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Article
Publication date: 28 February 2019

Ruben Bagramian, Judith Madill, Norm O’Reilly, Sameer Deshpande, Ryan E. Rhodes, Mark Tremblay, Tanya Berry and Guy Faulkner

The purpose of this paper is to empirically test O’Reilly and Madill’s (2012) process model to assess social marketing elements of a multi-year partnership between…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically test O’Reilly and Madill’s (2012) process model to assess social marketing elements of a multi-year partnership between Coca-Cola Canada and a physical activity microgrant program, known as Teen Challenge, managed by ParticipACTION, a Canadian not-for-profit organization that champions sport and physical activity participation. ParticipACTION’s Teen Challenge is a multi-year initiative that was developed in 2008 and involves over 5,800 community organizations (COs) and over 500,000 Canadian teens across the nation (ParticipACTION, 2016).

Design/methodology/approach

A series of ten hypotheses related to the evaluation are tested using longitudinal data from event participants over a five-year period from 2009 to 2013.

Findings

The study revealed that sponsor and sponsee shared objectives around sport participation, including the three found in this study. Practically, this is a positive result for sport participation properties who might now consider this as part of a sponsorship sales strategy. The research found that both Coca-Cola Canada and ParticipACTION have the following shared objectives in this particular sponsorship: motivate and support youth to get active and live a healthy life; remove barriers that youth face in getting physically active; and encourage more COs to be involved in the program. Conceptually, this finding extends the discussion of shared social marketing objectives in sponsorship proposed by Madill and O’Reilly (2010).

Research limitations/implications

The findings support the sponsorship literature, in suggesting that shared objectives among sponsorship partners are important for the sponsorship to achieve successful outcomes (Cornwell et al., 2001). Shared sponsorship objectives can be utilized as a strategic tool for the sponsee to demonstrate the effectiveness of the program and to build a long-term relationship. The results of the logistic regression analysis indicate that COs which viewed partners’ collaboration as positive agreed that the Teen Challenge program made physical activity more accessible and affordable for youth.

Practical implications

This study provides several important implications for non-profit organizations that aim to establish an effective social marketing campaign. One way for non-profit organizations to build a strong relationship with sponsors was through positive collaboration where the two partners work together (e.g. activation) to maximize the sponsorship’s effectiveness. First, it increased youth participation in the Teen Challenge program and made it affordable for teens to participate in other physical activity programs. Second, it enhanced Coca-Cola’s image as supporters of active lifestyle in the eyes of COs. Finally, it affected the likelihood that COs would recommend the program.

Social implications

Results of the survey of COs that are registered with the program provides us with another important finding that positive partner collaboration is only one component of overall effectiveness. Another component would be to take action to communicate to COs that positive collaboration indeed took place in the sponsorship. One way to achieve this goal is to demonstrate to COs the importance of funding that the sponsor provides as well as the impact of sponsorship partners’ positive collaboration on the overall program. The authors also found that sponsorship partners’ positive collaboration in the delivery of the Teen Challenge program played an important role in whether COs recommend the program to others.

Originality/value

The results of this research contribute to the evaluation of the sponsorship of a health-oriented social marketing sponsorship of a sport participation property or sponsee (ParticipACTION) and a major brand as sponsor (Coca-Cola).

Details

International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1464-6668

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Article
Publication date: 10 January 2018

Norm O’Reilly, Tim Stroebel, Michael Pfahl and Jim Kahler

Sponsorship sales in professional sport is an area of increasing attention and growing investment, but the sport management literature offers only limited research about…

Abstract

Purpose

Sponsorship sales in professional sport is an area of increasing attention and growing investment, but the sport management literature offers only limited research about sales strategies and tactics. As a result, practitioners and academics alike have called for investigation in the area. In response to this need, the purpose of this paper is to empirically explore sponsorship sales in professional sport.

Design/methodology/approach

Sponsorship sales professionals working for sport properties in the four major North American sport leagues were surveyed on a variety of sponsorship sales-related variables and factors.

Findings

A total of 92 sponsorship sales professionals responded to the study, for an estimated 15.3 percent response rate. At the time of the data collection, the 92 respondents worked in the National Football League (NFL) (37), Major League Baseball (MLB) (16), National Basketball Association (NBA) (18), and National Hockey League (NHL) (21). A series of practical, conceptual, and comparative results are presented, highlighted by turnover as a problem, the importance of activation/servicing in sponsorship sales, and the high level of investment clubs are making in sponsorship sales.

