Designing a Qualitative Model of Doping Phenomenon Effect on Sport Marketing in Iran

Jasem Manouchehri, Mehrzad Hamidi, Nasrolah Sajadi, Habib Honari


There are a number of factors affecting consumers' purchase behavior. It is believed that celebrities can affect companies' sale positively or negatively by transferring their image to the endorsed brand product. Regardless of positive effects, scandal, transgression, and any kind of misbehaviors may destroy sponsor companies' economics. The present paper mainly aimed to explore the effect of doping phenomenon on sport marketing. Qualitative data collecting from eighteen in-depth interviews with undergraduate students of the college of physical education and sport sciences of Islamic Azad University-Central Tehran Branch (IAUCTB) were analyzed in three phases: open coding, axial coding, and selective coding. 297 open codes were achieved by 18 interviews. Grouping and comparing axial codes in each case, all identified codes were divided in five groups: brand image (athlete and endorsed product brands images), moral reasoning (moral coupling, moral decoupling, and moral rationalization), consumer behavioral consequences (word of mouth, purchase intention, and brand loyalty), attitude change (attitudes change toward athlete and brand), and moral emotions (moral evaluation, contempt, anger, disgust, and sympathy). The proposed qualitative model for the effect of doping phenomenon on sport marketing in Iran illustrated that moral emotions and product brand image affected by the doped athlete brand image and it resulted in attitudes change toward endorser athlete and endorsed brand and negative consumer behavioral consequences, however, moral reasoning strategies emerged by cognitive dissonance might protect consumers behavior from negative effects.


Qualitative Model, Doping, Marketing, Sport, Iran


Aaker, J.L. (1997). Dimensions of brand personality. Journal of Marketing Research, 34(3), 347-356.

Aaker, D.A. (2008). Strategic market management. New Jersey, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Ahluwalia, R., Burnkrant, R. E., & Unnava, H. R. (2000). Consumer response to negative publicity: The moderating role of commitment. Journal of Marketing Research, 37(2), 203-214.

Bazargan, A. (2012). Introduction to qualitative and mixed research methods: common approach in behavioral sciences. Tehran, Didar publication, third edition.

Buechel, B., Emrich, E., & Pohlkamp, S. (2014). Nobody's Innocent: The Role of Customers in the Doping Dilemma. Journal of Sport Economics, doi:10.1177/1527002514551475.

Bandura, A. (1991). Social Cognitive Theory of Moral Thought and Action. In W. M. Kurtines & J. L. Gewirtz (Eds.), Handbook of moral behavior and development: Theory, research, and applications (Vol. 1), Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Bednall, D. H., & Collings, A. (2000). Effect of public disgrace on celebrity endorser value. Australasian Marketing Journal, 8(2), 47-57.

Belesioti, O. (2011). Can negative publicity of celebrities’ endorsement damage the reputation of a brand? University of Amsterdam Faculty of Economics and Business Department, Marketing and Strategy Master Thesis MSc.

Bhattacharjee, A., Berman, J. Z., & Reed, A. (2013). Tip of the hat, wag of the finger: How moral decoupling enables consumers to admire and admonish. Journal of Consumer Research, 39(6), 1167-1184.

Blackwell, R. D., Miniard, P. W., & Engel, J. F. (2001). Consumer Behavior. Harcourt College Publishers, 9th edition.

Carstairs, C. (2003). The wide world of doping: drug scandals, natural bodies and the business of sports entertainment. Addiction Research and Theory, 11(4), 263-281.

Charbonneau, J., & Garland, R. (2005). Talent, looks or brains? New Zealand advertising practitioners' views on celebrity and athlete endorsers. Marketing Bulletin, 16(3), 1-10.

Chernev, A., Hamilton, R., & Gal, D. (2011). Competing for consumer identity: Limits to self-expression and the perils of lifestyle branding. Journal of Marketing, 75(3), 66-82.

Cisyk, J., & Courty, P. (2015). Do fans care about compliance to doping regulations in sports? The impact of PED suspension in Baseball. Journal of Sports Economics, 1, 1-26.

Danaeifard, H., Alvani, S.M., and Azar, A. (2013). Qualitative research methodology in management: a comprehensive approach. Tehran, Eshraghi Safaar publication, 2nd edition.

Dilger, A., Frick, B., & Tolsdorf, F. (2007), Are Athletes Doped? Some Theoretical Arguments and Empirical Evidence. Contemporary Economic Policy, 25, 604-615.

