Live Spectators View on Sponsorship in Sporting Events
Abstract: ABSTRACTThis study investigates how live spectators view sponsorship and sponsors’ marketing initiatives appearing in sporting events. Through constructing a relationship model central to sporting events, three relationships are demonstrated linking teams, sponsors and live spectators. This model is supported by previous literature on sporting events, marketing through sports, sponsorship, hedonic consumption and brand community. Eight individual interviews were conducted with the phenomenological approach exploring live spectators’ personal emotions and opinions narrating their unique sporting event experience. The findings imply that live spectators hold positive attitudes towards sponsorship but also require sponsors’ brands to fit with the team image. Live spectators show preference for sponsors’ brands when making purchasing decisions in daily life, but still expect that sponsors put effort into building active and friendly relationships with consumers and not only with teams.
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