Sporting Rivalry As A Leveraging Approach In Sports Sponsorships

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Small and medium-sized sponsors are of outstanding importance as a whole for the financing of sport (Heiden et al., 2012). However, they share the attention at the same sponsorship level with other sponsors and often have only limited resources to leverage their sport sponsorship (Cornwell et al., 2005). Previous studies have shown that the higher the identification with the sponsee, the stronger is the consumer's intention to consume the sponsor's products (Cornwell & Coote, 2005). In this context, previous research has considered rivalry between two sports clubs as a risk factor in sports sponsorship. This study examines the extent to which the integration of rivalry in leveraging the sport sponsorship of small and medium-sized sponsors has a positive impact on the identification of consumers with the sponsee and further positive effects for the sponsor, while controlling for aggressiveness. Previous studies show a clear dislike of the rival's sponsors (Bee & Dalakas, 2015; Bergkvist, 2012; Dalakas & Levin, 2005). The integration of rivalry into a sponsor's leveraging measures reinforces this negative effect among the rival's fans, but also leads to positive effects among the sponsee's fans (Bauer et al., 2012). As long as the number of supporters of the sponsee is significantly larger, a positive overall effect can be assumed. Leveaging sponsorship with a thematic reference to rivalry bears the danger of increasing the aggressiveness between the two rival sports organisations, which can result in violent riots between fans as well as in negative consequences for the sponsor’s reputation. Considering the limited market area of small and medium-sized sponsors, this research would like to address the following research question: To what extent has the integration of rivalry in leveraging the sport sponsorship positive effects on the identification with the sponsee and more importantly on the sponsor’s brand? With the lens of the social identity theory and considering the existing sponsorship literature the following hypothesises are tested: The integration of rivalry in leveraging the sport sponsorship … H1: … has a positive impact on the perceived sponsor fit. H2: … increases the fan’s identification with the sponsee. H3: … has a positive impact on the sponsor’s brand distinctiveness/brand attitude. In order to test the hypothesises, the researchers opted for an experimental study design. Two short videos (26 seconds each) were produced for this purpose. In one video, the sponsor leverages the sponsorship without any reference to the rivalry, while the second video explicitly addresses the rivalry. The rivalry between the two German ice hockey clubs Cologne Sharks and Duesseldorfer EG serves as the object of investigation. A local brewery as sponsor of the Cologne Sharks offers its beer almost exclusively in Cologne. The integration of rivalry into the leveraging of the sponsorship takes place from the perspective of the sponsor. The fans of the Cologne Sharks were asked to participate in the scientific study via a newsletter of the club (approx. 4,000 recipients). 764 fans took part in the survey, of which 453 completed the survey. The final sample consists of 407 respondents (34.1 % female, average age 47 years), which correctly answered the three questions regarding the manipulation check (group 1/rivalry: n=204; group2/without rivalry: n=203). The data analysis is carried out with SPSS and focuses on mean value comparisons using t-tests between the two groups. The respondents showed above-average interest in ice hockey (MV: 6.4 | STD: .86) and a high level of identification with the Cologne ice hockey club (MV: 5.84 STD: 1.18). At an average of 6.20, the rivalry with the Duesseldorfer EG is rated just as highly as the perceived reciprocity of the rivalry (MV: 6.48). In both groups no significant differences could be found in this respect. With regard to the sponsor fit, a significant difference was found in the experimental group with the rivalry reference (MV: 4.61) compared to the second experimental group (MV: 4.31; p= .038). The effect strength according to Cohen, however, is weak at .205. Despite slight differences in the mean values (MV1: 3.56 | MV2: 3.33), no significant difference in brand distinctiveness was found. This also applies to the identification with the Cologne Sharks. The study helps to look at the predominantly negatively proven phenomenon of rivalry from a different perspective. The results show that rivalry can increase the sponsor fit, which is an important antecedent for sponsorship outcomes. No effects were identified for the sponsee’s identification and the sponsor’s brand distinctiveness. However, the study provides useful implications for small and medium-sized sponsors in the way that leveraging the sponsorship with rivalry increases the sponsor fit, which has a positive impact on the longer term. The long-term impacts of this leveraging strategy is a subject for further research as well as how the fans of the rivalry perceive the rivalry sponsorship leveraging. References: Bauer, H. H., Hattula, S., Grimm, A., & Ebertin, C. (2012). „Die dunkle Seite des Sponsoring“– Unliebsame Effekte von Rivalität auf die Sponsorenmarke. Marketing Review St.Gallen, 29(1), 54-60. Bee, C., & Dalakas, V. (2015). Rivalries and sponsor affiliation: Examining the effects of social identity and argument strength on responses to sponsorship-related advertising messages. Journal of Marketing Communications, 21(6), 408-424. Bergkvist, L. (2012). The flipside of the sponsorship coin: Do you still buy the beer when the brewer underwrites a rival team?. Journal of Advertising Research, 52(1), 65-73. Cornwell, T. B., & Coote, L. V. (2005). Corporate sponsorship of a cause: the role of identification in purchase intent. Journal of Business Research, 58(3), 268-276. Dalakas, V., & Levin, A. M. (2005). The balance theory domino: How sponsorships may elicit negative consumer attitudes. Advances in Consumer Research, 32, 91-97. Madrigal, R. (2001). Social identity effects in a belief–attitude–intentions hierarchy: Implications for corporate sponsorship. Psychology & Marketing, 18(2), 145-165.
Titel in ÜbersetzungSportliche Rivalität als Aktivierungsansatz im Sportsponsoring
TitelConnecting sport practice & science - book of abstracts : the 27th European Sport Management Conference, 3rd-6th September 2019 - Seville, Spain
Redakteure/-innenTim Breitbarth, Guillaume Bodet, Álvaro Fernández Luna, Pablo Burillo Naranjo, Gerardo Bielons
Herausgeber (Verlag)EASM
ISBN (Print)978-84-09-14068-8
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2019
VeranstaltungEuropean Sport Management Conference: connecting sport practice & science - Melia Hotel, Sevilla, Spanien
Dauer: 03.09.201906.09.2019
Konferenznummer: 27

ID: 4128965

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