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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2003

Anne M. Lavack

Faced with ever-increasing advertising restrictions, sponsorship of sports has been an important promotional avenue for tobacco companies in North America and around the…

Abstract

Faced with ever-increasing advertising restrictions, sponsorship of sports has been an important promotional avenue for tobacco companies in North America and around the world. This paper examines the corporate sponsorship objectives and strategies of tobacco companies, based primarily on historical documents from the British-American Tobacco Co., which has operations in over 80 countries. The documents are part of the Guildford Depository located in Guildford, England. It contains over six million pages of corporate documents for the British-American Tobacco Company (BAT) from a 40-year span (early 1950s to mid 1990s). Tobacco company sponsorship practices include developing sponsorship evaluation guidelines, extensive prepromotion and post-promotion of sponsored events, making full use of the event site for sponsorship identification, ensuring that sponsored events are televised, and using an extensive array of public relations practices to ensure news coverage of a sponsored event. Other sponsors could benefit from emulating the sponsorship practices of tobacco companies.

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International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1464-6668

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Abstract

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International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1464-6668

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1999

Robert Sparks

Tobacco sponsorship of sports has increasingly been cast as a public issue on the grounds that it supports pediatric smoking by circumventing advertising restrictions and…

Abstract

Tobacco sponsorship of sports has increasingly been cast as a public issue on the grounds that it supports pediatric smoking by circumventing advertising restrictions and communicating positive brand information to children(28,31,32). Research on tobacco sponsorship effects on children is as yet inconclusive, but growing evidence suggests that sponsorship is an effective medium for building cigarette brand awareness and image among under‐aged youth. Research in this area has been inconclusive in part because it lacks a unified framework in which the various contributions of sponsorship to brand knowledge and use can be analysed holistically. This paper proposes that the brand equity concept(1,2,18) provides such a framework. The paper reviews previous research on tobacco sponsorship and children, and presents findings from a study that assessed the relative contribution of sponsorship to brand awareness among fourteen year‐olds (n=366) in Dunedin, New Zealand. The value of sponsorship‐derived cigarette brand knowledge among youth is expressed in terms of Keller's(18) concept of customer‐based brand equity. The study found that children's awareness of tobacco brands and tobacco sponsorships varied according to their smoking experience, sports interests and gender. Cigarette brands with the strongest event associations were those that sponsored events that had a high appeal for the youth in the study. The brands with the highest unaided recall levels were those that were prominently shown in point of purchase displays in stores frequented by the youth, and included those with the highest sponsorship profiles. The research demonstrates that tobacco companies can achieve significant brand recall among children through sport sponsorship, as well as interest‐based (lifestyle) segmentation and targeting benefits, and brand positioning (personality) benefits. The findings have implications for public policy and industry practice. In policy terms, if the goal of tobacco advertising prohibitions is to denormalise smoking by restricting the positive promotional imagery of cigarettes, then sport sponsorship and point of purchase displays need to be incorporated into advertising legislation. In terms of industry practice, the fact that tobacco sponsorship reaches and influences under‐aged youth stands to be a matter of concern for any entity that does not want this social burden. It is recommended that corporations considering involvement in a tobacco‐sponsored event should evaluate the reach of the event and the potential effects of its promotions on youth. Where a youth‐interest connection has been demonstrated for the event, corporations should weigh the social risks and costs of the sponsorship. For non‐tobacco related entities these costs include the potential negative impacts of tobacco‐linked event cross‐promotions on their own brands and corporate image.

Details

International Journal of Advertising and Marketing to Children, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1464-6676

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1999

Stephen R. McDaniel and Daniel S. Mason

The marketing of alcohol and tobacco products and their related public policy implications have become controversial issues worldwide, due mainly to health‐related issues…

Abstract

The marketing of alcohol and tobacco products and their related public policy implications have become controversial issues worldwide, due mainly to health‐related issues. Uses a telephone survey methodology to compare attitudes toward Olympic sponsorship by a leading US brewer with general attitudes toward the use of sports sponsorship to promote tobacco products. Results suggest that respondents have significantly different attitudes towards the two product categories and their use of sponsorship, accepting more readily the use of the Olympics to promote beer. Respondents’ self‐interest is also found to significantly affect the level of acceptance for the use of sport to promote alcohol or tobacco products, although in slightly different ways. The findings are discussed in relation to previous research, along with their managerial implications.

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Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 13 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2000

Janet Hoek and Robert Sparks

The promotion of tobacco products has received detailed attention. However, this research has focussed on the effects of tobacco advertising or sponsorship, and how…

Abstract

The promotion of tobacco products has received detailed attention. However, this research has focussed on the effects of tobacco advertising or sponsorship, and how restrictions on promotion activities affect demand. By contrast, comparatively few studies have examined the regulatory implications of variations in the guidelines or statutes governing tobacco promotions. In this paper we analyse the issues arising from inconsistencies in international tobacco promotion regulations and the proposals designed to address these. We conclude that because the development and application of consistent regulations infringes on the economic interests and traditions of civil liberties in some nations, the prospects for implementing internationally adhered to protocols is gloomy. A more practical solution may be to control the conditions of sale of tobacco products as these are more readily circumscribed by domestic regulation.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2011

