Gamify, engage, build loyalty: exploring the benefits of gameful experience for branded sports apps

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study aims to examine the impact of the gameful experience on behavioural outcomes. Drawing from stimulus–organism–response theory, it proposes and tests a new model that investigates the relationship between the gameful experience, brand loyalty and intention to use gamified branded applications in the sports context. In addition, it explores the mediating role of customer–brand engagement (CBE) and the moderating role of self-image congruity (SIC). Design/methodology/approach: A sample of 436 active users of sport-related branded gamified applications was used to test the model. Data was collected from online sports forums, brands’ Facebook communities and during sporting events. Findings: Results indicate that the gameful experience positively and directly impacts behavioural intentions but does not directly influence brand loyalty. This relationship becomes partially significant when mediated by CBE. In addition, results show that users with high levels of SIC are more likely to continue using the gamified application, whereas users with low levels are more likely to engage with the brand. Originality/value: This study expands the gamification literature in the sports sector by revealing the importance of the gameful experience in driving loyalty, behavioural intentions and CBE. It proposes a new model that sheds light on the emotional aspect of the interaction between a user and a gamified system and the importance of exploring the effects of moderators, such as SIC, in these relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-75
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Product & Brand Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2024


  • Brand engagement
  • Brand loyalty
  • Gameful experience
  • Intention to use
  • Mobile apps
  • PLS modelling
  • Self-image congruity
  • Simulation and gaming


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