Case study: The network approach to international sport sponsorship arrangement

Rami Olkkonen (Research Fellow, Turku School of Economics and Business Administration, Turku, Finland)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Publication date: 1 July 2001


Offers a discussion on the interorganizational network approach as an interesting, alternative avenue for the development of sponsorship research. An example of how to describe and analyze a sport sponsorship arrangement case, using the interorganizational network approach as a theoretical frame of reference, is presented. Researching sports sponsorship from a network perspective extends the interorganizational network thinking from a traditional industrial/marketing channel context to the context of sponsorship formed by actors from the fields of sports, media and business. The phenomenon of networking is quite visible in the case of NMP‐FIS sponsorship arrangement. NMP has entered into relationships with various types of organizations in order to more effectively gain benefits from its sponsorship investment. Actors of the NMP’s focal snowboard sponsorship net possess different kinds of resources linked to public relations management, sports management and distribution of television rights. Different network actors bring to the arrangement not only their own resources and capabilities, but also their own networks of value adding relationships. Consequently, when planning international sponsorships companies need to assess not only the sponsored event/organization (its resources) but also its corresponding network (ability to link activities and tie resources with those of other actors), i.e. the “network identity” of the sponsored. The case presented clearly demonstrates the appropriateness of the network approach to sponsorship and other service‐oriented situations different from the “traditional” production situations. Further research could continue to add examples from other kinds of sponsorship relationships and networks, for example, from different kinds of sports and arts sponsorship arrangements. Furthermore, longitudinal perspectives are needed in order to gain understanding of the development processes of sponsorship relationships and networks.



Olkkonen, R. (2001), "Case study: The network approach to international sport sponsorship arrangement", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 309-329.

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Copyright © 2001, MCB UP Limited

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