Sponsorship Effects on Music Festival Participants

Victor Guedon & David Gramm Kristensen

Student thesis: Master thesis


While worldwide investments in sole sponsorship fees were expected to reach $53.3 billion in 2013, findings from the academic research on sponsorships’ ability to impact customers’ perception of a sponsor are inconsistent; ranging from positive, small or ambiguous effects to negative or no effects at all. Thus, the objective of the current research was to contribute by researching if participation in a music festival, NorthSide 2013, would influence festival participants’ perception of the main sponsor Royal Beer. To do so, the chosen research design was a pre-post event quasi experimental design with independent samples. It was crucial to have both pre and post event measurements of event participants to investigate a potential change. Moreover, the quasi-experimental strategy was deemed relevant since it features the use of a control group to identify the source of an effect. Identified as one of the reasons for the inconsistent academic findings, the aim was to avoid conscious processing of the respondents by eliciting sponsorships or the two entities together, so that answers collected would account for the effects rather than respondents’ opinions about how this sponsorship affected them. In pursuance of this research several practical steps have been undertaken: a thorough literature review, a face-to-face interview of the Royal Beer brand manager, creation of a beer brand personality scale fitted to the Danish setting, a focus group to translate the brand personality facets and most importantly; the design and data collection of three distinct questionnaires that resulted in a total of 950 valid responses. As a result of the analysis, while participation in NorthSide 2013 very significantly increased recognition of Royal Beer as the event’s sponsor, it did not have any significant effect on event participants’ brand recall, brand personality and brand attitude of Royal Beer. However, additional findings lead to the assumption that overall sponsorship stimuli, where event participation’s share is unknown, might have a significant effect on brand personality and brand attitude. From a theoretical perspective, these findings support the absence of significant sponsorship effects, in this instance of event participation effects, on selected key consumer-related objectives for the sponsor. From a corporate standpoint, since Royal Beer actually used considerable on-site activation to leverage its NorthSide sponsorship, it leads to question the effectiveness of event sponsorships beyond immediate on-site sales effect. It would be relevant for event sponsors to systematically research the return on investment of their sponsorships.

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2014
Number of pages235