As global sponsorship spending increases, so too do efforts to gauge effects of sponsorship. However, much of the sponsorship literature to date has emphasized the influence of sponsorship from a business perspective, thus neglecting to address the social and psychological influence of sponsorship on the consumer. Reasoning that such deep levels of consumer inquiry cannot be accomplished through (post)positivist inquiry, I pursue an interpretive ethnographic mode of inquiry, using Syracuse University fandom as a case study. In doing so, I engage in reflexive autobiography as a method of critical inquiry to interrogate my own (personal, professional, and academic) experience with sponsorship (specifically, facility naming rights) as a Syracuse fan. Through this introspection, I discover my perception of and connection to the sponsor are inherently complex, as I possess a subconscious yet meaningful attachment to the sponsor that contributes to my overall well-being.
Elizabeth B. Delia is with the Department of Sport Management, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL. Address author correspondence to Elizabeth Delia at firstname.lastname@example.org.