A Case Study of Influence Over a Sponsorship Decision in a Canadian University Athletic Department

in Journal of Sport Management
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Because of substantial financial cutbacks, Canadian university athletic departments are facing increased pressure to realign their budgets and seek funding from nontraditional sources. Research that addresses influence over funding decisions in university athletics is therefore warranted. This study addressed the attributes of those who are perceived to have influenced an exclusive sponsorship decision, the methods of influence used to influence this decision, and the extent to which athletic department policies and procedures influenced the process. A single-case study in the athletic department of a Canadian university was undertaken to address these questions. The study involved semistructured interviews with coaches and administrators, participant observation, and document analysis. The results indicated that structural factors (i.e., positional power, coaching high-priority sports) had the greatest influence over the funding decision studied, although personal factors (i.e., expertise, personality, seniority) were also key sources of influence. Interactions among the sources of influence were also observed.

Julie Long is with the Coaching Association of Canada, 141 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5J3. Lucie Thibault is with the Department of Sport Management, Brock University, 500 Glenridge Avenue, St-Catharines, Ontario L2S 1B4. Richard Wolfe is with the Division of Kinesiology, University of Michigan, 401 Washtenaw Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2214.

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