The Value of Olympic Sponsorship: Domestic vs Foreign Sponsoring Firms

Dean V. Baim
Levon Goukasian
Marilyn B. Misch

This paper examines the impact of Olympic Sponsorship announcements on stock returns for sponsors of the ten Olympic Summer Games held between 1984 and 2020. The paper finds that sponsorship announcements are associated with an average 0.44% impact on returns on the announcement day. This increase translates to a $61 million increase in sponsoring firms’ market value, on average. The study also documents significant differences in the impact of Olympic sponsorship announcements on domestic versus foreign sponsors’ stock returns as well as significant differences on the returns of Olympic partners versus Olympic supporters. Abnormal returns for firms domiciled in the host country are shown to be significantly higher than abnormal returns for firms domiciled outside the host country. Abnormal returns are significantly higher for Olympic partners, who pay a higher sponsorship fee, than for Olympic supporters.  Overall, our findings imply Olympic sponsorship is a value-creating strategy, especially for domestic firms.