Research limitations/implications

First, on “coverage,” the authors acknowledge that variations in the data can be linked, to a large extent, to reporting issues due to the nature of the study, the data, and the sample. Variations in sponsor number or training, for example, are not necessarily indicative of weaknesses in the industry, but occur because of strategic differences among properties. Second, it is important to note that not all properties had personnel respond to the study. Consequently, the figures presented in this study might be a function of the individual personnel who responded rather than a true average figure for a particular league. Third, in terms of the sample, this study deals with a very specific context in the four North American major sport leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL). Thus, one should be careful in generalizing to minor professional, collegiate, Olympic, or other sport contexts.

Practical implications

The finding of this paper states that the turnover of sponsors may be a structural issue and is certainly related to the demand for the particular property (Seaver Marketing Group, 2010). Driven by a number of factors, including technology shifts to digital channels and increased sophistication by the sponsorship sales departments of professional sport properties, a shift in the activation and service paradigm is reported and extended to the specific context of sponsorship sales.

Social implications

Results show that sport properties in the North American major sport leagues have a strong commitment to sponsorship sales by the organization (commitment of resources), by sport personnel (who support the business side), and by their sponsorship sales professionals who report satisfaction, motivation, and support from their property.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first empirical research study specific on sponsorship sales in professional sport, thus providing direction for practice and future research on an issue of high importance to the sport industry.

Details

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-678X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 May 2019

Norm O’Reilly, Sameer Deshpande, Guy Faulkner, Amy Latimer, Allana Leblanc, Ryan E. Rhodes, Mark Tremblay and Melissa Werman

Corporations often benefit from associating their brand(s) with a sports property; in some cases, the property is owned or supported by a not-for-profit organization (NFP…

Abstract

Purpose

Corporations often benefit from associating their brand(s) with a sports property; in some cases, the property is owned or supported by a not-for-profit organization (NFP) championing a cause. Title sponsorship of such a sport event has received limited research attention but is important to a NFP for raising funds and in-kind contributions to support their cause. The purpose of this paper is to investigate title sponsorship of cause-related sport events.

Design/methodology/approach

This research examines the title sponsorship of a cause-related sport event and its effectiveness in relation to the event, the organization, the cause and other sponsors of the NFP. Specifically, this study examines these questions in the context of a specific annual event, Sports Day in Canada organized by ParticipACTION, a national Canadian NFP and whose title sponsor is Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).

Findings

Results show that title sponsorship has significant potential value for the sponsor and the cause, perhaps to the detriment of other (lower tier) sponsors of the event and the NFP.

Originality/value

This research has value to sponsors and cause-related sport events alike. In the case of sponsors, it provides insight into the value of title sponsorship vs other categories of sponsorship, for a brand considering sponsorship of cause-related sport property. For cause-related sport events, the research informs about the importance and possible revenue generation opportunity linked to the title sponsor category.

Details

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-678X

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Gashaw Abeza, Norm O’Reilly, Benoit Séguin and Ornella Nzindukiyimana

The purpose of this paper is to examine the practice of celebrity athletes’ product endorsement in the context of social media, guided by meaning transfer model.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the practice of celebrity athletes’ product endorsement in the context of social media, guided by meaning transfer model.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a content analysis method based on data gathered from the official Twitter account of 17 of the highest-paid athletes over a period of five months.

Findings

Results outline the state, involvement level, roles, modes, preferred content types, discernible differences, shared features, and best practices employed in endorsement tweets. A framework of athletes’ product endorsement on Twitter is presented.

Research limitations/implications

The study presented theoretical and practical implications, and limitations and impetus for future research.

Originality/value

The study investigated professional athletes’ use of their own media channel for the purpose of endorsement, presented a framework that illustrates the practice of celebrity athletes’ product endorsement on social media, and identified a best practice and an exemplary reference.

Details

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-678X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 15 August 2019

David J. Finch, John Nadeau, Bill Foster, Norm O’Reilly, Kim Bates and Deryk Stec

The issues associated with the production and dissemination of management research have been widely debated amongst administrators, scholars and policymakers for decades…

Abstract

Purpose

The issues associated with the production and dissemination of management research have been widely debated amongst administrators, scholars and policymakers for decades. However, few studies to date have examined this issue at the level of the individual scholar. The purpose of this paper is to view a management scholar’s choice of knowledge dissemination (KD) outlets as a legitimacy judgment embedded in their social structure and community norms.

