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Sponsoring charity sport events (CSEs) represents an opportunity for businesses to achieve a variety of marketing objectives. Event sponsors need to promote their brand in an authentic manner because CSE participants may be skeptical of the sponsor if they believe the organization is supporting the event solely for commercial purposes. The current research examines the perceptions that CSE participants have for a sponsor’s contribution to the value creation process of the event. Semistructured interviews (N = 17) were conducted with MS (multiple sclerosis) Moonlight Walk 2018 participants to explore how this key stakeholder perceives the contribution of the sponsor (Harbour ISP [Internet service provider]) in the event experience. Five themes were uncovered: raising CSE awareness, cultivating a fundraising network, engaging authentically, celebrating constituents, and providing operational support. Building on the findings of this research, CSE managers and sponsors should work to share the story behind their partnership while integrating event participants in the development of the sponsorship program.
Fechner, Filo, and Cameron are with the Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, Southport, QLD, Australia. Reid is with the Griffith University, Nathan Campus, Nathan, QLD, Australia.