As sponsorship spending continues to increase worldwide, research indicates that a brand or company perceived as "congruent" with the event or cause it sponsors will enjoy more favorable consumer reactions than will a sponsor deemed "incongruent." However, by conceptualizing perceived congruence as an inherent, static property and by exposing individuals to only one sponsorship message, much research in this domain remains limited. The current experiment demonstrated that perceived congruence is a malleable property that can be positively influenced by repeated exposure to sponsorship messages, a rather common marketing communications strategy. Further, for a sponsor initially deemed incongruent, perceived congruencemediated the positive effects of repeated exposure on other brand evaluations. Findings inform both scholars and practitioners that sponsorship affiliations-and the potential successes thereof-should not be viewed as dichotomous, all-or-none scenarios. By increasing perceived congruence, repeated exposure to sponsorship messages can alleviate some of the risks typically assumed to exist for brands initially deemed low in fit.
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