Academic journal article International Review of Management and Business Research

The Effect of Involvement, Emotion, and Exposure on Sponsor Recall and Recognition: An International Comparative Study at the FIFA 2006 World Cup

Academic journal article International Review of Management and Business Research

The Effect of Involvement, Emotion, and Exposure on Sponsor Recall and Recognition: An International Comparative Study at the FIFA 2006 World Cup

Article excerpt

Introduction

Sponsorship lias been used as a tool of communication ever since ancient Greek cities began to sponsor the athletes bearing their colors by offering them food and accommodation, which were even granted for life to Olympic title holders. But sponsorship lias experienced a surge in its development since the 1980s (Cornwell & Maignan, 1998; Walliser, 2003,). It is one of the fastest-growing communication tools (Witcher et al, 1991). Worldwide sponsorship expenditures have risen from US$2 billion in 1984 to US$48.7 billion in 2006 (Akaoui, 2007; Meenaghan, 1988). Moreover, sponsored events generate more money than the advertising media (Harvey, 2001). The growth of this type of communication both online and offline is accounted for by several factors. On the one hand, the increasing cost of advertising time on TV encourages advertisers to seek other forms of communication in order to reach their targets at lesser cost and with greater efficiency. When integrated into a given event, sponsorship enables advertisers to reach targets outside the crowded advertising displays. On the other hand, the sponsor's product captures the audience's attention more effectively since their cognitive defenses are weakened while they watch a program or attend an event of their choice. In addition, it profits from the positive affective state of the audience (their emotions), which can affect their reaction to sponsor stimuli (Pham, 1992; Walliser, 2003). ("insert Figure 1 about here")

Finally, the legitimization of sponsorship as an essential element of the communication mix has been increasingly confirmed in recent years. Sponsorship is an eclectic mode of communication (Fuchs, 1995) and also a versatile one, capable of reaching various goals or objectives (Walliser, 2003). In fact, the questions to be asked by sponsors should include the following: (1) what is the effectiveness of sponsorship, and how do consumers respond to sponsoring operations? (2) "how to maximize the impact of sponsorship?" (Rogers, 2004). Cornwell and Maignan (1998) suggest that despite the development of sponsorship, its effectiveness and mechanisms are still little known. In order to explain the effectiveness of sponsorship, scholars have applied the communication model of hierarchy of effects of Lavidge and Steiner (1961) and the information treatment model of McGuire (1978). Cornwell, Weeks, and Roy (2005) have presented a general model of the mechanisms found in consumer-focused sponsorship-linked marketing communications. This model present five groups of factors and contributes to a better understanding of sponsorship mechanisms and their effectiveness. Accordingly, most scholars have attempted to study and to measure the effects of sponsorship in terms of memorization, image (attitude), and purchasing intention, among other factors. Most of these studies have focused on the cognitive reaction of the consumer, particularly to sponsor recall and recognition (Cornwell, 2007; Pham and Johar, 2001; Wakefield, Becker-Olsen, and Walliser, 2003). "However, research continues to show that even frequent viewers and attendees confuse or forget the primary sponsors of major events" (Johar, Pham, and Wakefield, 2006, p. 183). So far, no research has studied the effectiveness of the same sponsorship in different cultures, nor lias any research investigated the exposure of different cultures to a worldwide event such as the soccer world cup. The primary goal in the present case is therefore to conduct a study in which we compare the reaction(s) of spectators in six different African countries to the sponsors of the FIFA 2006 World Cup.

Theoretical Background

Sports Sponsorship

Several definitions of sponsorship have been given. Quester and Thompson (2001, p. 34) have proposed a definition adapted from Meenaghan (1991), which states that sponsorship is "on investment, in cash or in kind, in an activity, person or event (sponsee), in return for access to the exploitable commercial potential associated with that activity, person or event by the investor (sponsor)". …

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