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.
Robert Copeland is with Branada Sports Communications, Ltd., 86 Laird Drive, Toronto, ON, Canada M4G 3V1. Wendy Frisby is with the University of British Columbia, Leisure and Sport Management Program, School of Human Kinetics, 210 Memorial Gym, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z1. Ron McCarville is with the University of Waterloo, Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G1.