ISSN : 1464-6668
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International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship

The International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship publishes peer reviewed research, case studies, comment and interviews from academics and industry experts. Published quarterly, it is the only sports journal to have met the rigorous standards required for a listing by both PsycINFO and SSCI.
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Latest issue   Volume 16   Number 1   October 2014

Could sponsorship polarity damage sport?Could sponsorship polarity damage sport?

Over the years we have frequently published the phrase 'uncertainty of outcome’ in the Journal. It is fundamental to the attraction of sport; it is why there is such a premium on live, as opposed to delayed, broadcast of sport. Quite simply, if we know what is going to happen, then sport is diluted.

A new report from our sister publication Sponsorship Today has analysed the sponsorship deals in Europe’s top soccer leagues. It includes 1,179 deals from 116 clubs in six leagues and offers the startling finding that Manchester United now accounts for 11% of the total revenue. In sponsorship terms Manchester United receives 96 times the income of the lowest-earning club in the English Premier League (Burnley).

Similar results were found in Spain, where Barcelona and Real Madrid dominate, and France, where Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) earns approximately 50% of the entire Ligue 1 club sponsorship revenue. The danger for the future of sport is that a select few clubs could start to earn so much more money than others that their competitive advantage widens to an unassailable chasm.

We have almost reached this point in some countries. Atletico Madrid’s heroics last season saw it pip Barcelona to the Spanish title, but it was the first time for ten years that one of the ‘big two’ had failed to take the prize. In Scotland, Celtic pretty much have the title wrapped up before a ball is kicked because their only serious rival, Rangers, was relegated due to financial irregularities. In France and Germany, both with very competitive leagues in recent years, PSG and Bayern Munich respectively are widening the financial gap to such an extent that sporting competition is looking compromised. In England, Manchester United have just splashed out more than $200 million on new players, while other clubs are having their hands tied by UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rule, which states that clubs must operate within their budget.

European soccer doesn’t have the checks and balances seen in the USA where, for example, the lowest performing clubs have first pick of the rookie draft.

It would, of course, be hypocritical of a journal promoting professionalism in sports marketing to call for a halt to clubs maximising their revenues through such a source. At the same time, we have to appreciate that the genie that we have helped to release from the bottle is causing problems for sporting competition. We have to encourage those second string teams to take a more professional attitude to their own marketing. There is a lot more that can be done by the likes of Burnley to remain competitive, but frequently such clubs show a lack of adventure and professionalism when it comes to sports marketing. Finally, we need to encourage a new debate on how the sports industry can help sport to remain competitive. Journal readers and contributors are some of the most knowledgeable and insightful in the world of sport, and I would encourage you to consider this issue in your research.

On the subject of knowledge, I am pleased to announce that our publisher IMR has recently made a dramatic change to its content offering. All library subscribers can now access all of the company’s sports marketing content. This includes every back issue of the Journal going back to 1999 as well as a wide range of sports marketing management reports. You will receive a letter with this edition explaining how to log in. Please use this valuable source of content to further your research and knowledge.

Michel Desbordes, Editor

Paper 1
Sponsorship effectiveness in professional sport: an examination of recall and recognition among football fans
Rui Biscaia, Universidade Europeia, Portugal
Abel Correia, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal
Stephen Ross, Iniversity of Minnesota, USA
This research aims to examine football fans’ awareness of their team sponsors and to compare sponsorship awareness between season ticket holders and casual spectators. Data was collected from among fans of a professional football team and results revealed that spectators recall ‘top of mind’ those sponsors with their logo displayed on the team shirts. Thus, being visible from the stadium stands is important to ensure recall rates. Fans are typically able to properly recognise sponsors and non-sponsors of their team. However, some competitor brands engaged in football sponsorship are incorrectly recognised as sponsors of a team. Finally, the number of brands recalled and recognised correctly by season ticket holders is significantly higher than for casual spectators. The research findings, managerial implications, limitations and future research directions are discussed.
Paper 2
Customer productivity in technology-based self-service of virtual golf simulators
Taehee Kim, Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea
Hyomin Seo, Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea
Kyungro Chang, Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea
Boosting productivity in the service sector is a key priority for promoting long-term growth. To have customers perform certain tasks normally undertaken by employees is an important means to improving productivity. Technological innovation has influenced business practices for several decades and many service firms, including sports service firms, are now utilising technology extensively to reduce the use of labour. This study investigates how the user’s perception of technology-based self-service (TBSS) affects customer productivity and how the customer productivity evaluated by TBSS influences the customer’s intentions to reuse in relation to a virtual golf simulator – a successful and seriously played game in Korea.
Paper 3
Understanding purchasing intentions in secondary sports ticket websites
Taesoo Ahn, Merrimack College, USA
Jin Kyun Lee, Hongik University, South Korea
Paul M. Pedersen, Indiana University, USA
The purpose of this study was to examine purchasing intentions in online sports ticketing websites. Based on previous research related to business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce, this study developed a conceptual model to test the effect of perceived risk, trust and the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) on purchase intentions in online secondary ticket websites. College students (N = 251) from the northeastern region of the United States were chosen as the sample. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was used to investigate the proposed relationships among four major components (i.e. perceived risk, trust, TAM and behavioural intention). The results showed that there were positive effects of key TAM constructs (i.e. perceived usefulness and ease of use) and trust on purchasing intention, but perceived risk was not a significant indicator of purchase intention.
Paper 4
The effects of endorsement strength and celebrity-product match on the evaluation of a sports-related product: the role of product involvement
Jung-Gyo Lee, Kyung Hee University, South Korea
Jaejin Park, Pusan National University, South Korea
The primary question motivating this study is how message characteristics influence the persuasiveness of celebrity athlete endorsements as used in print advertising for a sports drink. In particular, this study examines the extent to which celebrity endorsement of a product influences the effectiveness of advertising under varying degrees of perceived fit between the celebrity and the product image. The findings indicate that the process of integrating endorsement strength with given endorsers and products can substantially enhance the effectiveness of celebrity advertising. It is found that the interactive effect of endorsement strength and celebrity-product match is more pronounced among consumers with high product involvement than among those with low involvement.
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