Points of Attachment and Sponsorship Outcomes in an Individual Sport

Lamar Reams
Terry Eddy
and B. Colin Cork

According to IEG, North American sport sponsorship spending is anticipated to escalate to $15 billion in 2015 (IEG, 2015). Because of the capitalistic significance to sport properties and corporate sponsors, managers expect favorable returns on these investments (Abratt, Clayton, & Pitt, 1987; Crompton, 2004; Meenaghan, 1991; Stotlar, 2004). Driven by conceptual inquiries and managerial expectations, many industry practitioners and academic researchers have embarked on the arduous task of measuring the effectiveness of sport sponsorships (Bennett, Henson, & Zhang, 2002; Maestas, 2009). As a result, sponsorship effectiveness has been examined extensively within the sport marketing literature. Common measures of sponsorship effectiveness include: brand awareness (Gwinner, 1997; Gwinner & Bennett, 2008), enhancement of brand image (Dees, Bennett, & Ferreira, 2010; Gwinner & Eaton, 1999), sponsor recognition, attitudes toward the sponsor, sponsor patronage, and satisfaction with the sponsor (Alexandris & Tsiotsou, 2012; Gwinner & Swanson, 2003; Tsiotsou & Alexandris, 2009). An important characteristic of the existing literature to note is that the majority of studies have been devoted to team sports (Alexandris & Tsiotsou, 2012; Biscaia, Correia, & Rosado, 2013; Madrigal, 2001; Meenaghan, 2001; Tsiotsou & Alexandris, 2009; Zhang, Won, & Pastore, 2005), with less coverage provided to individual sports where athletes exist independently (without associations to “team” brands) and serve as recognizable points of attachment for consumers (Robinson & Trail, 2005).