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An examination of sports sponsorship from a small business perspective

J. Terence Zinger (Professor of Finance and Small Business Management, Faculty of Management, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada P3E 2C6)
Norman J O'Reilly (Associate Professor of Sport Management, University of Ottawa)

International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship

ISSN: 1464-6668

Article publication date: 1 July 2010



This paper responds to the need for more investigation into the "conceptual underpinnings of sponsorships" (Gardner & Shuman, 1988, p.44) by investigating the spectrum of opportunities that are available to small firms - whether as sports donors or as bona fide sponsors - through the prism of small business Stages of Development theory. A multiple case study approach is employed to explore the nature of sponsorship activities being undertaken by small enterprises and to contribute to the advancement of the authors' 'philanthropy-sponsorship' continuum.

This research makes two contributions. First, it presents the classifications of 'patronage' versus 'semistrong sponsorship' versus 'fully functioning sponsorship' relationships, based on the nature of the expected benefits. Second, it evaluates the small business/sports property interface from the perspective of small business phases of development and proposes a framework for linking the small firm to sports sponsorship outcomes.



Zinger, J.T. and O'Reilly, N.J. (2010), "An examination of sports sponsorship from a small business perspective", International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp. 14-32.



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Copyright © 2010 by Winthrop Publications Limited

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