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Sponsor recall in sports events of short duration: empirical evidence from swimming competitions

Ho Keat Leng (National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)

International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship

ISSN: 1464-6668

Article publication date: 2 May 2017




The majority of sponsorship studies were conducted on sports events of a long duration. Given that sponsor recall is affected by duration of exposure, the purpose of this paper is to examine whether sponsorship of an event of a shorter duration can be equally effective.


In total, 241 respondents were randomly distributed to one control group and three experimental groups. In all groups, respondents were tasked to watch a video clip of a swimming event lasting less than ten minutes.


In the control group (n=74), the mean number of correctly recalled brands was 2.26 (SD=1.31). This was comparable to the mean number of recalled brands in earlier studies on sports events of longer duration. In experimental group 1 (n=37), respondents watched a video clip without the logos of the sponsors along the length of the pool. The findings suggest that signages along the competition arena may have limited effect on the recall rate and that brand prominence affects the recall rate. In experimental group 2 (n=68), respondents were tasked to watch a swimming event with longer duration. In this case, the longer duration of exposure led to a significantly higher number of brands recalled (M=2.94, SD=1.36) as compared to the control group. In experimental group 3 (n=62), respondents were tasked to focus on the swimming event. When spectators were more involved in the swimming event, there was a significant decrease in the number of brands recalled (M=1.87, SD=1.35) when compared to the control group. The results from experimental groups 2 and 3 suggest that duration of exposure and spectator involvement affects the recall rate of sponsors.

Research limitations/implications

The findings suggest that sponsorship of sports events with a short duration can be as effective as longer events although this is dependent on the prominence of the sponsor, duration of the event and spectator involvement.

Practical implications

Given that many sports events are now broadcasted on YouTube and other social media where the duration is typically short, it suggests that sponsors may also benefit from sports events that are broadcasted on these platforms.


The paper provides useful information on sponsor recall and its relationship to duration of exposure.



Leng, H.K. (2017), "Sponsor recall in sports events of short duration: empirical evidence from swimming competitions", International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 138-148.



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