Sponsorship networks: toward an innovative model

Nicolas Chanavat (Department of Sport Marketing, Université Paris-Saclay, Orsay, France)
Michel Desbordes (Department of Sport Marketing, Université Paris-Saclay, Orsay, France)
Geoff Dickson (School of Sport and Recreation, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand )

Sport, Business and Management

ISSN: 2042-678X

Publication date: 12 September 2016



Sponsorship rarely occurs in a one sponsor-one sponsee dyad (single sponsorship), yet a large portion of sponsorship research takes this perspective. The purpose of this paper is to propose a model that reflects the complexity and rich diversity inherent in the field. The sponsorship network model considers the plurality of stakeholders to a sponsorship and their potential relationships to each other.


This conceptual paper develops a theoretical and conceptual framework to better identify the effect of sponsorship networks on consumer behavior.


Based on a review of the multiple sponsorships literature, the authors propose an innovative theoretical framework and a set of research propositions. The model considers simultaneously the potential relations between sponsors, sponsees and ambushers at the cognitive, affective and conative levels.


This research emphasizes the managerial implications for stakeholders involved in sponsorship and ambush marketing actions in order to maximize their investment. The model provides a comprehensive understanding of the complex nature of sponsorship networks and their ability to influence consumer behaviors. These effects are more complex than is currently recognized.



Chanavat, N., Desbordes, M. and Dickson, G. (2016), "Sponsorship networks: toward an innovative model", Sport, Business and Management, Vol. 6 No. 4, pp. 424-439. https://doi.org/10.1108/SBM-12-2015-0041

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