Forty years of BIRGing:: New perspectives on Cialdini’s seminal studies

Falk College Author(s): Patrick Walsh

Jensen, J. A., Turner, B. A., James, J., McEvoy, C., Seifried, C., Delia, E., ... & Walsh, P. (2016) Forty years of BIRGing:: New perspectives on Cialdini’s seminal studies. Journal of Sport Management, 30(2), 149-161.


Published 4 decades ago, “Basking in Reflected Glory: Three (Football) Field Studies” (Cialdini et al., 1976) is the most influential study of sport consumer behavior. This article features re-creations of Studies 1 and 2, exactly 40 years after the original publication. The results of Study 1 were reproduced, with participants more than twice as likely to wear school-affiliated apparel after wins and 55% less likely after losses. The study also extends the BIRGing literature in its investigation of the influence of gender and the effect’s salience over time. Study 2’s results were not reproduced. However, study participants were significantly more likely to use first-person plural pronouns, providing further empirical evidence of BIRGing behaviors. This article makes a novel contribution to the sport consumer behavior literature by advancing the study of one of the field’s most foundational theories and serving as an impetus for future investigations of BIRGing motivations.

DOI: 10.1123/jsm.2015-0340