Public, not-for-profit, and private sector sport groups are increasingly exploring innovative means of generating funds. Sponsorship represents one promising revenue alternative. This paper uses exchange theory to discuss and describe sport sponsorship and offer propositions. These propositions are based generally on the principles of exchange and often reflect current practice. As such they offer some insight to those hoping to initiate and maintain sponsorship agreements. All have yet to be empirically verified within the context of sport sponsorship, however, so they may also be used to guide research efforts. They suggest that partners choose sponsorship opportunities that offer the most valued rewards with the greatest probability of success. It is suggested that past successes may dictate future sponsorship decisions. Further, multiple-reward options may be most successful in encouraging subsequent contributions. Although this discussion takes place in the context of sport sponsorship, both the theoretical perspective and propositions are relevant to a broad spectrum of sponsorship settings.
Ronald E. McCarville and Robert P. Copeland
Ronald E. McCarville, Christopher M. Flood and Tabatha A. Froats
Sponsorship has become a major source of funding for special and on-going sporting events. However, sponsors may question return on their investment in such events. Managers may find that potential sponsors are reluctant to invest in sporting activities as a result. This paper addresses the issue of return on investment by monitoring reaction to a sponsor's promotional efforts in an experimental setting. In the context offered by a hypothetical nonprofit sporting event, participants were randomly assigned to groups who received (a) basic information about the sponsor, (b) discount coupons offered by the sponsor, and (c) trial samples of the sponsor's product (pizza). Those who received the product trial responded most positively to the sponsorship message. They rated the sponsor's product in more positive terms and were more likely to intend to purchase that product within the next month. Conversely, promotions that presented only logos, sponsor's telephone numbers, slogans or coupons generally failed to alter perceptions of the product or sponsor.