Literature Review on Sponsorship Essay

Words: 2708
Pages: 11

Literature review on Sponsorship

Module title: Integrated Marketing Communication

Kingston University, Faculty of Business and Law
Academic Year 2012/2013

Sponsorship as a communication form can contribute significantly to a company by building brand awareness and heighten consumer attitudes (Cornwell et al., 2006). However, the effect of sponsorship is dependent on the public being aware of the sponsor-sponsee relationship. This review aims to determine how the perception of fit between the two influences the agreement, and factors potentially affecting this perception. The review starts with looking at overall perception, before continuing to discuss challenges related to the topic.

Perception of fit within
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As seen, most researchers agree a ‘natural fit’ is preferable. However, in most sponsorship the connotation of the connection is not natural or obvious (Chimmins et al., 1996), which will be discussed next.
Perception of ‘poor fit’
For some companies it can be hard to find a logical event to sponsor (Olson and Thjømøe, 2011), and a ‘poor fit’ sponsorship might be the only choice. In these situations it is all about articulating the relationship. On one side, Becker-Olsen and Simmons (2002) argue that a ‘poor fit‘ reduces favourable attitudes, and go to the extreme of saying that benefits, such as more favourable emotional and behavioural responses, are lost if fit is poor. On the other side, they state, that if a brand does not have a natural or logical connection to an event, a fit can be created to turn the relationship into a valued. The company must articulate this created fit, to explain why the sponsorship is right. This is crucial because if the public does not understand the relationship they are more likely to forget the agreement, i.e. the sponsorship will not be fruitful (Cornwell et al., 2006). Becker-Olsen and Simmons (2002) argue that if the brand succeed in articulating the meaning properly, the same positive outcome as for a natural fit has been seen. It could even be argued that people are more likely to remember a seemingly ‘un-fit’ but well-articulated relationship, because the connection