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
Robert Copeland, Wendy Frisby and Ron McCarville
Canadian corporations with advertising budgets in excess of $50,000 Cdn that are currently involved in sport sponsorship were contacted through a mailed survey. They were asked about the length and nature of their sport sponsorship involvements, the criteria used to select events, post-event evaluation methods, and reasons for discontinuing past sponsorships. The results revealed that these companies valued sport sponsorship as an important form of marketing communication but supplemented sponsorship initiatives with a variety of other communication measures. None viewed sponsorship as a philanthropic exercise. Respondents repeatedly noted the importance of return on investment in making sponsorship decisions. They valued exclusivity, public awareness, and positive image above other criteria when selecting sponsorship opportunities. Most of the sponsors had discontinued a sponsorship relationship in the past. Furthermore, only one-third of the sponsors felt that the benefits exchanged with sport organizers were fair and equitable.
This paper provides a critical assessment of the sponsorship relationship by examining relationship-related causes of termination. Based on a comprehensive investigation of major sport organizations and their sponsors spanning four years, the findings reveal partners at cross-purposes due to changing perceptions of value, opportunity, and responsibility. Related problems involving strategic versus tactical intent, commitment asymmetry, and sponsorship capability gap are identified. The research develops our understanding of the interfirm dynamics of sport sponsorship relationships including how they should be managed to avoid termination. Recommendations to prevent sponsorship termination and improve relationship outcomes, and directions for future research are provided.
David Arthur, Don Scott and Terry Woods
The general acceptance of sport sponsorship by corporate and sporting worlds alike has led to a situation whereby corporations receive from hundreds to thousands of unsolicited proposals annually. Despite this, there is a general lack of systematic research into sport sponsorship with little information in existence as to how corporations decide between alternative properties. In an attempt to address this situation, this paper develops a conceptual model of the sport sponsorship acquisition process based on the basic tenets of organizational purchasing behavior, contemporary literature on sport sponsorship, and the results of a qualitative study. It is anticipated that the Sport Sponsorship Acquisition Model will form the basis for further scholarly research to ascertain the precise nature of the acquisition process.
Lilian Pichot, Gary Tribou and Norm O’Reilly
Successful sponsorship activities in sport often rely on the integration of relationship marketing, internal marketing, external corporate promotion, and strategic management. Although traditional marketing objectives such as brand integration and consumer targeting remain key components of promotional activities in sport, the use of sport sponsorship in today’s environment increasingly implicates personnel issues in the both the sponsor and the sponsee. In fact, sport sponsorship has become a useful tool for some sponsors and sponsees who seek to motivate and involve their employees more in company activities. Therefore, the focus of this commentary is on the internal-communication and human-resources management functions involved in sport sponsorship decisions. The use of mini-case analyses and a dual-perspective (external and internal objectives) approach allows for informed discussion, and suggestions are made for future research.
Sanghak Lee and Seung-Chang Lee
Sport sponsorship has grown tremendously as the development of sport media, and popular companies such as Coca-Cola, Nike, Toyota, and Samsung have used sport sponsorship as one of their marketing communication channels. In addition, retailers (e.g., Home Depot, Target, Lotte Department Store) have become involved in sponsorship to achieve their marketing communication goals. Although many retail companies have invested in sponsorship, no retailer-specific sponsorship study has been suggested. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to propose a new sponsorship-effect measure using retail service quality (R-SERVQUAL). This study hypothesized that brand recall and team identification would influence R-SERVQUAL. The 2-way ANOVA revealed that the mean scores of R-SERVQUAL were high when sport fans’ brand recall (F = 12.58, p < .001) and team identification (F = 65.88, p < .001) were high, and R-SERVQUAL is suggested as a tool to evaluate the effects of sponsorship communication on the retail industry.
Laura Cousens and Trevor Slack
Many owners of fast food franchises use sport sponsorship as a means of penetrating their local market area. The purpose of this paper is to examine how these franchisees make decisions about sponsorship requests that allow them to enhance their own position within their local market while at the same time ensuring the consistency and continuity of image that successful fast food chains require. Data were collected from interviews with representatives of 11 fast food companies, from articles in the trade literature, and from company documents. Ranging on a continuum from total franchisee control of decision making to a situation in which the autonomy of the local outlet is eliminated, three approaches to making decisions about sponsoring sport teams and events were identified: the independent approach, the communal approach, and the controlled approach. The structure and corporate culture of the restaurant chain are shown to be significant factors influencing the way decisions about sport sponsorship are made.
John Amis, Narayan Pant and Trevor Slack
This study demonstrates that a recent development in the strategic management literature, the resource-based view of the firm, has great utility for furthering our understanding of sport sponsorship. The paper provides a theoretical framework to explain the application of the approach to sponsorship. Illustration and greater insight are then provided through the presentation of two case studies. These are used to identify the salient characteristics of agreements made by two international companies, each of which has been extensively involved in sport sponsorship but with varying degrees of success. The resource-based approach is used to demonstrate that the disparate returns of the companies' sponsorship investments could have been anticipated. As such, as well as providing a conceptual extension to the sponsorship literature, the paper also offers a route for more empirical analyses of potential sponsorship opportunities.
Jonathan A. Jensen and T. Bettina Cornwell
( IOC, 2016 ). Research Hypotheses Utilizing the constructs introduced by Palmatier et al. ( 2006 ) in their meta-analysis of the RM paradigm, three distinct groups of factors are argued to influence global sport sponsorship decision-making: seller-focused factors, customer-focused factors, and dyadic
Christopher Rumpf and Christoph Breuer
environments. It can be assumed that similar effects occur, and it would be interesting to compare them to the sport sponsorship context. Based on the research design established and implemented in this study, follow-up research should shed light on the relative effect of sport sponsorship compared with