Qualitative Research of Football Sponsorships Student Name: Daria Borshcheva Student Number: 0160674537 Module Code: LMK 2004 Module Title: Research Methods for Business & Marketing Due Date: 15th December 2017 Word Count: 2200 Context and BackgroundSponsorship can be defined as when a business is involved inthe provisioning of funds, resources andservices for a professional sporting body in lieu of some rights or positionwithin the sporting body. This financialassistance may provide a support to the business to grow commercially, in theglobal arena. Sponsorship includes thepublicity of the investing team on the merchandise of the recipientorganization (Sport.nsw.gov.au, 2017).
Sports sponsorship is an age-old phenomenon. However, the concept has largely evolved overthe years. In this article, we wouldlike to throw light on the advent and evolution of Sports Sponsorship. The arena and scope of sports sponsorship have been discussed in details. Subsequently, the report also discusses the stages of evolution ofsports sponsorship in the various sporting fraternities of the world. Lastly, the article provides numerousillustrations on the sporting practices and their consortium with the sportingsponsors. The types of sponsorship andtheir advantages and disadvantages have also been duly discussed.
This article focuses on a qualitativeanalysis of the sporting sponsorship in the arena of football. Football is a pre-dominant sport across theworld, which finds different variants in the differentcorners of the world. In line with that,the sponsorship practices are also variant. LiteratureSponsorship-relatedgoalsSponsorship-relatedgoals can be defined as the expectations or goals set by the sponsors, inexchange for the sponsorshipprovided. The primary goals of thesponsors are focused on the following:1. Theservice level of sports marketing for the respective club: The service level of the sporting clubs is animportant factor which is essential for the sponsors.
It has been understoodthat an increase in the quality of service can yield higher sponsorship values2. SportingPerformance of the clubs: The sportingperformance of the clubs plays an important role in the determination of thesponsorship values.Buildingblocks of the models of service qualityTheprimary building block of the models of service quality is the perception heldby the management regarding sponsor expectations.
It is also vital to note how the perceptionstranslate into service quality specifications. The next important building block is the quantum of the volume of sponsorships. It is important to maintain a balance betweenthe perceived services as part of the sponsorshipand the service expected by the sponsor.
This should translate into the needs of the sponsor. These requirements are firmly embedded in thepast experiences of the sponsor and the receiving party. Relationshipquality factorsThedifferent factors affecting the quality of a relationship are trust, mutualunderstanding, cooperation with each other, commitment towards the achievementof the goals and a vision towards the long-term perspective.
It is very crucial to ensure that the contentof sponsorship is maintained at the optimum level (Dietl and Schweizer, 2017). Sponsorship can be defined as a mutuallyadvantageous relationship a sponsor provides benefits to the sponsored in lieuof certain measurable objectives. It isused to reach a wide range of audience across the area of influence of therespective sports. It is an effectivemethod used to penetrate the target market and increase the customer outreachof the respective brand. The variouskinds of sports sponsorships are shirt/team sponsorship, athlete sponsorship,event sponsorship, event rights and broadcasting rights. The benefits of sporting partnerships fromthe perspective of the owners of the receiving organizations are the creation of promotional opportunities.
Improvement in customer relationships, gaining publicity, increasing the publicawareness of the brand. Inview of the above details, it is essential to establish a sound theoreticalframework for the proliferation of sponsorships in football and othergames. The step-by-step framework forthe same is established in the subsequent sections. Theoretical FrameworkTheprimary objective of sports sponsorships is to create a framework for subtlepublicity of their brands and products. The primary expectation of this mode of endorsement is to create a lessskeptical response in the minds of the consumers, as opposed to their responseto advertisements. Sports involve a wide array of consumers ranging fromfans and participants, transcending geographical and cultural boundaries(Davies, Veloutsou and Costa, 2017). Theglobalization has been boosted with the intervention of mass coverage throughtelevision and the internet.
