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Over, out, but present: recalling former sponsorships

Alexander Edeling (Department of Marketing and Market Research, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany)
Stefan Hattula (Department of Marketing, University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany)
Torsten Bornemann (Department of Marketing, University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 11 July 2017




This study aims at developing and testing a conceptual model that shows the antecedents of the recall of a former sponsorship.


Primary (n = 1,146) and secondary data from German professional soccer build the empirical base for this research. Multilevel logistic regression is used for data analysis.


The results show that retroactive interferences in the form of replacement sponsors for the same object reduce the recall of a former sponsorship, while the mere passage of time does not have a significant main effect. To counteract such forgetting, the empirical analysis shows that sponsor managers can influence recall of a former sponsorship positively after sponsorship termination by switching to a lower-level sponsorship for the same object or by engaging in subsequent sponsorships with other congruent objects in the same context.

Research limitations/implications

The focus on one type of sponsorship (sport sponsorship) in one country (Germany) is the main limitation of this research.

Practical implications

The findings of this paper should encourage managers to consider the long-term consequences of sponsorship engagements beyond the duration of the sponsorship contract. Managers can influence the recall of a sponsorship not only prior to and during an engagement, but also after the loss of sponsorship rights.


Previous research on former sponsorships has mainly focused on the phenomenon of former sponsor recall per se, without considering the determinants of the construct. This paper contributes to sponsorship literature by showing that the number of replacement sponsorships, a construct unique to the former sponsorship context, dominates the time since sponsorship ending as the main driver of forgetting. Moreover, it provides managers with new post-sponsorship strategies that help maintaining the recall of a former sponsorship at a high level.



All authors contributed equally to the study. The authors are especially grateful to Marc Fischer, Johannes Hattula, Alexander Himme, Oliver Schnittka and David M. Woisetschl├Ąger for their helpful comments on previous versions of this manuscript.


Edeling, A., Hattula, S. and Bornemann, T. (2017), "Over, out, but present: recalling former sponsorships", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 51 No. 7/8, pp. 1286-1307.



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