An introduction to sponsorships as a marketing communication is given. The factors underlying the growth of sponsorship are summarised and the changes currently taking place are outlined: the new type of sponsor; the changing patterns of sponsorship expenditure; the better range and quality of support services; the development of a global perspective. The future prospects are summarised. The nature of sponsorship is shown to be a versatile medium, fulfilling many of the basic functions performed by other elements of the marketing communications mix, although it may be perceived both by sponsors and recipients as not being a wholly legitimate process.
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