It isimportant to include the core tenets of business in the operation of sportssponsorships – strategy, teamwork and the zeal to achieve a common goal. The theoretical framework of the receivingorganization’s goals are as follows:· The higher the level of sponsorsatisfaction, the higher is the received sponsorship income.· The sponsorship received incomeis directly influenced by the positive image emerging from sponsorships.Philosophical StanceSponsorshiphas a strong relationship with the philosophical framework of the sportingcommunity. The importance of sponsorshipis crucial in the world of sporting owing to the growing focus on marketing and business. With the advent of sponsorships, it has beenseen that the focus is shifting from sports to the attractive world ofendorsements. The compensation for theathletes varies with respect to the performance of the associates. Hence, it has been observed that the playershave been playing for their own benefit as opposed to the collective benefit ofthe entire team (Villanovau.
com, 2017). A signed contract imparts the rights to use the image and other detailsof the player by the sponsor. Thiscreates a difficult balance between the player, the club, and the sponsor. In certain cases, it spoils the relationshipbetween the player and the team, thereby impacting the performance of thecountry. Methodical FrameworkItis crucial to institute a methodical framework in the arena of sportssponsorships to ensure that the amount of conflict between the participatingorganizations is kept to a minimum. Aspart of this, the following steps need to be covered:1.
The signing of a legal contract: It is crucial to draw a clear contract between the participatingentities. It has to be ensured that thenations of the respective entities are bound under the provisions of thecontract. 2. Finalizationof the mutual goals and objectives: Atthe outset, both the entities should finalize their goals and objective. 3. Conductingperiodic communication between the organizations: A clear communication planneeds to be established between both the entities.
The communication hierarchy in the respectiveorganizations needs to be finalized4. Ensuringthat periodic meetings are conducted between the various stakeholders: A clear meeting frequency and plan needs tobe established between the participating entities.5. Participationof the various levels of users in the relationships: All the levels of users who play a role inthe relationship should be asked for their views.6. Finalizationof the tenets of ethics: The ethical considerations of both the parties needsto be considered before forging a relationship.Ethics In most cases, sponsorship is not a philanthropic activity. Rather, it is a mutually beneficial businessarrangement.
There are certain ragingissues which need to be addressed under the umbrella of business ethics. The primary issue concerning a business lies in the verification of the legitimacyof a particular brand. It is alsoimportant to study the previous association and events of theorganization.
The ongoing social andenvironmental aspects of the organization, with respect to the currenttimes. For instance, an organization mightbe involved in the creation of a very high carbon footprint index. In order to achieve this, it is essential tostudy the behavior of the organization over the last decade.Method ofsports sponsorshipThe methods available for sports sponsorships can be brandedunder two categories – Evaluation of the return on investment on a particularsponsorship investment and the evaluation of the viability of a particularinvestment. The performance of asponsorship deal can be categorized into tangible performance and non-tangibleperformance. Tangible performance refersto the performance areas which can measure in a quantitative manner. On the other hand, non-tangible performancerefers to the performance areas which cannot be measured in a quantitative manner. The tangible performance areas are televisionbroadcast volume, web TV broadcast effectiveness, print media effectiveness,online coverage, social media coverage and onsite hospitality.
In the arena of football sponsorship, all theabove points are applicable. Onlinecoverage and social media coverage are new areas of sponsorship studies. These areas have come into being after theboom in technology. The intangible areasof performance can be categorized under four heads – asset performance, targetgroup performance, sponsorship performance and the impact of the sponsorshipupon the brand and the sales. The return on investment can be calculated as the sum totalof the individual’s performance with respect to the objectives of the branddivided by the total amount of sponsorship investments. The return on investment value ranges between-1 and +1. A sub-zero value indicatesthat the sponsor invests more in the sponsorship than he receives out ofit.
