Although enormous sums are spent on sport sponsorships, knowledge of sponsorship information processing is still limited. For a continuing growth of sponsorship as a field significant improvements in our understanding of sponsoring effectiveness are required. Whereas the direct effect of sponsor signage exposure on sponsor recall has been identified in several studies, attention to sponsor signage as the mediator of sponsorship information has not been investigated thoroughly. Based on spotlight theory and the associative network model of memory, the present paper addresses this research gap and investigates the viewer’s visual attention to sponsorship information by applying eye tracking methodology. Regression models have been estimated to analyze information reception and processing in sport telecasts. The results reveal that the capture of attention is determined by the placement of sponsor signage and by exposure variables. Furthermore, sponsor recall is found to be a function of attention and brand-related variables.
Rumpf and Breuer are with the Institute of Sport Economics and Sport Management, German Sport University Cologne, Cologne, Germany.