Runner Identity and Sponsorship: Evaluating the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon

Nancy L. Lough
Jennifer R. Pharr
Jason O. Owen

The economic value of participation sport has been reported to eclipse spectator sport significantly. However, scholars have acknowledged the relative lack of research on this important segment of the sport market. The purpose of this study was to analyze the relationship between runner identity and race sponsor effectiveness. Surveys were sent to participants in the Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. The survey was constructed to measure runner identity, and sponsor effectiveness as interpreted through rates of recognition, recall and purchase intention. Runners were divided into three groups based on their runner identity score. Of the predictive variables, only runner identity was a significant predictor of sponsor recognition and recall and one of two significant variables for purchase intention. The current study established runner identity as a unique construct and shows how runner identity is tied to measures that can be used by race organizers to attract or retain sponsors.