Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Sports Education Leadership


Sports Education Leadership

Advisor 1

Nancy Lough, Committee Chair

First Committee Member

Gerald Landwer

Second Committee Member

Jerry Hughes

Third Committee Member

Kurt Stahura

Graduate Faculty Representative

Chrysostomos Giannoulakis

Number of Pages



Sport sponsorship has evolved into a vast business enterprise, encompassing sport at all levels. In 2007 alone, spending on sport sponsorship worldwide was approximately $28 billion with an estimated amount of over $14 billion being spent in North America (IEG, 2008). Previous empirical research has been conducted to determine why companies choose to become involved in a sport sponsorship relationship. The existing literature on sport sponsorship objectives includes studies that have focused primarily on professional sport, intercollegiate athletics and international sport and sporting events. Despite the previous research conducted in the area of sport sponsorship, there has been a theoretical void in the literature that investigates sport sponsorship at the interscholastic athletic level. Therefore, there is a need to investigate sponsorship objectives at this level of athletic competition because it has yet to be done, and it will be a valuable contribution to the existing literature on sport sponsorship.

The purpose of this study was to examine the use and value of sponsorship in interscholastic athletics. The specific goals of the study include: (I) To examine the sponsorship objectives of sponsors of State High School Athletic Associations; (II) To examine the similarities and differences of companies involved in state high school athletic association sponsorships; (III) To determine if differences among corporations (size of company, market share, national, state, or regional company) influence the expectations/objectives of corporate sponsors; and (IV) To develop a framework of sponsorship objectives among sponsors of state high school athletic/activity associations to assist in our understanding of education based sport sponsorship relationships.

The methodology that was used was a mixed-methods approach that combined both quantitative and qualitative data analysis. Specifically a two-part survey was employed for use in this investigation. PART I of the survey entitled "Sport Sponsorship Objectives" consisted of seventeen sponsorship objectives designed to measure the level of importance attributed to each sponsorship objective that was scored on a six-point Likert-response scale. Along with the Likert-response items, PART I of the survey also featured three questions in an open-ended format to provide a qualitative aspect to the study. PART II was designed to develop a profile of the sponsors of state high school athletic/activity associations. Purposeful sampling was used to select subjects (sponsors of state high school athletic/activity associations) for this study. Once the surveys were completed, the data gathered was compiled, analyzed, and reported using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Lastly, in order to address for ethical concerns, data collection approval was obtained from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) Office for the Protection of Research Subjects.

Of the 206 surveys emailed to the marketing director at each company / business involved in sponsoring one or more state high school athletic/activity associations for the 2008-2009 academic year, 102 or 49.5% were returned. Ninety-six were completed and usable for a response rate of forty-seven percent (47%).

In general, results revealed that sponsors of state high school athletic/activity associations engage in this sponsorship relationship because they believe there is real value in the teen market. Furthermore, this type of sponsorship, more so than others, was discovered as a means to provide an opportunity of creating and maintaining long-lasting relationships with the teen market. Also, the expanded state-wide exposure and visibility that a state association sponsorship provides was noted as being a key objective for sponsorship. Contrary to literature on sport sponsorship in general results further indicated that there is a philanthropic nature to state high school athletic/activity association sponsorship. Respondents indicated that public service and providing help to local communities were important objectives when considering a sponsorship relationship. Finally, the majority of sponsors indicated that they had a positive sponsorship relationship with the state associations and that they planned on continuing their sponsorship at the same or higher level. The study concludes with a discussion of the results and includes limitations of the study along with recommendations for future research.


Corporate sponsorship; High school; Interscholastic athletics; Sponsorship; Sport sponsorship; State High School Athletic Associations


Business | Education

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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