On the other hand, a value greaterthan 1 indicates that the partnership would be financially feasible for thesponsor. He/she shall receive more thanthey have invested. The above model is a generic model based on the definition ofreturn on investment. In addition to it,it includes the performance factors of a football sporting event. This ensures that the model can be adopted incase of any football-related sponsorship.Data AnalysisIn2012, the global sponsorship market has been estimated at around $ 40 bn USDollars. This market was expected toreach $45 bn US Dollars in 2015. TheNorth American unit accounts for about 70% of the entire market (Statista,2017).
The details of the sponsorshipdetails from 2007 to 2017 have beendetailed below: Year Volume of sponsorship (in bn $) 2007 37.9 2008 43.1 2009 44 2010 46.3 2011 48.6 2012 51.1 2013 53.1 2014 55.
3 2015 57.5 2016 60.1 2017 62.
8 Source:(Statista, 2017)Source:(Statista, 2017). Ascan be seen from the graph, there is a steady increase in the value of sponsorshipsfrom 2007 to 2017. The following tabledepicts the percentage growth in sponsorship value on a year-on-year basis. Year Volume of sponsorship (in bn $) Growth in % 2007 37.9 13.
72 2008 43.1 2.09 2009 44 5.23 2010 46.3 4.97 2011 48.6 5.14 2012 51.
1 3.91 2013 53.1 4.14 2014 55.
3 3.98 2015 57.5 4.52 2016 60.1 4.
49 2017 62.8 Source:(Statista, 2017). Source:(Statista, 2017).
Basedon the graph, it can be seen that the growth was spectacular in the initialdays of the sponsorship deals. Subsequently, the expectations of the sponsors started increasing, owingto which the sponsorship amount was stabilized around a particular benchmark. LimitationsThelimitations of the study include the following:· The parameters of sponsorshipvary from organization to organization: The definition and parameters for theacceptance of sponsorship vary from oneorganization to another. This poses achallenge in designing a new framework every time a new requirement arises.· It is difficult to measure theparameters of success: The parameters ofsuccess are difficult to measure as they are qualitative in nature.· Cost: The cost of sponsoring football teams ishuge. Owing to this, it is difficult,sometimes impossible, for small companies to participate in the process.
In addition, the price for sponsorship isrising exponentially every year.· Moral IssuesThemoral failings of a particular sportsperson or the club have a direct relationship with the product which is beingadvertised.· Return on InvestmentAlthoughthe return on investment on sporting sponsorship investments is very high,there are various other factors which impact the actual value of the ROI. For example, the precipitation levels in acertain year might impact the occurrence of the event. This shall have a direct impact on the returnon the sporting investments. · The other considerations whichimpact the sporting sponsorships are the timing of the advertisements. It has been seen that the broadcasting ofendorsements during a nail-biting climax shall yield much better results than the broadcasting of endorsements early onin the game.
Contributions and ConclusionsHence,it has been concluded that sponsorship plays a pivotal role in the arena ofsports, especially in the football playing fraternities. It is a healthy two-way relationship betweenthe sponsor and the receiving organization or individual, leading to benefitson both the sides. Football is anextremely popular sporting practice across the globe, especially in the United Kingdom. The reach and penetration of the game offerhuge benefits to the companies involved in sponsorships. Similarly, the teams also gain multipleadvantages like better sporting facilities inassociation with a brand. Sponsorshipplays a pivotal role in the making of any football club since it provides awide array of opportunities, which would not have been availableotherwise. The number of sponsors andthe receiving organizations has increased exponentially in the last decade.
Owing to this, it is important to maintain a structured process of providingsponsorship and measuring its achievable outcomes. This can be achieved by instilling aprocess-oriented framework on both the sides. This framework needs to be installed in place before a sponsor-receiverrelationship is established. Instead ofrelying on the experience ofsportspersons, it is important to treat the entire process as a key businessdeal. It will ensure that the process isaccomplished in an efficient and effective manner.ReferencesDavies, F., Veloutsou,C.
and Costa, A. (2017). Investigating the Influence of a JointSponsorship of Rival Teams on Supporter Attitudes and Brand Preferences.
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