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.
Rui Biscaia is with the Centro Interdisciplinar de Estudo da Performance Humana (CIPER), Faculdade de Motricidade Humana, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Portugal. Abel Correia is with the Centro Interdisciplinar de Estudo da Performance Humana (CIPER), Faculdade de Motricidade Humana, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Portugal. Stephen D. Ross is with the Department of Sport Management, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. Antonio Fernando Rosado is with the Faculdade de Motricidade Humana, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Portugal. João Maroco is with the ISPA-Instituto Universitário, Lisboa, Portugal.