New Media, Branding and Global Sports Sponsorship

Article excerpt

Abstract

New media has emerged as a significant dimension of branding and global sports sponsorship because it provides the capability to communicate with consumers worldwide via a multitude of digital platforms. This paper discusses the results of a systematic review of the development of global sports sponsorship and the importance of new media integration to the sector for the future. Results indicate that a new paradigm is emerging which involves thematically linked, integrated, strategic global marketing initiatives driven by new media applications, which have enhanced the value of sports sponsorship.

Key words

media branding globalisation sports sponsorship marketing technology

Executive summary

The integration of new media technologies has changed the manner in which sport is produced, marketed, delivered and consumed. This has contributed significantly to the ongoing fragmentation of media channels worldwide and prompted a dynamic and synergistic relationship between new media and sports sponsorship.

The proliferation of new media technologies, the revolution in consumer to consumer communications and the need for brands to gain permission to engage consumers have also precipitated a transition in marketing logic "from a goods-dominant view, in which tangible output and discrete transactions were central, to a service-dominant view, in which intangibility, exchange processes and relationships are central" (Vargo & Lusch, 2004, p.2). Core marketing activities now include "interactivity, integration, customisation and coproduction" (p.11), and value "is defined and co-created with the consumer rather than embedded in output" (p.6). New media, therefore, has become a vehicle for the expansion of integrated marketing communications, which includes the use of multiple media channels and publicity methods in order to sell products, services and ideas (McAllister & Turow, 2002). The use of multiple new media platforms in sports sponsorship communications, a fundamental dimension of sports marketing communications, enables brands to communicate effectively with consumers, develop brand awareness rapidly in new markets and provide new content opportunities (Roberts, 2006/2007).

Although digital communication technologies are becoming increasingly important in the marketing mix for most enterprises, Thorbjornsen & Supphellen (2004) maintain that it is also important to integrate a broader range of brand-building activities that strengthen relevant associations and enhance positive emotions for the brand. Brand management has reduced its dependency on advertising and is now using multiple channels, such as product placement, sponsorship and events marketing, in order to engage consumers and sustain experience around the brand (Arvidsson, 2006).

In light of the relatively recent emergence and the high level of significance of new media technologies to the growth of the global sports industry, and the accelerated growth and significance of sports sponsorship to brands and sports properties worldwide, this paper discusses the results of a systematic review (Lipsey & Wilson, 2001) related to: the current state of development of global sports sponsorship; the importance of new media integration to the sports sponsorship sector; and the implications of new media for the future of global sports sponsorship.

The results of this review indicated that a new paradigm is emerging in sports sponsorship which involves thematically linked, integrated, strategic global marketing initiatives driven by new media applications. Successful global brands have integrated new media platforms as well as generated branding benefits and revenue. It is predicted that sports sponsorship will maintain its synergistic relationship with new media and continue to enable sponsors and sponsees to enhance communications through the use of multiple channels and to develop products and services specific to their core consumers. …

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