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Bastian Popp, Chris Horbel and Claas Christian Germelmann

based on consumer exposure to the sponsor brand in connection with the sport-entity brand ( Grohs & Reisinger, 2014 ; O’Reilly & Lafrance Horning, 2013 ; Zdravkovic & Till, 2012 ). The association of the sponsor brand with the sponsored entity enables a process of image transfer ( Gwinner, 1997

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Jesse King and Robert Madrigal

Gatorade and FedEx are sponsors of the National Football League (NFL). The former may be thought of as a congruent sponsor because Gatorade’s products are used by players to rehydrate themselves and replace electrolytes lost during a game. By contrast, the FedEx sponsorship is incongruent because

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T. Bettina Cornwell, Steffen Jahn, Hu Xie and Wang Suk Suh

Sponsored sports, events, and activities are social experience offerings as products but are also prized as marketing platforms because they deliver emotional engagement ( Close, Finney, Lacey, & Sneath, 2006 ; Hansen, Halling, & Christensen, 2006 ). Furthermore, passion for sport teams is

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Alain Ferrand and Monique Pagès

This study is part of a larger investigation concerned with a methodology to evaluate the effectiveness of image sponsoring. The notion of image, which is equivalent to the idea of social representation from social psychology, is central to this series of studies. This study was concerned with the similarities and dissimilarities in the images or social representations of the Lyon's Tennis Grand Prix, France (GPTL) and Perrier, a seller of mineral water. In the first phase, a convenience sample of 80 subjects was presented with a list of 300 adjectives and requested to identify those adjectives that described the tennis event and Perrier, Frequency analyses of these responses showed that 23 adjectives were most often cited as representative of the tennis event, while 16 were cited as representative of Perrier. These items were used in the construction of a semantic differential scale, which was administered to 162 randomly selected subjects who were familiar with both the tennis event and Perrier. Canonical analyses showed that the GPTL and Perrier shared the images of (a) being highly popular and entertaining and (b) being dynamic and successful, but distracting. The results also showed that the GPTL had the images of (a) a distinguished, as opposed to a commercial, enterprise and (b) popular because of its arousal value. Perrier's images dimension was considered to be natural and young as opposed to appreciated. The practical implications of the results are discussed.

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Merel Walraven, Ruud H. Koning, Tammo H.A. Bijmolt and Bart Los

Over the last decades, sports sponsorship has become a popular and expensive marketing instrument. However, in business practice, projects are often not evaluated properly and academic research considering both costs and benefits of sponsorship is limited. In response to the concern that investments in sports sponsorship should be made more accountable, we propose data envelopment analysis (DEA) as a method for benchmarking sponsorship efficiency, and illustrate its usefulness by applying it on a sample of 72 major Dutch sports sponsorship projects. We find an average efficiency level of almost 0.3, which implies that the average project would have attained the same results with 30% of its fee if it had been performing as well as its benchmark. The results reveal that 12.5% of the investigated sponsorships are fully efficient. Moreover, we find a high degree of variety in efficiency scores; 37.5% of the projects with an efficiency below 0.1. In addition, we show how DEA scores may be used by sponsor managers to identify peers, which are those projects that attain roughly the same sponsorship outcomes, but at lowest budgets. After estimating the efficiency scores, a second step in the analyses involves investigating which sponsorship characteristics affect sponsorship efficiency. For this purpose, we use the DEA scores as a dependent variable in a Tobit regression model. The findings suggest that sponsorship clutter negatively affects sponsorship efficiency, whereas sponsorship duration has a positive effect.

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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.

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Rui Biscaia, Abel Correia, Antonio Fernando Rosado, Stephen D. Ross and João Maroco

Sponsorship studies have generally been focused on attitudinal measures of fan loyalty to understand the reactions to abstract sponsors. This study examines the relationships between both attitudinal and behavioral loyalty with sponsorship awareness, attitude toward two actual sponsors, and purchase intentions. Data were collected among fans of a professional soccer team, and the results of a structural equation model provide evidence that attitudinal loyalty impacts the attitude toward both sponsors and purchase intentions. Behavioral loyalty influences sponsorship awareness, and impacts differently the attitude and purchase intentions toward each sponsor. Sponsorship awareness influences significantly the attitude toward both sponsors, while the attitude toward the sponsor was the strongest predictor of purchase intentions. These findings highlight the importance of examining actual sponsors and suggest managerial implications, such as the need for sponsors to help attract fans to the stadium and to design additional activation strategies to improve sponsorship value.

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Kevin Filo, Daniel Funk and Danny O’Brien

Sport events benefiting a charitable cause have emerged as meaningful experiences for participants. These charity sport events may allow event sponsors to shape perceptions of corporate image among event participants. Using the Psychological Continuum Model (PCM) as the theoretical framework, the factors that contribute to participants’ perceptions of event sponsors are examined. The influence of this image of event sponsors on behavioral outcomes among participants is also investigated. A post-event questionnaire was administered to participants in a sport event (N = 672) to investigate the relationships among motives, sponsor image, event attachment, purchase intent, and future participation intent. Results reveal that recreation and charity motives contribute to event attachment, while charity motives and event attachment contribute to sponsor image. Significantly, sponsor image and attachment contribute to purchase intent for event sponsors’ products. Finally, sponsor image does not influence future participation intent, while event attachment does. The results illustrate the discrete roles that sponsor image and attachment play in sport consumption activities. Suggestions are made for the strategic selection and marketing of events by potential sponsors to most effectively leverage event sponsorship opportunities.

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Elizabeth B. Delia and Cole G. Armstrong

Scholars have frequently examined sponsorship effectiveness via survey instrument; however, no efforts have been made to gauge sponsorship effectiveness via social networking sites. As a medium for consumer activity and interaction, scholars and industry professionals can leverage social media to monitor the effects of sponsorship in real time, as consumers experience a sporting event. In this exploratory study, we employed a mixed methods study design to examine Twitter users’ discussion of 2013 French Open sponsors during the tennis tournament. We found a weak positive relationship between sponsor-event functional fit and positive sponsor-related sentiment, and a weak positive relationship between a sponsor company’s social media presence and event-related buzz. Through case study analysis, we discovered unintended misrepresentation and activation were apparent drivers of sponsor-related social media conversation during the 2013 French Open. As an emerging area for sponsorship research, we provide suggestions for future research into sponsorship and social media.

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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.