Design/methodology/approach

To explore this, the authors conduct a sequential mixed-methods study. The study uses qualitative methods, including one-on-one interviews (n=29) and five workshops (n=79) with administrators, management scholars, students and external community members (practitioners and policymakers). In addition, the authors analyzed the KD outcomes of 524 management scholars at seven Canadian universities drawn from a stratified sample of business schools.

Findings

The results of the research demonstrate the complex interaction between individual scholar-level factors, including socialization (degree type and practitioner experience) and tenure, and the institutional-level factors, such as strategic orientation and accreditation, and how these influence KD judgments. Specifically, the authors find that institutional factors (such as tenure and promotion) are a central predictor of scholarly KD; in contrast, the authors find that individual-level factors including degree, professional experience and career stage influence non-scholarly KD.

Originality/value

The results suggest that as management scholars face increasing pressure to demonstrate impact beyond academia, it may be more difficult than simply adapting the reward system. Specifically, the authors suggest that administrators and policymakers will have to consider individual factors, including their academic training (including interdisciplinary training), previous practitioner experience and career stage.

Details

Journal of Industry-University Collaboration, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2631-357X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 31 May 2021

David J. Finch, Gashaw Abeza, Norm O'Reilly, John Nadeau, Nadège Levallet, David Legg and Bill Foster

The segmentation of customers into homogeneous groups is well researched, reflecting its importance to marketers. Specific to professional sports, published research on…

Abstract

Purpose

The segmentation of customers into homogeneous groups is well researched, reflecting its importance to marketers. Specific to professional sports, published research on customer segmentation first occurred in the early 2000s, but no studies exist based on internal data from season ticket holders, an attractive and loyal customer group which is the most important customer for professional sports teams. Thus, the purpose of this research was to fill this gap in the literature through a sequential study of season ticket holders of a professional sports club.

Design/methodology/approach

Study 1 employed six focus groups (n = 56) to determine the constructs, understand the issues, and sequentially inform the survey instrument for the second study. Study 2 used an online survey (n = 1,007) to collect data on factors including socio-demographics, consumption, media engagement, fan satisfaction, future intentions and sports fan motivation.

Findings

The results identified the engagement factors and selection variables which drive season ticket holder purchase and allowed for the segmentation analysis, which identified fourteen unique fan segments for a professional sports club, generalizable to other clubs.

Originality/value

The identification of 14 segments of season ticket holders based on a sequential study framed by the sports relationship marketing model is a needed contribution for practice (i.e. a specific direction on how to efficiently allocate resources when marketing to season ticket holders) and advances our conceptual knowledge by applying the model to the context of the most loyal customers in professional sports season ticket holders.

Details

International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1464-6668

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Article
Publication date: 27 May 2020

Heather Jane Lawrence, Norm O'Reilly, Alexandra Speck, Chris Ullrich and Kayla Robles

The objective of this paper is to respond to four research questions. The first two as how likely are college football season ticket holders to recommend (1) purchasing a…

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this paper is to respond to four research questions. The first two as how likely are college football season ticket holders to recommend (1) purchasing a similar season ticket package and (2) attending a home football game, to a friend or colleague. The third question examines if there is a difference between advocacy toward purchasing season tickets as compared to advocacy toward game attendance. Finally, we identify what factors impact advocacy for college football season ticket holders.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey of 57,240 season ticket holders from 69 different National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision programs was undertaken. The data were analyzed to build a model of the drivers of advocacy in season ticket holders from a conceptual base of advocacy, trust and loyalty.

Findings

The identified drivers include both institutionally influenced factors and factors related to season ticket holder behaviors/demographics. The season ticket holder is arguably the highest level of fan for any sports organization from an affinity perspective and clearly the most important from a business perspective. This research argues that the season ticket holder should not only be the focus of ticket sales efforts but also leveraged as marketing advocates with the objective of attracting additional fans.

Originality/value

The value of this research is the large sample of data from season ticket holders of NCAA Division 1 football clubs and the resulting learning it provides to researchers and practitioners.

Details

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-678X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 24 October 2018

Alexander Lithopoulos, Peter A. Dacin, Tanya R. Berry, Guy Faulkner, Norm O’Reilly, Ryan E. Rhodes, John C. Spence, Mark S. Tremblay, Leigh M. Vanderloo and Amy E. Latimer-Cheung

The brand equity pyramid is a theory that explains how people develop loyalty and an attachment to a brand. The purpose of this study is to test whether the predictions…

Abstract

Purpose

The brand equity pyramid is a theory that explains how people develop loyalty and an attachment to a brand. The purpose of this study is to test whether the predictions made by the theory hold when applied to the brand of ParticipACTION, a Canadian non-profit organization that promotes active living. A secondary objective was to test whether this theory predicted intentions to be more physically active.

