marketing positions at Cox Media and Lloyds of London.