Welcome to the final issue of the year. Reflecting the international status of the journal, contributions for this issue have emanated from five different countries. The interview, conducted by David Stotlar, is with Ron Seaver, President and founder of both Seaver Marketing Group and the National Sports Forum. Seaver brings his 16 years of sports marketing experience to bear on a range of topical issues, including the continuing rise in property rights and the effects of the labour disputes that have affected professional basketball and baseball recently in North America. Seaver suggests that, probably as a consequence, there is an increased dissatisfaction with the return on sponsorship investments and a rise in sponsors trying to create and promote their own events.
The Research and Reviews section contains three articles. The first, by Nick Ashill and his colleagues from Victoria University in New Zealand, provides an examination of various consumer-related attitudes to sponsorship. In so doing, they offer a set of constructs that they suggest will be useful in helping sponsorship managers to assess and distinguish among various possible consumer reactions to different aspects of a particular sponsorship. This is followed by a paper from the University of Oregon’s Rick Burton with two colleagues from Australia that examines the ways in which athletes with “controversial” images, such as Denis Rodman, Allen Iverson and Eric Cantona, have been used to endorse particular products. The attraction of such individuals, and the potential outcomes for firms that employ this type of athlete, are explored. The third paper in this section, by consultant Laura Cousens and two co-researchers, adopts an innovative approach to examine the way in which the National Basketball Association has moved from a “traditional” to a “network” approach to its marketing ventures. Focusing on one of the most innovative sports marketing organisations in the world, Cousens and her colleagues highlight useful lessons for both practitioners and academics.
The final contribution, in the Industry Analysis section, is by London-based consultant Louella Miles. In a piece based on part of her book, “Successful sport sponsorship: Lessons from football”, Miles uses a case study of Green Flag’s sponsorship of the England national soccer team to highlight the importance of research for sponsors keen to maximise the return on their sponsorship investment.
As we reach the end of our second year of publication it only remains for me to thank all of our contributors, reviewers, and production staff (particularly Project Manager Jane Leigh and publisher Gabriel Engelhard) for their hard work over the last year. I would also like to wish everybody a very happy festive season and a peaceful and prosperous New Year. I look forward to working with you again in 2001.
John Amis, PhD Editor December 2000