Fit Matters? Asymmetrical Impact for Effectiveness on Sponsors and Event Marketers, p. 71-82

Angeline G. Close
Russell Lacey

This sport marketing study establishes a clearer demarcation between an event sponsor and a sponsored event in relation to investigating the potential value of congruity. Based on 1,615 field surveys, we uncover the asymmetrical impact of event-sponsor fit on the title sponsor and sponsored professional cycling event. Specifically, the study reveals how consumers’ positive perceptions of the sponsor rise when they perceive greater fit with the event; yet, congruity does not influence consumers’ attitudes toward the event. That is, even when the event and sponsor are perceived as a mismatch, it does not impact how the attendee assesses the event. Event-sponsor fit makes for a stronger sponsorship investment, especially when the sponsor is seen as socially responsible. The tested model illustrates how the transfer of corporate social responsibility serves to bridge favorable attitudes toward the event with positive sponsor brand associations and purchasing intent for the sponsor’s brands.