Controversial sports sponsorships—namely those in which the sponsoring company is involved in ethically questionable activities—is a relevant area of research. Currently, there is a limited understanding about how controversial sports sponsorships affect sponsored teams and their perceived impact on local communities (e.g., the home city experiencing a surge in popularity). This article presents two studies that examine the interplay between sponsor moral appropriateness and self-team connection. The obtained results showed that a controversial sponsorship's lower moral appropriateness does not influence the propensity to support the team among consumers with higher levels of self-team connection, but it is critical for those with a lower self-team connection. When confronted with sponsors that are perceived as less morally appropriate, consumers with a lower self-team connection exhibit a lower propensity to support the sponsored teams and have a reduced perception that such teams might produce positive externalities for local communities.
- Sports sponsorship
- Controversial sponsorship
- Sponsor moral appropriateness
- Self-team connection
- Sponsorship externalities