"Welcome Home": Motivations and Objectives of the 2004 Grand National Olympic Sponsors

Artemisia Apostolopoulou
Dimitra Papadimitriou

Given the increasing dependence of sport organizations and events on corporate sponsorship, this study set out to examine the motivations of the Grand National sponsors of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and the objectives they sought to fulfill through their sponsorship. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven of the ten Grand National Olympic sponsors. Findings indicated that these companies?decision to join the National Sponsoring Program was not entirely business-driven; rather, the desire to support the national effort and a sense of obligation led most companies to enter into a sponsorship agreement. As for the sponsors?objectives, our research confirmed past findings (e.g., Abratt, Clayton, & Pitt, 1987; Lough, Irwin, & Short, 2000; Ludwig & Karabetsos, 1999) by showing that increasing sales/market share, enhancing corporate image, and increasing awareness for the brand were highly valued objectives for national Olympic sponsors. In addition, our findings provide some support for the importance of corporate citizenship and improved employee relations. This study concludes with some recommendations for current and future organizing committees and companies considering an Olympic sponsorship at the national level.