It Works Two Ways: Impacts of Sponsorship Alliance upon Sport and Sponsor Image

Sarah Jane Kelly
Michael Ireland
John Mangan
and Harley Williamson

Determining the impact of sport sponsorship by alcohol companies has been identified as a priority research concern (World Health Organization, 2014). Despite the vast investment and potential risks, there is almost no sport sponsorship-specific research examining how the choice and behavior of one sponsorship partner affects consumer attitude toward the other partner. We test this relationship, focusing upon the controversial alcohol-sport sponsorship pairing, given its importance to sport management and policy. The findings of these robust experimental results provide the first evidence that sponsorship pairing affects brand attitudes of both the sport and commercial partner. Implications for best practice sport sponsorship management in an increasingly controversial alcohol sponsorship environment are discussed.

Open Access