We’ve all done it. We hear the news that a company has entered into a new sponsorship with a rights holder. Company A has sponsored Rights Holder B, and, in a split second, we think to ourselves “Of course, that partnership makes sense” or, we think “What? How the hell do those brands go together?”
Interestingly, while there will most likely be a whole bunch of well thought out benefits, messages and activations in the partnership, it is your answer to the question of “Do they go together?” that communicates so much.
That’s why, the communication impact of a deal should not be underestimated by either rights holders or brands. In sports, fans are connected deeply with and are invested heavily in the rights holder and sponsorship deals can fuel either greater loyalty and connection, and that can be transferred to the sponsoring brand, or, it can fuel distaste.
“What? How the hell do those brands go together?”, was a common reaction to the seven-year, $600 million US agreement in 2012 in which U.S.-based Chevrolet became a sponsor of Manchester United.
That deal sparked an interest in how sponsorship deals convey subtle messages. David M. Woisetschläger, Christof Backhaus and T. Bettina Cornwell set out, in the context of sports, to examine how sponsorship deal characteristics affect consumer inferences, attitudes, and behavioural intentions toward a sponsor and a sport property in a partnership.
Here, Bettina provides some insights.
Their resulting research is titled Inferring Corporate Motives: How Deal Characteristics Shape Sponsorship Perceptions. It is a fascinating piece of research that has implications and learnings at all levels and that’s’ why we invited David, Christof and Bettina on the show so that we could break the research down into some easy to digest pieces.
You can connect with the authors at the following links
- T. Bettina Cornwell on Twitter @BettinaCornwell LinkedIn and ResearchGate
- David M. Woisetschläger on LinkedIn and ResearchGate
- Christof Backhaus on LinkedIn and at Aston Business School.
If you would like a copy of the research paper, in its final formatted form, the research team are happy to send the final paper, and more of their research, if contacted via e-mail or ResearchGate.
Also joining us on the show is Sam Irvine, SponServe’s Territory Manager for Australia and New Zealand, who discusses his latest blog about why you should utilise brand ambassadors and four steps to doing it well. You can read Sam’s full blog here.
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