This paper advances our understanding of sponsorship linked internal marketing (SLIM). Based on a comprehensive qualitative investigation of major sponsors, this research examines the use of sponsorship linked internal marketing to conceptualize, communicate and implement corporate identity development and employee performance. Sport (by way of an investment in sponsorship) provides a rich opportunity to build employee identification with corporate identity; to establish a fit between how the identity of the firm is positioned internally and externally; and to inspire employee engagement to drive business performance. Moreover, it helps to foster a collaborative culture. The research furthers our understanding of the value of sport sponsorship, sponsorship fit, and sponsorship leveraging.
Farrelly is with RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Greyser is with Harvard Business School, Boston, MA. Rogan is managing director, Two Circles, London, England, UK.