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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 15   Number 4   July 2014

The legacy and the morality of mega-event spends

By the time you read this the 2014 FIFA World Cup will be over. The mega-event will have packed its bags and left Brazil, but not without a few questions remaining.

The build-up to ‘the greatest show on earth’ was not without controversy. First, a large proportion of the Brazilian public was unhappy about the cost of staging the event. Their understandable argument was that a lot could have been done with the $ billions invested in stadia, some of which are unlikely to be used again to their full capacity, in a country that faces severe problems of poverty and inequality.

The Journal has on many occasions looked at the value of mega-events to countries and the findings are inconclusive. In some cases, the expenditure has clearly been a very good investment. The most notable was probably the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, which stimulated a transformation of the city into a major international sports, tourism and business centre.

The local organising committee spent its budget wisely by renovating ageing facilities and developing a new waterfront area. It was regeneration that was desperately needed and would have had to be paid for anyway – the Olympics gave the city the chance to attract revenues that would otherwise not have been there. Likewise, Sydney in 2000 used the Games to showcase its potential and regenerate areas that were in need of new investment.

The World Cup in Germany in 2006 arguably gave the country the chance to build or renovate a series of stadia, which has helped its soccer industry to become one of the strongest financially in the World. South Africa (2010) presented itself as a country that could handle major projects and show that Africa was ready to embrace the 21st century, but it is arguable as to whether the $3 billion price tag was worth such a statement.

If all goes well in Brazil this year, the country will look forward to the Olympics in 2016. If, however, the national side has stuttered and there is a re-focus on cost, corruption and stadia that were being prepared at the last minute, the Rio Games could face a very bumpy ride. It is, therefore, arguable that the IOC took a huge risk in awarding the Games to Rio such a short time after the country had hosted the World’s only other mega-event.

The summer will see many people question the future of mega-events, the costs of which seem to be on a steep upward trajectory. Where vast amounts of money are being bid and spent, questions of incompetence, waste and corruption surely follow. FIFA has come under scrutiny for the nature of awarding the World Cup to Russia in 2018 and, in particular, Qatar in 2022, with allegations of bribery to the fore. The IOC had to deal with this issue after Salt Lake City in 2002 and made sure that there would never be a repeat. So far FIFA appears to be burying its head in the sand and the sponsors seem to be taking the issue more seriously than the governing body.

Clearly corruption has to be rooted out of mega- events in sport for moral and practical reasons. Sponsors do not want to be associated with anything that is tainted, and with several FIFA partners due to renew after the event, it will be fascinating to see how negotiations pan-out. Perhaps more importantly, major governing bodies need to re-evaluate how major events are staged and awarded. There is a danger that they are being perceived too much as national vanity projects with questionable legacies and this ultimately does no one any favours.

Michel Desbordes

Profile of Patrick Nally, founder, West Nally by Gerry Unwin and Simon Chadwick
Paper 1
The impact of new, renewal and termination sponsorship announcements on share price returns
Thomas S. Kruger, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Michael Goldman, University of San Francisco, USA
Mike Ward, University of Pretoria, South Africa
What impact do sports sponsorship announcements have on the share price returns of sponsoring firms? This research examines the impact of new, renewal and termination sponsorship announcements on returns, employing event study methodology to analyse 118 announcements made by 19 firms over more than 11 years. The mixed findings across all three announcement types indicate the lack of consideration given to sponsorship investment by investors. The findings suggest that, although firms may position their sponsorships so that they contribute towards a competitive advantage, announcements of sports sponsorships are not always taken into account by the market.
Paper 2
Self-congruence theory: towards a greater understanding of the global and malleable selves in a sports specific consumption context
Carolin Plewa, University of Adelaide, Australia
Karen Palmer, Marketing and Sales Manager, Stratford Arts Trust, UK
This paper proposes – through the integration of self-congruence, brand personality, sponsorship and sports spectator behaviour literatures – a conceptual framework to extend our current understanding of self-congruence in specific consumption situations. Initial empirical results support the proposed framework which shows that self-congruence based consumers’ orientation towards sports and brand personality is positively associated with sponsorship outcomes.
Paper 3
Strategic match of athlete endorsement in global markets: an associative learning perspective
Yonghwan Chang, University of Florida, USA
Yong Jae Ko, University of Florida, USA
Taehee Kim, Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea
Marketers worldwide consider athlete endorsement a highly effective promotional tool. However, little is known about consumers’ responses towards athlete endorsement in global markets – particularly the bi-directional image transfer mechanism. This study examines the image match between athlete endorsers and products using a three-dimensional visual map and comparing image perceptions towards athlete endorsements among respondent groups from Japan, Korea and the United States during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The results show that image perceptions of selected athlete endorsers, endorsed products and their match are significantly different in these markets.
Paper 4
Cost performance of Italian football clubs: analysing the role of marketing and sponsorship
Carlos Pestana Barros, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal
Vincenzo Scafarto, University of Cassino, Italy
António Samagaio, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal
This paper analyses the cost efficiency of Italian football clubs using a stochastic frontier model. The frontier estimation confirmed that the model fits the data well with all coefficients correctly signed and in line with the theoretical requirements. Marketing and Sponsorship is taken into account as an explanatory variable and the factors which contributed to these findings, as well as other policy implications, are provided.
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