Sport sponsorship as strategic communication parameter: An analysis of sport sponsorship within various communication scenarios

Vicky Ralkov & Brian Vester

Student thesis: Master thesis


In order to persuade the ever more advertising-hostile consumer, companies have to be creative in their marketing strategy. In order to create value for their business many companies have in recent years engaged in sports sponsorship for different objectives. Sport sponsorship is gaining market share in the overall marketing spending, but there is not always an obvious thread or match between the identities of sponsor and property. Sponsorships are signed from different approaches, but for academic and analytical reasons the focus of the thesis is narrowed down to strategic sponsorships. The thesis thus establishes an overview of the potential of sport sponsorship taking into considerations persuasion strategies for different types of brands. A typology of brands is conducted using parameters as consumer involvement in the brand and the underlying buying motive. These dimensions acknowledge the difference in consumer behaviour and hierarchy of effect for various brands leading to different approaches for companies’ persuasion strategies. The thesis furthermore acknowledges that the main potential within sports sponsorship should be measured through brand equity. Brand equity is the ascribed intangible value that a brand holds in consumers’ mindset, and is argued to be what determines consumers’ preference for a specific brand in a purchase situation. Companies strive to reach brand awareness and loyalty via interaction and relationships with consumers. This thesis reflects upon the possibilities of building strong brands through sponsorship. However, it will never be possible to conclude any definite and universal knowledge within this field. Therefore this thesis should be regarded as a request for an ongoing creation of knowledge within the field. The main purpose of the thesis is to outline the potential of strategic sport sponsorship as means of communication parameter for different types of brands. As sponsorship offers potential in many directions a breakdown of the different communication scenarios is performed using consumers level of activity in the sponsorship and sponsors’ presence in the communication as the two parameters. When consumers are active the emotional response increases while the level of relations increases when sponsor is present. The thesis should be regarded as a guideline for companies who wish to engage in sport sponsorship, as this thesis will provide an overview of what types of brands are suitable for different types of communication scenarios in a sport sponsorship.

EducationsMSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2011
Number of pages131