As luxury goods are losing their importance for demonstrating status, wealth or power to others, individuals are searching for alternative status symbols. Recently, individuals have increasingly used conspicuous consumption and displays of experiences on social media to obtain affirmation. This study aims to analyze the effects of luxury and nonluxury experiences, as well as traditional luxury goods on status- and nonstatus-related dimensions.
After presenting the theoretical foundation, the authors conduct a study with 599 participants to compare status perceptions elicited by the conspicuous consumption of luxury goods, luxury experiences and nonluxury experiences. The authors investigate whether experiences that are visibly consumed on Instagram are replacing traditional luxury goods as the most important status symbols. Furthermore, the authors examine the effects of the content shown on nonstatus-related dimensions and analyze whether status perceptions differ between female and male social media communicators. Finally, the authors analyze how personal characteristics (self-esteem, self-actualization and materialism) influence the status perceptions of others on social media.
The results show that luxury goods are still the most important means of displaying status. However, especially for women, luxury experiences are also associated with a high level of social status. Thus, the results imply important gender differences in the perceptions of status- and nonstatus-related dimensions. Furthermore, the findings indicate that, in particular, the individual characteristics of self-actualization and materialism affect status perceptions depending on the posted content.
While the research has already considered some alternative forms of conspicuous consumption, little attention has been given to experiences as status symbols. However, with their growing importance as substitutes for luxury goods and the rise of social media, the desire to conspicuously consume experiences is increasing. The authors address this gap in the literature by focusing on the conspicuous display of luxury and nonluxury experiences on social media.
Pull effects in attention from smaller leagues towards bigger leagues have been under discussion. Nevertheless, causal empirical evidence on such attention interception is non-existent, and the suspension of sport leagues during the COVID-19 lockdown provides a perfect context for examination. The purpose of this study is to test whether the fan interest towards smaller leagues suffers from the presence of bigger leagues.
While COVID-19 suspended top professional football worldwide, the Belarus league remained active. We used daily follower statistics (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube) three month before, during, and three months after the lockdown. Since we have these statistics for Belarus clubs as well as for 847 lockdown-affected football clubs (48 first division leagues, Nmax = 142,139), we use a difference-in-differences approach to estimate the effect of the shock caused by the lockdown.
Results indicate an increase in social media attention (throughout all social media channels) for Belarus clubs after the worldwide lockdown. A decrease was then observed after the revitalization of worldwide professional football leagues. The growth rates slowed down to an almost before COVID-19 level after the restart of other leagues.
First, keeping a league open during a pandemic boosts consumer/fan attention, which may lead league organizers and club managers to maintain a league open longer than advised by national health authorities. Second, since bigger leagues seem to pull of attention from smaller leagues, they could compensate the smaller leagues (financially or non-financial) for the loss of fan interest.
Research question: Fans’ perception that sponsors are a financial need illustrating the increased commercialisation in sports is not always aligned with their view of a club’s culture. This perceived imbalance represents a challenge in the online marketing strategies of sports clubs. When club managers decide on the content of online social media posts/messages related to sponsors, they should be aware of potential fan reactions. Therefore, this study analyses how sponsor-related and other online social media communication of football clubs affect fan reactions.
Research methods: We analyse Facebook postings (N = 4,603) published by German first division football clubs. After classifying postings regarding their content, we regress ‘Reactions’, ‘Shares’, and ‘Angry’ reactions on the content variable and further covariates. Linear regression models, Poisson regression models, and general dominance statistics are used for exploring variance within the data.
Results and Findings: Fans react considerably angrier to sponsor-related posts than to other content except for defeat-related postings. Regarding overall reactions and shares, sponsor-related posts perform worst among different contents. In addition, the content of posts is elementary to negative reactions, but of less importance to overall reaction rates.
Implications: Sports managers and sponsors should be aware of the potential negative shift in reactions when using clubs’ social media channels to share sponsor-related content. We recommend releasing sponsor-related posts as videos on game days to decrease the fraction of negative responses and simultaneously maximise the overall reactions.