Can sponsorships connected to transgender cause be beneficial? The Impact a Controversial Statement made by a Sponsored Athlete has on a Sponsor’s Brand Judgments
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- Master of Science 
This study examines the effect of a sponsored athlete's controversial statement about M-W transgenders competing in women’s sports has on a sponsor’s brand judgment. A conjoint analysis was executed to investigate the preferences among consumers on four attributes: 1) liking of athlete, 2) liking of brand, 3) severity in athlete comment and 4) brand response. Further, a comparison between different cohorts was interpreted to see if differences in consumer segments were present. The main implication of this study is that both the sponsoring brand and the sponsored athlete face a great risk of being involved in the transgender cause and that consumers mainly have negative attitudes towards controversial statements. Our results indicate that brands are negatively impacted when engaging in the transgender cause and that a best practice is to refrain sponsorships connected to the cause. Nevertheless, interesting findings on athlete behavior and individual attitudes were also present, providing managers with insight on scenarios where positive brand outcomes occurred.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Strategic Marketing Management - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2020