Timothy Dewhirst and Robert Sparks

The purpose of this paper is to assess, by providing a case study of flagship brand, Rothmans, why Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc. (RBH), Canada's second largest tobacco

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess, by providing a case study of flagship brand, Rothmans, why Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc. (RBH), Canada's second largest tobacco firm, has historically lost ground to industry leader, Imperial Tobacco Canada Limited (ITL).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper utilizes data from internal corporate documents, made public from litigation, as well as trade press and promotional materials accessed from advertising archives. More specifically, the tobacco industry documents reviewed were made public from two Canadian trials: the 1989 Canadian trial to decide the constitutionality of the Tobacco Products Control Act; and the 2002 Quebec Superior Court trial in which Canada's three major tobacco firms challenged the constitutionality of the Tobacco Act.

Findings

The declining market share of Rothmans is largely explained by the brand's inability to appeal to the highly valued youth or “health concerned” segments. RBH failed to link the cigarette brand consistently with segment‐appropriate imagery during a time when legislation prompted a shift in promotional spending by the Canadian tobacco industry towards sponsorship communications. Unlike ITL, RBH failed to capitalize on the potential of sponsorship to contemporize the Rothmans brand and make it relevant to younger smokers. Moreover, RBH was slow to introduce a so‐called “light” line extension, which would appeal to existing smokers with health concerns.

Originality/value

This study should particularly interest researchers and practitioners interested in marketing and public policy, in which insight is provided about unique challenges to marketing in Canada on the basis of government regulation.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2003

Jean-Charles Chebat and François Daoud

The strategic importance of sponsorship of sports events by the tobacco industry has been increasing since tobacco firms have been constrained in their advertising…

Abstract

The strategic importance of sponsorship of sports events by the tobacco industry has been increasing since tobacco firms have been constrained in their advertising activities. The present study will provide further insight to this critical promotion tool for cigarette brands. Specifically, it will focus on the effects of tobacco companies' sponsorship at the Montreal F1 Grand Prix on adolescents' cognitive and behavioral responses, i.e. identification with cigarette brands and brands' personality, and consumption of cigarettes. A questionnaire was administered to a sample of adolescents before and after the Grand Prix. Both sponsoring and non-sponsoring brands benefited from the Grand Prix, since the perceived brand personality and the identification with the brands were enhanced by the event. These findings tend to confirm that such sporting events are efficient ways to increase cigarette consumption and brand identification, especially for older male adolescents who are interested in car races.

Details

International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1464-6668

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2009

Fiona Davies

Concerns about underage drinking have led to calls for a UK ban on alcohol sponsorship of sport. Such a ban would have severe financial consequences for many sports, so…

Abstract

Concerns about underage drinking have led to calls for a UK ban on alcohol sponsorship of sport. Such a ban would have severe financial consequences for many sports, so should not be implemented without thorough consideration of its likely effectiveness. This study investigating the alcohol consumption intentions of 14 and 15 year olds showed that boys who were involved in sport were more likely both to drink alcohol and to get drunk, with awareness of sponsorship enhancing the likelihood of these behaviours. Girls involved in sport, however, showed more negative attitudes than their peers towards alcohol. It is argued that boys involved in sport are socialised into a traditional masculine alcohol and sports culture, which is reinforced by sponsorship. Evidence from studies on tobacco sponsorship suggests that health-related marketing communications and the use of low-alcohol or non-alcohol brands for sports sponsorship could be more effective than a ban in changing the culture.

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International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1464-6668

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2003

Richard R. Dolphin

Advertising and sponsorship are both key areas of concern to management scholars. In the dynamic and sophisticated market world in which integrated marketing communication…

Abstract

Advertising and sponsorship are both key areas of concern to management scholars. In the dynamic and sophisticated market world in which integrated marketing communication strategies play roles of increasing importance, this paper reflects on the extent to whcih sponsorship has moved away from being a philanthropic approach to communication and has taken a key role as a strategic approach to marketing (and thus corporate) strategies. The article note the problem prestented by the lack of a clear theoretical definition, considers the strategic objectives that result in sponsorship programmes, reflects on the difficulties (or downright lack) of measuring the success of sponsorship programmes (noting that organizations will judge success in different ways), reflects on the controversial aspects of some sponsorship programmes and examines groups at which sponsorship might be targeted. It concludes that sponsorship has a significant (some would say major) role to play in increasing sales, enhancing corporate image and leveraging employee morale. It concludes by suggesting significant areas that merit further research in this greatly neglected academic area.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2010

Sandra C Jones

Alcohol sponsorship of sport is common in Australia, with much debate about the appropriateness of linking sport with alcohol advertising and promotion. This paper…

Abstract

Alcohol sponsorship of sport is common in Australia, with much debate about the appropriateness of linking sport with alcohol advertising and promotion. This paper provides examples of such sponsorships to appreciate the extent and nature of the complex relationship between sport and alcohol sponsors. The public health and policy implications of alcohol sponsorship of sport extending to creating a sporting competition purely to promote an alcohol brand are considered.

Details

International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1464-6668

Keywords

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