Cause-Related Sport Sponsorship: An Assessment of Spectator Beliefs, Attitudes, and Behavioral Intentions

Richard L. Irwin
Tony Lachowetz
Bettina Cornwell

Marketing communications utilizing a non-profit cause (i.e., the sponsorship of a non-profit cause) have emerged as a mainstream practice as practitioners respond to rising consumer expectations of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The increasing popularity of cause-related marketing programs (CRMPs) can be attributed to the integration of sponsorship in many organizations' sport marketing strategy. The purpose of this study was to examine the attitudes, beliefs, and purchase intentions of consumers exposed to a firm's sponsorship of a sporting event associated with a non-profit organization. A survey instrument was developed by a panel of experts, pre-tested, revised, and completed by 442 event spectators. Results suggested consumers' attitudes, beliefs, and purchase intentions toward the sponsoring company were positively impacted based on the firm's involvement with cause-related marketing.