International Sponsorship Research

Ellen L. Bloxsome, Mark R. Brown, Nigel K. Ll. Pope, and Kevin E. Voges


It is characteristic of subdisciplines in advertising that they commence their entry into the literature on two fronts. The first is commentary regarding how large the phenomenon is, generally in the form of expenditure figures. The second is a claim of how new and exciting it is, often with comments about how it establishes a new paradigm. This is as true of sponsorship as it is of other areas such as product placement, social advertising, and the World Wide Web. Eventually, after initial euphoria, we find that the shiny, new toy is not only older than we thought, but that it is explainable in terms of existing theory and the larger body of knowledge. This is true of sponsorship research.

In this chapter we present current sponsorship research within the context of theory. First, we identify common sponsorship objectives. This is a normal starting point in the development of the literature. We place these objectives in the context of the hierarchy of effects, which is followed by a more detailed evaluation of sponsorship research that discusses the means of measuring achievement of objectives. In this review, key theories that explain the achievement of sponsorship objectives are identified. Importantly, we then examine the developing area of how sponsorship works in the consumer’s mind.

Sport sponsorship is not treated as a particular case within the sponsorship ...

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