The New Patrons of Art: Luxury Fashion Companies

Margherita Caldiera & Ottavia Drago

Student thesis: Master thesis


Sponsorship to art is a rapidly growing marketing strategy employed by companies to improve their brand image. The rich literature about sponsorship has not yet included a deep analysis on the niche segment of sponsorship to art and its effects, which are therefore addressed in this research. Specifically, luxury fashion companies are taken in consideration as sponsors due to their strict connection with the art industry. The issue in exam is the understanding of how sponsorship to art by luxury fashion companies influences consumers’ perception of the sponsor in terms of brand image, reputation and consumers’ behaviour, and how consumers’ perception matches with the company strategy of sponsorship. The research makes use of two real case studies, the Italian luxury fashion companies of Tod’s and Brunello Cucinelli. Primary and secondary data will be applied to three different theoretical frameworks, named brand image transfer model (BIT) by Smith (2004), three stage model by Visentin, Scarpi and Pizzi (2016), and the value derivation model by Tyrie and Ferguson (2013). Results indicate that it is possible to claim that the strategy of luxury fashion companies committed to art sponsorship encounters a positive perception by the audience, and a positive attitude as well, specifically when the company is perceived as naturally committed to the sponsorship. However, consumer behaviours, such as purchase decisions and word-of-mouth, are not strongly affected by the commitment to sponsorship to art. The authors of this research believe that this is mainly due to the sector studied, the luxury one, in which other elements, rather than commitment to art and culture, influence consumers’ decisions.

EducationsMSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages132