Academic journal article International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship

Audience Characteristics and Event Sponsorship Response: The Potential Influence of Demographics, Personal Interests and Values on Brand Awareness and Brand Image. (Audience Characteristics and Sponsorship Response)

Academic journal article International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship

Audience Characteristics and Event Sponsorship Response: The Potential Influence of Demographics, Personal Interests and Values on Brand Awareness and Brand Image. (Audience Characteristics and Sponsorship Response)

Article excerpt

* Keywords: Event Sponsorship, Involvement, Demographics, Values and Interests

Executive Summary

Paper previously presented to the 1997 American Marketing Association's Special Summer Conference, Dublin, Ireland.

The study examines consumer response to event sponsorship, focusing on the effects of demographics, personal interests and values. Although these variables are generally regarded as the strategic rationale behind using a sponsorship strategy, little is known about their role.

The corporate practice of sponsoring sporting events has existed since the turn of the century and has recently become one of the fastest growing areas of advertising and promotion. The research reported here attempts to replicate and extend previous sponsorship effects research efforts using data from a two-stage random phone survey to examine audience characteristics impacting consumers' ability, motivation and opportunity (AMO) to process and respond to event sponsorship advertising regarding official sponsors in two product categories from the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.

Despite often being classified as non-traditional media, in terms of certain strategic elements, it seems likely that sponsorship operates like traditional advertising in terms of persuading and informing consumers. Consequently, it seems important to use consumer demographic data, in conjunction with information on their personal interests and values, to explain (sports media consumption patterns and advertising response.

Data for examining these hypotheses were collected using a two-stage telephone survey design (pre-/post-event). A stratified random sampling technique was used to select a list of names and telephone numbers for adults 18 years of age and olden Potential respondents represented each of the 48 contiguous United States, according to each state's proportion to the total US population.

The pre-event stage of the survey was conducted beginning June 12, 1996 and concluded one month prior to the opening ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. The second stage of the survey began on August 5, 1996, following the closing ceremonies and continued for two weeks.

Data were analyzed using both linear and logistic regression, in addition to chi-square. All of the hypotheses received at least partial support. For example, respondents' patriotism and general interest in spectator sports significantly affects their involvement with the Olympics, which subsequently influences the hours they spend viewing the telecast and their ability to link sponsors to the event.

Their ability to link a sponsor's brand to the event significantly impacts brand image for sponsors in both of the product categories examined here (as it did with brand awareness for the soft drink sponsor). Results also suggest that both sponsors enjoyed an advantage over their competitors, in terms of brand awareness.

Overall, the results suggest that consumers, the significant majority of whom are likely to be sports spectators, may indeed be open and responsive to marketing communications in a sports context. As with traditional advertising, demographics, personal interests and values all seem to play an important part in this process. For example, in terms of demographic variables, gender is found to have a significant impact upon total hours respondents spent viewing the event telecast, along with post-event brand awareness for both sponsors and post-event brand image for the official credit card sponsor.

Age is negatively related to their ability to link the official credit card sponsor to the event, with older consumers being less likely to make the link. Education significantly impacts post-event brand awareness and post-event brand image for official sponsors in both credit card and soft drink categories.

Introduction

The corporate practice of sponsoring sporting events has existed since the turn of the century and has recently become one of the fastest growing areas of advertising and promotion (Ukman, 1995). …

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