Gender Equity in Sponsor Decision-Making: A Quantitative Investigation of Sponsor Retention for Women’s Sport Sponsorship

Jonathan A. Jensen and Danielle Kushner Smith

As gender equity has become an important issue throughout the sport industry, this research seeks to fill a gap in the literature related to whether sport sponsor retention differs across sponsorships of similar men’s and women’s sport properties. Even aft er controlling for a host of potentially confounding variables, a quantitative analysis of sponsor decision-making related to more than 750 event title sponsorships indicates that sponsoring firms are just as likely to renew sponsorships of women’s events as men’s events and those featuring competitors of both genders. Viewing these results through the theoretical lens of exchange theory suggests

that resources sponsors may allocate toward sponsorships of women’s sport properties are theoretically either met or exceeded by the resources received in exchange. Thus, sponsors may in the end receive similar or potentially higher return on investment (ROI) for sponsorships of women’s sport properties, a novel finding yet to be confirmed in the sponsorship-linked marketing literature.