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Adrien Bouchet, Thomas W. Doellman, Mike Troilo and Brian R. Walkup

Gaining exclusive sponsorship rights to international football club apparel has become increasingly competitive, resulting in larger deal values. The first objective of this study was to analyze the effect of kit sponsorship announcements on the underlying value of sponsoring firms. Utilizing event study analysis, we found that firms announcing kit sponsorships experience negative abnormal returns. This finding may not be surprising given the fierce competition for obtaining valuable, scarce marketing space and the well-known winner’s curse. The second objective was to shed further light on the value of kit sponsorship deals by conducting a novel test in which we analyzed a subset of sample observations where the kit sponsorship changed to a new sponsor. We found that firms may be willing to overpay for sponsorships to pre-empt their direct competitors from obtaining valuable, scarce marketing space. Firms losing a pre-existing sponsorship to a direct competitor experience large negative abnormal returns.

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Adrien Bouchet, Thomas W. Doellman, Michael Troilo and Brian R. Walkup

The effect of sponsorship on the stock market returns of the sponsoring companies has been previously studied, but the internationalizing aspect of sponsorship has been overlooked. We examine returns to shareholders for firms sponsoring international football matches using an event study analysis. We find that there are cumulative abnormal returns to stockholders of sponsoring firms of international matches 10 days after the match and 20 days after the match. This finding is robust across several different event-study methods. We also find this general pattern across different professional football leagues, as well as a positive effect on returns by sponsoring high-profile football clubs. We theorize that the elapsed time until the effect on the stock price is the result of building brand awareness before a shift in the price becomes evident. These findings add nuance to the literature on sponsorship and event studies, which is almost exclusively domestic in character.