Title

A Comparative Analysis of Sponsorship Objectives for Women’s Sport and Traditional Sport Sponsorship

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Increasingly, corporations are relying on the merits of sport sponsorship to market their companies' products and services (Howard & Crompton, 1995). In fact, North American companies increased sponsorship spending in 1 998 by 15%, to $5.4 billion (Sponsorship Report, 1998). The emerging role of women in North American sport undoubtedly has been a significant catalyst for this growth trend in sport sponsorship. The number of female sport participants, as well as the number of female spectators, has escalated at a phenomenal pace, warranting attention from cor- porate America. Perhaps one of the most convincing issues influencing corporate sponsors to consider involvement with women's sport has been the increased recognition of women's strength in the U.S. marketplace and their expanded decision-making power though. 1996). In 1993, Mechem estimated that by the year 2000, 61% of American women would be active in the work force. As increasing numbers of women have discretionary income to spend. and as the number of American women in decision-making roles has increased, corporate sponsors have become more and more interested in this previously neglected market segment. The competitive nature of today's marketplace makes the sponsorship of women's sport a viable avenue for tapping into this desirable market segment. With escalating rights tees and market- place clutter, corporate rationale for sport sponsorship selection has been altered significantly. Irwin and Sutton (1994) found that results-oriented marketing motives appear to have replaced the philanthropic! image-building philosophy of the past. While such marketplace developments would appear to present opportunities for the funding of U.S. women's sport sponsorship proposals, no empirical evidence has been generated to support this. Two primary questions remain unanswered in the sport sponsorship environment: (a) will sponsorship of American women's sport resemble "traditional" sport sponsorship, with selection decisions based on specific criteria, and (b) will emergence within the contemporary sport sponsorship realm necessitate an objective-driven market orientation? The specific objectives for this study included: (a) determination of the dominant factors utilized (e.g., motives, objectives, proposal components) by current sponsors of U.S. women's sport in sponsorship selection decisions involving, first, sponsorship proposals from women's sport entities and, second, sponsorship proposals from mainstream sport entities; (b) assessment of the relative importance of each set of factors; and (c) comparative analysis of the two sets of factors. This study utilized survey research methodology incorporating a modification of the Sport Sponsorship Proposal Evaluation Model (Irwin, Assimakopoulos, & Sutton, 1 994; Lough, 1 996). The results indicate that sponsors of U.S. women's sport desire measurable outcomes, such relative importance of each set of factors; and (c) comparative analysis of the two sets of factors. This study utilized survey research methodology incorporating a modification of the Sport Sponsorship Proposal Evaluation Model (Irwin, Assimakopoulos, & Sutton, 1 994; Lough, 1 996). The results indicate that sponsors of U.S. women's sport desire measurable outcomes, suching almost $19 billion worldwide. Within this sane period of time, corporate spending for American women's sport sponsorship has surged more than 1 00%, from approximately 5285 million in 1992 to $600 million in 1998 (lEG Sponsorship Report, 1998). A number of factors appear to have triggered the sudden rise in corporate spending.

Disciplines

Education | Educational Methods | Educational Psychology

Permissions

Use Find in Your Library, contact the author, or interlibrary loan to garner a copy of the item. Publisher policy does not allow archiving the final published version. If a post-print (author's peer-reviewed manuscript) is allowed and available, or publisher policy changes, the item will be deposited.