Sponsorship of sport has developed over the past three decades to become a worldwide communications platform, a motivator for relationship building, and an omnipresent aspect of consumer experience for many. While it has been and continues to be a funding mechanism for sport, it is the evolution and metamorphosis of sponsorship-linked marketing that delivers endless research topics as sponsoring evolves dynamically.
T. Bettina Cornwell and Dae Hee Kwak
Jonathan A. Jensen and T. Bettina Cornwell
With firms spending $60 billion on sponsorship annually, it has become an integral part of the marketing mix and is necessary for the survival of many sport organizations. Despite the importance of these partnerships, conditions that may jeopardize what can be a long-term relationship for both sides are underresearched. Utilizing survival analysis modeling to examine a longitudinal dataset of 69 global sponsorships, the purpose of this research is to isolate factors that predict the dissolution of such partnerships and test a dynamic, integrated model of sponsorship decision-making. From the perspective of the sponsoring firm, congruence and high levels of brand equity were found to reduce the hazard of dissolution. Results indicate that economic conditions, such as an inflationary economy, are a statistically significant predictor of sponsorship dissolution. Increased clutter was also detrimental, with every one sponsor added increasing the hazard of dissolution, demonstrating the importance of exclusivity in global sponsorships.
T. Bettina Cornwell, Steffen Jahn, Hu Xie, and Wang Suk Suh
Sports, the arts, and events are products in their own right, and when sponsored, they become marketing and communication platforms. The current research examines the role of event emotions on sponsor recall and intent to attend the event in the future. An important theoretical argument is that feeling to be part of an in-group, measured as in-group entitativity, moderates the relationship between emotions and outcomes of memory and intentions. To test our theoretical model, we surveyed attendees at a multiday international track and field event. A total of 282 individuals were surveyed, and 232 of these attendees qualified as audience members and were included in the analysis. Moderated regression analyses revealed that excitement, joy, boredom, and overall tone of the group atmosphere impact event outcomes for the sport and the sponsor, and furthermore, that in-group entitativity can function as an important moderator. Contributions to theory and practice are discussed.
Taryn Wishart, Seung Pil Lee, and T. Bettina Cornwell
Price setting in the sponsorship of sport, charity, arts and entertainment is usually negotiated, and private, so we know little about what determines price. With a sample of publicly available sponsorship proposals, the relationship between sponsorship characteristics and price set by the property is examined. Media coverage and attendance levels are hypothesized to have a positive impact on property price, as are a host of on-site communications. Overall the most influential variable explaining the property’s asking price is media coverage. In contrast, on-site communications are not important in price setting. Interestingly, access to property offerings such as celebrities and venues has a significant positive impact on property price. While the empirical investigation is limited to the relationship between communication characteristics and asking price, the price negotiation process and property-based characteristics that lead to the final price are also discussed.
Stephanie Cunningham, T. Bettina Cornwell, and Leonard V. Coote
Despite the popularity of sponsorship-linked marketing programs, we know little about how firms form sponsorship policies. This article describes a corporate identity-sponsorship policy link and offers empirical support for it via a mixed method research design. Content analysis of 146 Fortune 500 companies’ online sponsorship policies and mission statements is followed by cluster, factor and multinomial regression techniques. Results show that corporate identity, as reflected in mission statements, matters to sponsorship policy. Specifically, companies emphasizing financial success in their mission statements prefer to sponsor individual athletes, education, the environment and health-related activities. Alternatively, companies stressing the importance of employees demonstrate a propensity to sponsor team sports, entertainment, religious, community, charity and business related activities. Reasons for these strategic differences are discussed.
Sarah Kelly, Len Coote, T. Bettina Cornwell, and Anna McAlister
This research provides insight into the complex relationship between consumer response to persuasion attempts and skepticism, suggesting that erstwhile targets may be swayed by campaigns pitched as a form of entertainment. The authors examine consumer responses to an important sponsorship-leveraging tool: sponsorship-linked advertising (SLA). A theoretical model of consumer response to SLA is proposed, drawing on important resistance mechanisms to persuasion, including ad skepticism, attributed advertiser motives, and the nature of thoughts. Results confirm existing research on consumer skepticism suggesting its transitory nature and hence potential for advertisers to strategically temper it through specific cues in ad execution. Differential processing between SLA and traditional advertising is supported, such that SLA elicits more favorable cognitive response.
Seung Pil Lee, T. Bettina Cornwell, and Kathy Babiak
The objective of this study is to develop an instrument to measure the social impact of sport. While there is a rich literature suggesting and measuring the ways in which sport contributes to society, no broad, encompassing scale has been developed. A measure of this type is useful if sport initiatives are to gain social, political and financial support, especially in the form of corporate sponsorship. The proposed “Social Impact of Sport Scale” includes the dimensions of social capital, collective identities, health literacy, well-being and human capital. In addition to development of a detailed 75 item composite scale stemming largely from past measurement, a shorter set of global measures is also examined. A convenience sample of university students is used in scale development as well as a partial test of the scale in context. Results find support for the detailed scale and for the short global measure instrument. In addition, the partial test of the scale in a context of sport experience relevant to students is reported. The value of the scale in use and areas of future research are discussed.