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Evan Baechler Adviser: Whitney Wagoner Is The FIFA Video Game an Antecedent to Team Loyalty? 1

FIFA Soccer Video Game and it's Relationship to Brand Loyalty

Mar 28, 2016



Evan Baechler

Is FIFA an antecedent to Brand loyalty to a foriegn soccer team
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  • Evan Baechler

    Adviser: Whitney Wagoner

    Is The FIFA Video Game an Antecedent to Team Loyalty?


  • ...How many team brands?


  • Team Sport Marketing Environment

    Strong association with place

    Like any business growth is goal

    Geographic expansion is an opportunity

    Digital technologies make geographic more accessible


  • Content production is cheap Distribution is Free Create out-of-market brand touch

    points BUT...sports marketers must choose

    between many digital spaces Proliferation poses danger

    Digital & Geographic Expansion

    BUT...sports marketers must choose between many digital spaces


  • Product placement and digital signage common

    BUT...sports teams overlook huge potential

    Players take control of the core brand experience

    Games facilitate achievement and actions people can't do themselves

    Branding & Sport Video Games

    Brand intimacy and achievement potential


  • Games Are Extremely Realistic

    Little disparity between virtual brand experience and real brand



  • Test The Viability of Team Sports Video Games:

    Is playing FIFA an antecedent to developing brand loyalty to an out-of-market soccer club with which an individual has no other "real" connection?

    If yes, how can sports organizations use FIFA as a marketing tool to elevate their brand among gamers?

    What further research does this project reveal?!7

  • Club soccer video game produced by Electronic Arts

    29 leagues from 22 countries; 42 national teams; 56 stadiums

    Available on all major game consoles and mobile devices

    Players manipulate teams in a variety of scenarios

    Social: play with friends and community


    What is FIFA?


  • !9

    Play onlineSingle gamesTournaments

    Aligned with real events

    The FIFA Experience

    Play single matchAs a team

    As a single playerWith the computer

    With friends

    Extended exp.Live Season

    Manager modeOffline tournament

    Create player Customize /helpTutorials

    Profile MGMTGame manual

    Friends' records

  • Most successful sports game - 100 million copies

    Exclusive licenses Most teams aren't American /

    best teams aren't American Decreases previous, close

    contact with teams prior to play

    Why FIFA?Best research platform for

    team sports and loyalty


  • Psychological commitment to team

    Bias in favor of one team relative to similar teams

    What is Brand Loyalty?Two-dimensional Construct

    Demonstrates commitment through brand interactions

    Such as purchases, watching games, consuming news...


    Attitudinal Behavioral

    Satisfaction is an antecedent and sustainer of loyalty

  • !12

    Why is Brand Loyalty Important?

    Mechanism of profitability: Repeat purchases Willingness to pay more to stay

    with one brand over another Increase in word of mouth, online

    sharing, referrals, socialization Growth of per customer revenue

    Soccer team example: An increase in out-of-market

    loyalty leads to increased Licensed product purchases

    (jerseys, etc.) Media consumption More lucrative licensing, media,

    and sponsorship partnerships

  • Violent Video game play leads to aggressive emotion, cognition, and behavior.

    More graphically real games lead to stronger effects.

    Players develop tangible relationships with game characters

    Virtual success = self-esteem = satisfaction.

    Research proves video games can influence satisfaction, behavior, and attitude - components of brand loyalty


    Existing Video Game Research

  • First survey Identify a sample of viable

    research participants People who have played a lot

    and often People who play with one team People who weren't loyal to team

    before playing FIFA (basic awareness OK)

    People who are skilled


    MethodologySecond survey

    Measures loyalty - attitude and behavior

    Psychological commitment to team scale (attitude)

    Open-ended questions about team brand interactions outside FIFA (behavior)

    Series of yes/no and how often questions about brand interactions (behavior)

    35-50 participants

  • Targeted online distribution

    Qualtrics Through LCB classes

    (Whitney to help) Through EA campus rep. Second survey is a follow-up Incentives!!!



  • HypothesisBased on existing research proving video games do influence

    behavior and attitude, and because of the self-esteem parallel

    between sports fandom and video game play, I anticipate players

    who fit the profile determined by the first survey will show signs of

    loyalty toward the teams they manipulate in the FIFA video game.


  • Implications

    FIFA becomes a bona fide branding medium

    Can sell exclusives to clubs who want to boost loyalty

    Can sell data about where pockets of loyalty exist

    Interview to determine other possible implications


    Clubs can use FIFA to grow brand

    Elevate team within game through EA partnership (be on cover, integrate other media)

    Increase jersey sponsor and license fee value

    Locate foreign pockets of loyal fans - align other markets there.

    Manchester City example...

    Interviews with other sports organizations: media (ESPN), footwear / apparel (NIKE)

  • !18

    Exclusive jersey release in FIFA 12 using this video distributed through game platform

    Elevated brand experience: stadium detail, game content aligned with real events, more detail in MCFC players

  • Further Research


    This study focuses only on FIFA, soccer, specific gaming

    platforms, American gamers, and if FIFA leads to team loyalty.

    A new study could alter each of these variables:

    League brands:Relevent to

    building MLS?

    Other games:Relevent to non-USBasketball loyalty?

    Body movement-controlled video

    gamesHow / Why players

    Select teams:Inform Specific tactics for

    elevating teams

  • !20

    Questions please!