Sports sponsoring as a vehicle for gambling providers: How gambling sports sponsorship persuades consumers and contributes to gambling harms

01 January 2023 → 31 December 2026
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Communication management
    • Media and communication policy
    • Science and health communication
Gambling Sports sponsoring
Project description

Gambling as a leisure activity is becoming increasingly popular. However, a substantial number of people run the risk of becoming addicted to gambling, which has not only been associated with financial problems, but also with substance abuse, depression and even suicide. Gambling marketing is one factor that contributes to consumers’ gambling behavior. One specific form of gambling marketing that has gained increasing popularity among gambling providers, and at the same time is subject to public and regulatory debate, is sports sponsoring by gambling providers. The strong alliance between gambling and sports nowadays, which is referred to as the gamblification of sports, can be morally questioned, as the healthy image of sports may be transferred to gambling (referred to as the ‘health-halo effect’), thereby normalizing gambling and increasing gambling participation. Nonetheless, empirical and scientific evidence to explain the persuasiveness of gambling sports sponsorship is scarce. Therefore, the current project will examine how sports sponsorship by gambling providers persuades consumers by influencing their gambling-related beliefs, attitudes and behaviors, taking into account the roles of sponsorship moral appropriateness perceptions and team identification. This project will give rise to insights and recommendations for public policy, regulatory institutions and sports governing bodies.