Corporate Sponsorship and Organisational Strategy: Bridging the Gap

International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship, September-October 1999 | Go to article overview

Corporate Sponsorship and Organisational Strategy: Bridging the Gap


Executive Summary

Sport sponsorship can be thought of as a strategic activity. This is because it involves decisions about resource allocation and can help align an organisation with its environment. However, despite the acknowledgment of sponsorship's strategic nature most studies have restricted their focus to a listing of the strategic objectives which companies hope to achieve from their sponsorship activities. There has been little attempt within the literature to look at the formulation and implementation of sponsorship strategies or to examine the relationship that sponsorship as a strategic initiative has to broader corporate and business level strategies. The purpose of this paper is to examine this relationship. It uses data from a series of interviews carried out with the person or persons responsible for sponsorship in 28 Canadian based corporations (or Canadian subsidiaries of multi-national corporations). The results show that companies exhibited varying degrees of synergy between their sponsorship activities and their organisational strategy. Those that perceived closer links also perceived their sponsorship to be more successful. Those that did not have strong links were, for the most part, trying to establish such links. Numerous advantages of integrating sponsorship initiatives with broader corporate strategies were found. First, sponsorship helped to integrate the marketing function across other organizational departments. Additionally, it avoided conflicting messages being conveyed to consumers, employees and shareholders about why money was being spent on sponsorship. Furthermore, it helped in evaluating the merits of sponsorship requests.

The relevance of this research for practicing managers of both sponsoring corporations and recipient sport organisations is highlighted. In particular, it is suggested that a sponsorship programme is more likely to be viewed as a 'success' if there are deliberate synergies with the sponsor wider strategic objectives. It is also argued that sport managers seeking sponsorship should target their efforts on those corporations with which there is strong potential for a strategic fit with the sport property.

* Keywords: Organisational Strategy, Sponsorship

Introduction

Despite the increasing role that sponsorship is taking in the financing of sport organisations and events in all parts of the world, very little systematic research has been undertaken to investigate the strategic nature of this type of activity. This is not to say that attempts have not been made to investigate the objectives which corporations hope to achieve from sponsorship. On the contrary, a large number of studies on the sponsorship of sport have been conducted in Europe (for example, Boulet, 1989; Meenaghan, 1991; Otker, 1988; Quinn, 1982; Simkins, 1986; Thwaites, 1993; 1994; 1995; Waite, 1979; Witcher, Craigen, Culligan, & Harvey, 1991), North America (for example, Copeland, Frisby, & McCarville, 1996; Kuzma, Shanklin, & McCally, 1993; Stotlar, 1992; Thwaites, Aguilar-Manjarrez, & Kidd, 1998; Wilber, 1988) and elsewhere (for example, Abratt, Clayton, & Pitt, 1987; Abratt & Grobler, 1989; Pope & Voges, 1994; Scott & Suchard, 1992; Shilbury & Berriman, 1996). Nevertheless, the focus of these studies ha s not been on the manner in which sponsorship objectives are formulated or their links with broader corporate strategies.

This is regrettable as, over the past 20 years or so, sponsorship practices have changed considerably. In the 1970s this type of activity was considered to be an aspect of philanthropic giving. In the early to mid 1980s, sponsorship was evaluated according to a more direct sales-oriented approach. In the late 1980s and 1990s, sponsorship is starting to be integrated with a corporation's overall strategic positioning, as marketing is becoming more integrated with other facets of corporate operations (Cornwell, 1995; Wilkinson, 1993). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Corporate Sponsorship and Organisational Strategy: Bridging the Gap
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.