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Competitive advantage through sponsorship: A conceptual model and research propositions

John Fahy (University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland)
Francis Farrelly (Department of Marketing, Monash University, Caulfield East, Australia)
Pascale Quester (School of Commerce, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 1 August 2004



The increasingly important role played by sponsorship in the marketing mix has given rise to the view that it should be considered a strategic activity with the potential to generate a sustainable competitive advantage in the marketplace. This paper extends that line of argument through the development of a conceptual model of the sponsorship – competitive advantage relationship. In particular, it argues that two levels of competitive advantage need to be considered, namely the competitive advantage of the sponsorship and competitive advantage in the market. Critical to attaining an advantage in the competitive world of sponsorship is the deployment of a range of organisational resources to support the sponsorship investment. A series of research propositions are advanced showing the relative importance of different organisational resources. Effectively resourced sponsorships generate a competitive advantage in the “market” for sponsorships, which in turns leads to competitive advantage and superior performance in product markets. The implications for research and practice are discussed and conclusions are drawn.



Fahy, J., Farrelly, F. and Quester, P. (2004), "Competitive advantage through sponsorship: A conceptual model and research propositions", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 38 No. 8, pp. 1013-1030.



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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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