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National Olympic Committee sponsorship in small states: a case study with a focus on the Caribbean region

Jeeyoon Kim (Department of Sport Management, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, USA)
Elizabeth Delia (Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts, USA)
Patrick Walsh (Department of Sport Management, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, USA)

Sport, Business and Management

ISSN: 2042-678X

Article publication date: 4 April 2022

Issue publication date: 2 January 2023

117

Abstract

Purpose

National Olympic Committees (NOCs) in small states operate in a unique market (e.g. small population, confined market and limited private sector) that brings challenges in securing sponsors and funding athletes. Whereas more than a quarter of International Olympic Committee (IOC)-recognized NOCs represent small states, not much is known about the sponsorship landscape in the market. This study explores the importance and challenges of NOC sponsorship in small states, with a focus on the Caribbean region.

Design/methodology/approach

Interviews were conducted with representatives from NOCs in Caribbean small states. Textual analyses were conducted with Leximancer to identify key themes on the importance and challenges of NOC sponsorship.

Findings

Athletes, funding and community were identified as key themes for the importance of NOC sponsorship. Olympic Movement, time, priority, resources and overcome were themes for sponsorship challenges. Compared to existing sponsorship knowledge driven from developed economies, known determinants for the sponsor's decision-making (e.g. interest in sport, competitor) were found to affect NOC sponsorship in Caribbean small states, but in distinctive ways. Particularly, the lacking appreciation of Olympic values and sport within society, resource constraints (e.g. volunteer-based and operating “within reality”) and competition against member federations and government were highlighted as unique situations/challenges faced in the market.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first to explore NOC sponsorship in the important, yet overlooked, market of Caribbean small states. Theoretical insights on how existing sponsorship knowledge applies to and practical implications for securing NOC sponsorship in the marginalized market are provided.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This project was funded by the Sport Marketing Association Research Grant and the Syracuse University’s Falk College Seed Grant.

Citation

Kim, J., Delia, E. and Walsh, P. (2023), "National Olympic Committee sponsorship in small states: a case study with a focus on the Caribbean region", Sport, Business and Management, Vol. 13 No. 1, pp. 57-73. https://doi.org/10.1108/SBM-09-2021-0097

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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