Evaluating Of Image Sponsoring In Football: Focusing On Attitudes

Por: Peter Berkes.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Sponsoring is a communication technique that is becoming increasingly integrated into corporate marketing policies
(Alain F., & Monique P., 1996). Sport sponsorship spending was $17.2 billion in 2001 (IEG, 2001). Image effect is
considered to be one of the most important sport sponsorship objective (Nancy L. L. & Richard L. I., 2001; Lizhong G.,
2002). In image sponsoring the sponsor company transfer its positive image attributes to an event or a group and the
sport consumers have to recognise the similarities between the sponsor and sponsored common image attributes. The
purpose of this study was to evaluate the common image characteristics between a professional Hungarian football club
and its sponsor company product (soft drink) and create a theoretical image-sponsoring model. Two research questions
have been designed: 1) Has a significant different between the sponsor (product) and sponsored (club) image attributes
among the subjects? Could the sport consumers identify the common image features in the two groups?

A designed questionnaire was given to the subjects, who were divided into two groups (footballers group (50), control
group (50). All subjects regularly attend football matches. In order to establish the reliability of the survey a pilot study
was conducted on 30 undergraduate students at the Semmelweis University Faculty of Physical Education and Sport
Sciences. A paired t-test showed no significant differences between the results. Data collection was concerned in two
steps. In the first step, the subjects were asked to select those adjectives that are the most familiar the sponsor company
product and the sponsored football club from a list of 300 adjectives, provided by Steiner and Audiard (1991), on a 5-
point Likert scale. In the second step, the subjects were asked to identify the image attributes of the sponsor and
sponsored on a 7-point semantic differential scale, which items were the selected familiar adjectives.
Subjects: I have chosen a representative sample of the university population based on sex, age, and level of sport
involvement. Of the 100 respondents, 75 were male and 25 female. The age of the respondents was 21±3 years.

The following graphs indicate the sport consumer attitudes of the sponsor product (soft drink) and the sponsored (football club).
There were no significant differences between the two groups using by T-test for independent samples with Statistica
for Windows program. Using Factor analysis I managed to identify the common image attributes of the sponsor (soft
drink) and sponsored (football club). I was able to determine those image attributes that can be transferred.

Using this method by the marketers of the football clubs will be able to evaluate their own sponsor and their event our
group image features. Measuring of the image attributes has to be the first step of the sponsoring relationship. This
created model can be applied to a sport itself, other sportclubs, and sportsperson.

[1]. Alain, F., & Monique, P. (1996). Image Sponsoring: A methodology to match event and sponsor. Journal of Sport
Management, 10, pp. 278-291.
[2]. IEG Reports. (2001, December 18). IEG forecast: Sponsorship spending growth will slow in 2001. IEG Reports.
[3]. Lizhong, G., & Rick, B.(2002). Sport sponsorship in China: Transition and revolution. Sport Marketing Quarterly,
11(1), pp. 20-32.
[4]. Nancy, L. L. , Richard, L.I., (2001). A comparative analysis of sponsorship objectives for U.S. women’s sport and traditional Sport Sponsorship. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 10(4), pp. 202-211.

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