The underlying motivation of this paper is the investigation of the impact sport sponsorship has on a brand. As sport sponsorship is scholarly considered to be a powerful brand equity building method, this communication tool gains globally in importance by contributing essentially to business success. While the popularity increases, simultaneously the investments, necessary for an efficient realization, rise. Nonetheless even though sponsorship is frequently applied, the evaluation is mainly based on quantitative terms (e.g. media tracking), neglecting the qualitative impacts.
In order to gain meaningful data, which allows generalization, the study is based on the sport sponsorship involvement of Löfbergs Lila AB at the hockey club Färjestad BK. A quantitative research strategy is applied by the conduction of a survey within the pre-defined target audience of hockey affine people.
Three propositions from different perspectives are used to investigate the main research question and provide a broader picture of the topic. Therefore in order to answer the research question, Does sport sponsorship especially in terms of brand image and brand awareness in a particular target group affect the sponsor’s brand?, brand awareness, brand image and sponsor-fit are examined separately.
The study has shown that brand knowledge (brand awareness, brand image) is directly influenced by sport sponsorship efforts. The findings state a positive impact and associations, whereby no direct effect in terms of customers’ brand loyalty can be observed. Nevertheless according to the in the paper developed conceptual model, an influence on brand loyalty building variables is not dependent on sponsorship efforts, rather on the brand’s underlying product attributes, satisfying customer needs and requirements.
In general sport sponsorship is a meaningful tool, but requires integration in a diversified marketing communication-mix in order to tap the full potential.