An Analysis of Sponsorship Deals in Sport

John Douvis, Elena Sarli, Athanasios Kriemadis, Ourania Vrondou

Year: 2015 Volume: 17 Issue: b

Pages: 14-36

Abstract: Due to the increasing financial value of sport sponsorship, the selection of a sponsorship partner and the development of the sponsorship deal are crucial issues for sports businesses. This study examines the sponsorship selection and development process between football teams and their sponsors. This study is exploratory. Nine case studies were conducted involving three professional, premier league football clubs and six sponsoring organizations, two major sponsors of each club. Results were analysed with content analysis. Findings indicate that the most important selection criteria used from both sides are fit in corporate values of the two partners; revenue opportunities, and possible image enhancement from the deal. Also, results show that both sides use a structured process for developing the sponsorship deal that includes 3 major stages, information collection; preparation and presentation of proposal, and negotiations and contract sign. Also, we find that the sport property only sends proposals whereas the sponsor only receives; the actors in each stage of the process vary, and the extent of the process is affected by the duration and quality of the relationship between the two partners. The study involves nine cases and has limited generalizability. Future research should substantiate results in other settings and using quantitative methods. The findings of this study help sport managers to structure and formalize their sport sponsorship selection and development process. This way sport entities will be able to select the best possible partners for sponsorship and exploit to the fullest extent the money involved from both sides of the partnership (sponsors and sponsees). For the first time a structured process for development of new sponsorship deals is designed. This can help sport managers in managing sponsorships effectively and fast.