The Sport Sponsorship Process and Relationships : A Case Study of Sports Teams in Sweden
Authors: Niklas Hansson and Niklas Johansson
Supervisor: Svante Andersson
Keyword(s): Sponsorship, Sport sponsorship, Sponsorship fit, Sponsorship objectives, Sponsorship outcomes, Sponsorship approach
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to describe and explore how companies and sports teams decide to enter sponsorship agreements with each other. The purpose is also to explore the entire sponsorship process together with the specific relationships between sponsor/-s and sponsee/-s. This will be done in order to make a contribution to the research field of sponsorship in the context of sports teams.
Research Problem: How does the sponsorship process form and how do sponsors/ sponseeswork with their sponsorship relationships?
Method: The main methodological choice has been the abductive research method, where theories have been added and removed from the framework, in order to analyse data properly. A qualitative approach has been chosen and empirical data from eight organisations form two cases with three sponsors and one sponsee has been gathered. Primary data were collected from personal interviews and complemented with secondary data from websites and other material provided by the respondents.
Theoretical Framework: The theoretical framework consists of classic sponsorship theories,in order to form a solid theoretical base for the concept of sponsorship. These classics are presented together with more modern theories regarding sponsorship in connection to certain aspects of the process and relationships and thus making the theoretical framework current and up to date.
Conclusion: The process has been seen to take one out of two options, whereas a structured sponsorship process is one option and the other option is a rather unstructured sponsorship process. Sponsors and sponsees reported that they work increasingly with their networks and thus suggested that the network approach connected to sponsorship will grow more important in the upcoming years. Generally, it appears as if the main focus within sponsorship, in terms of fit, is how it works internally or within the agreement between sponsor and sponsee. Whether it signals something good or bad to the audience is therefore of no real interest or matter.
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