Design/methodology/approach

A research agency conducted a cross-sectional, online brand health survey on behalf of ParticipACTION. Exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis established the factor structure. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesized model.

Findings

A nationally representative sample of Canadian adults (N = 1,191) completed the survey. Exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis supported a hypothesized five-factor brand equity framework (i.e. brand identity, brand meaning, brand responses, brand resonance and intentions). A series of structural equation models also provided support for the hypothesized relationships between the variables.

Practical implications

Though preliminary, the results provide a guide for understanding the branding process in the activity-promotion context. The constructs identified as being influential in this process can be targeted by activity-promotion organizations to improve brand strength. A strong organizational brand could augment activity-promotion interventions. A strong brand may also help the organization better compete against other brands promoting messages that are antithetical to their own.

Originality/value

This is the first study to test the brand equity pyramid using an activity-promotion brand. Results demonstrate that the brand equity pyramid may be useful in this context.

Details

Journal of Social Marketing, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6763

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2020

Norm O'Reilly, Gashaw Abeza, Andy Fodor, Eric MacIntosh, John Nadeau, Lane MacAdam, Gary Pasqualicchio, Mark Dottori and Heather Jane Lawrence

The criticisms put forward against economic impact studies lead to a key question: “Is it possible to measure the impact of sporting properties and events in a holistic…

Abstract

Purpose

The criticisms put forward against economic impact studies lead to a key question: “Is it possible to measure the impact of sporting properties and events in a holistic, conservative, and reliable way?” This research endeavors to build on the academic literature to add to the scope and rigor of economic impact research by proposing an impact assessment process model for practitioners that facilitates employment of a holistic, conservative and reliable impact study and seeks to address these concerns.

Design/methodology/approach

Using seven identified key realities that highlight the challenges facing impact studies, and adopting a collaborative self-ethnographic methodological approach, the work highlights lessons learned from four empirical economic impact studies undertaken by the authors over a five-year period.

Findings

The study provides a broad view of impact studies, which extend beyond financial implications and provides a more inclusive methodology. Particularly, the proposed impact assessment process model seeks to improve the credibility of impact studies by facilitating a holistic approach that incorporates direct, indirect and intangible impacts.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed model has value to researchers and is designed to improve the overall credibility of economic impact methodology. It also provides a more accurate measure of direct impact while considering intangible and indirect impacts, including social/community impacts.

Practical implications

The proposed model has value to and practitioners and is designed to improve the overall credibility of economic impact methodology. It also provides a more accurate measure of direct impact while considering intangible and indirect impacts, including social/community impacts.

Originality/value

The proposed process model to measure the impact of a sports event is a needed element in the world of funding, managing and implementing events of all sizes.

Details

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-678X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2020

Michael L. Naraine, Norm O'Reilly, Nadège Levallet and Liz Wanless

Although sports fans have increased their use of digital media to consume sport, especially at professional sport venues, it is unknown the extent to which patrons of said…

Abstract

Purpose

Although sports fans have increased their use of digital media to consume sport, especially at professional sport venues, it is unknown the extent to which patrons of said venues are utilizing venue services for these activities. As such, this study asks: (1) How much data do patrons at a sports venue consume via the provided Wi–Fi? and (2) What types of online activity behaviors do Wi–Fi users at sports venues exhibit?

Design/methodology/approach

This empirical study reports stadia Wi–Fi data usage and consumer behavior from three National Basketball Association venues in the United States: Amway Center in Orlando, FL, Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY and Target Center in Minneapolis, MN, over a course of 7 games per venue.

Findings

The findings suggest that Wi–Fi usage is more limited than anticipated. Users who do utilize the venue Wi–Fi do so for very short periods, with the vast majority of user duration lasting between 1 and 10 min. Additionally, the halftime period of games experiences the peak of Wi–Fi usage.

Originality/value

By increasing our understanding of Wi–Fi usage in venues, this study informs relationship marketing theory research and contributes to the sport management literature. Practically, a better knowledge of Wi–Fi usage is critical, as it constitutes a critical antecedent to develop online marketing strategies.

Details

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-678X

Keywords

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