Doss, S. (2011). The transference of brand attitude: the effect on the celebrity endorser. Journal of Management and Marketing Research, 7, 1-11.

Fazen, G. (1999). Brand and advertising: How advertising effectiveness influences brand equity. Oxford Shire, United Kingdom: Admap Publication.

Festinger, L. (1957). A theory of cognitive dissonance. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Fisher, R.J., & Wakefield, K. (1998). Factors leading to group identification: A field study of winners and losers. Psychology & Marketing, 15(1), 23-40.

Florez, C.L. (2013). The impact of the doping effect on cycling sponsorship: analysis of brand lovers and cycling fans consumer reaction. Kassel, Germany, Master Thesis in Business Studies.

Funk, D.C. (2011). Consumer Behaviour in Sport and Events - Marketing Action. Taylor & Francis.

Grappi, S., Romani, S., & Bagozzi, R. P. (2013) Consumer response to corporate irresponsible behavior: Moral emotions and virtues. Journal of Business Research, 66(10), 1814-1821.

Gwinner, K. (1997). A model of image creation and image transfer in event sponsorship. International Marketing Review, 14(3), 145-158.

Gwinner, K.P., Larson, B.V., & Swanson, S.R. (2009). Image Transfer in Corporate Event Sponsorship: Assessing the Impact of Team Identification and Event-Sponsor Fit. International Journal of Management and Marketing Research, 2(1): 1-15.

Gwinner, K., & Swanson, S. R. (2003). A model of fan identification: Antecedents and sponsorship outcomes. The Journal of Service Marketing, 17(3), 275-294.

Haidt, J. (2001). The emotional dog and its rational tail: A social intuitionist approach to moral judgment. Psychological Review, 108(4), 814-834.

Haidt, J. (2007). The new synthesis in moral psychology. Science, 316(5827), 998-1002.

Hoberman, J.M. (1992). Mortal Engines: The Science of Performance and the Dehumanization of Sport. New York: Free Press.

Houlihan, B. (2002). Dying to Win: Doping in Sport and the Development of Anti-doping Policy. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing.

Hughes, S., & Shank, M. (2005). Defining scandal in sports: Media and corporate sponsor perspectives. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 14(4), 207-216.

Johnson, A.R. (2005). When a celebrity is tied to immoral behavior: Consumer reactions to Michael Jackson and Kobe Bryant. Advances in Consumer Research, 32, 100-101.

Katoch, A. (2009). The application of social identity theory and theory of planned behavior on the role of sports brand sponsorship (Unpublished master’s thesis). National Cheng Kung University, Institute of International Management.

Kim, Y., & Na, J. (2007). Effects of celebrity athlete endorsement on attitude towards the product: the role of credibility, attractiveness and the concept of congruence. International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, 8(4), 310-320.

Kwak, D.H., Kim, Y.K., & Zimmerman, M.H. (2010). User-versus mainstream-media-generated content: Media source, message valence, and team identification and sport consumers' response. International Journal of Sport Communication, 3(4), 402-421.

Lee, J.S. (2015). Athlete Endorser’s Transgression and Sport Consumer’s Moral Reasoning Strategy: Moral Coupling and Boundary Conditions (PhD Dissertation). University of Michigan, pages 1-7.

Lee, J.S., & Kwak, D.H. (2015). Consumers’ responses to public figures’ transgression: Moral reasoning strategies and implications for endorsed brands. Journal of Business Ethics, DOI 10.1007/s10551-015-2544-1.

Lohneiss, A., & Hill, B. (2014). The impact of processing athlete transgressions on brand image and purchase intent. European Sport Management Quarterly, 14(2), 171-193.

Litvin, S.W., Goldsmith, R.E., & Pan, B. (2008). Electronic word of mouth in hospitality and tourism management. Tourism management, 29(3), 458-468.

Matos, C.A., and Veiga, R.T. (2005). How to Deal with Negative Publicity: the Importance of Consumer Involvement. Brazilian Administration Review, 2 (1), 57-72.

Mazanov, J., & Connor, J. (2010). The role of scandal and corruption in sports marketing and sponsorship. International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship, 11(3), 183.

McCracken, G. (1986). Culture and Consumption: A Theoretical Account of the Structure and Movement of the Cultural Meaning of Consumer Goods. Journal of Consumer Research, 13(1), 71-84.

Miles, M.B. & Huberman, A.M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: a source book of new methods. London, Sage, 2nd edition.

