Despite the increased usage of sponsorship activities by practitioners and
sponsorship being one of the fastest growing areas of promotion, there has been little
research on the impact of sponsorship on consumer behavior. The objective of this
research was to examine the influence of sponsorship on associations transfer from
sponsees to the sponsors. The main reason to examine this phenomenon is to gain a better
understanding of the outcome strong associative links between sponsor and sponsee
could have on building brand equity. As such, the goal of this research was to contribute
to the development of sponsorship theory and empirically fill some gaps not yet explored.
With the increasing importance of sponsorship in integrated marketing communication it
was important to develop and test theory based models which would make sponsorship
decisions more rigorous.
In order to test all the hypotheses three pre-tests (with three hundred and thirteen
subjects) and two studies (with three hundred and two subjects) were conducted. The
findings in Study-one suggest that individuals who are exposed to the highly fitting relationships develop a stronger mental link (associative link) between sponsor and
sponsee than individuals who are exposed to the poorly fitting relationships. In addition,
Study-one presents only limited evidence that frequency of the relationship contributes to
building the strength of the associative link between sponsor and sponsee.
Study-two provides only marginal support to hypothesis where strength of the
associative link between sponsor and sponsee is greater in an exclusive sponsorship
compared to multiple sponsorships. In addition, the results in Study-two suggest the structure of the sponsorship does not play a role in strengthening the associative link
between sponsor and sponsee.
Finally, the results of both studies fully support hypothesis five (H5) and indicate
the strength of the associative link between sponsor and...