Moston, S., Skinner, J. & Engelberg, T. (2012). Perceived incidence of drug use in Australian sport: a survey of public opinion. Sport in Society, 15(1), 64-77.

Parker, H.M., & Fink, J.S. (2010). Negative sponsor behavior, team response and how this impacts fan attitudes. International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship, 11(3), 200-211.

Perron, L. (2009, June 6). Should NFL give Vick a second chance? Reuter. Retrieved from

Prinz, J. (2006). The Emotional Basis of Moral Judgments. Philosophical Explorations, 9(1), 29-43.

Reeth, D.V., & Lagae, W. (2013). Public opinion on doping in cycling: differences among population groups. Faculteit Economie En Bedrijfswetenschappen Campus Brussel (Hubrussel).

Research Rundowns (2016). Qualitative Coding & Analysis. Retrieved from

Roosta, A., Venous, D., and Ebrahimi, A. (2013). Marketing Management. Tehran, Samt publication, 7th edition.

Roozen, I. (2012). Negative publicity on the endorsement process does it influence for-profit and not for-profit print advertisements? Hub Research Papers - Economics & Management, 1, 1-16.

Rozin, P., Lowery, L., Imada, S., & Haidt, J. (1999). The CAD triad hypothesis: A mapping between three moral emotions (contempt, anger, disgust) and three moral codes (community, autonomy, divinity). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76(4), 574-586.

Runsbech, A., & Sjolin, D. (2011). Negative effects of sponsorships a quantitative study on negative effects of image transfers through sponsorship in the U.K (Undergraduate thesis at C-level). Halmstad University, 15 Hp.

Simmers, C., Damron-Martinez, D., & Haytko, D. (2009). Examining the Effectiveness of Athlete Celebrity Endorser Characteristics and Product Brand Type: The Endorser Expertise Continuum. Journal of Sport Administration & Supervision, 1(1), 52-64.

Slack, T. (2004). Sport Comercialization. Translated by Razavi, M.H. & Nobakhti, S. Mazandaran, Shomal Paydar publication.

Smith, A. (2008). Introduction to Sport Marketing. Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, Business & Economics.

Solberg, H.A., Hanstad, D.V., & Thöring, T.A. (2010). Doping in elite sport, do the fans care? Public opinion on the consequences of doping scandals. International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship, 11(3), 185-199.

Stamm, H., Lamprecht, M., Kamber, M., Marti, B. & Mahler, N. (2008). The public perception of doping in sport in Switzerland, 1995-2004. Journal of Sports Sciences, 26(3), 235-242.

Stokburger-Sauer, N., Ratneshwar, S., & Sen, S. (2012). Drivers of consumer–brand identification. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 29(4), 406-418.

Tan, L., & Burman, J. (2013). Effects of Doping Behaviour on Brand Image in Australian Sport. ANZMAC Conference, Department of Marketing & Management, Macquarie University, Sydney Australia.

Tangney, J.P., Stuewig, J., & Mashek, D.J. (2007). Moral emotions and moral behavior. Annual Review of Psychology, 58, 345-372.

Thomson, M. (2006). Human brands: Investigating antecedents to consumers’ strong attachments to celebrities. Journal of Marketing, 70(3), 104-119.

Thwaites, D., Lowe, B., Monkhouse, L.L., & Barnes, B.R. (2012). The impact of negative publicity on celebrity ad endorsements. Psychology & Marketing, 29(9), 663-673.

Till, B.D., & Shimp, T.A. (1998). Endorsers in advertising: The case of negative celebrity information. Journal of Advertising, 27(1), 67-82.

Um, N. (2013). Celebrity scandal fallout: How attribution style can protect the sponsor. Psychology & Marketing, 30(6), 529-541.

Westbrook, R.A. (1987). Product/consumption-based affective responses and post purchase processes. Journal of Marketing Research, 24, 258-270.

Wilkie, W. (1986). Consumer behavior. New York: John Wiley - Wiley and Son, Inc.

Wilson, B., Stavros, C., & Westberg, K. (2008). Player transgressions and the management of the sport sponsor relationship. Public Relations Review, 34(2), 99-107.

Texto completo: PDF


  • Não há apontamentos.

PODIUM Sport, Leisure and Tourism Review e-ISSN: 2316-932X
Rua Vergueiro, 235/249 - Liberdade, São Paulo - SP, (Brasil). 01504-000

Licença Creative Commons
Este obra está licenciado com uma Licença 
Creative Commons Atribuição-NãoComercial-CompartilhaIgual 4.0 Internacional.