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Article
Publication date: 5 March 2020

Leah Gillooly, Dominic Medway, Gary Warnaby and Tony Grimes

The purpose of this paper is to explore fans’ reactions to corporate naming rights sponsorship of football club stadia and identify a range of contextual factors impacting…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore fans’ reactions to corporate naming rights sponsorship of football club stadia and identify a range of contextual factors impacting these reactions.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative, quasi-ethnographic research design is adopted, focusing on three football clubs in North West England. Data are gathered through online message board discussions, focus groups and auto-ethnographic approaches.

Findings

Geographic, image and functional dimensions of sponsorship fit are noted as contextual factors in determining fans’ reactions to corporate stadium names. It is also proposed that some forms of fit (in particular geographic fit) are more important than others in this regard. Beyond issues of fit, three additional contextual factors are identified that potentially influence fans’ reactions to corporate stadium names: prior involvement with the club by the sponsor; fans’ perceived impact of the sponsorship investment; and whether the stadium is new or long-established.

Research limitations/implications

Future research might examine the relative importance and implications of the identified contextual factors, alongside seeking other potential areas of contextual framing.

Practical implications

Sponsorship naming rights negotiations need to be sensitive to a variety of contextual factors. Furthermore, sponsors would do well to have a good awareness of their own brand image and its congruency with the identity of the club and fan base.

Originality/value

This nuanced, qualitative analysis extends existing, quantitative-based research by identifying a range of contextual factors which shape fans’ reactions to corporate stadium naming.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 54 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 9 July 2018

Christopher Huth

Despite the growing number of corporate-sponsored sport facilities, public resistance to naming rights sometimes arises. In line with other supporter-based financial…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite the growing number of corporate-sponsored sport facilities, public resistance to naming rights sometimes arises. In line with other supporter-based financial instruments such as fan bonds or shares, the possibility arises that a sport club’s supporters could invest in the stadium naming rights to secure a traditional name, possibly by initiating a crowdfunding project. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the factors separating potential capital providers from non-participants and to determine which factors influence the investment decision.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used an online questionnaire to evaluate respondents’ willingness to participate in a crowdfunding project. The data were analyzed by logit and probit regressions. The link was posted to selected online fan forums as well as to clubs’ fan group caretakers in Germany. In total, 708 respondents fully completed the questionnaires. Additionally, the authors provided the initial results of a proposal for a hypothetical reward-based crowdfunding project that was also part of the questionnaire.

Findings

The findings indicate that the most involved participants who support traditional values in sports are the most willing to participate in a crowdfunding project. Thus, crowdfunding can actually be seen as a supporter-based instrument that is an alternative to existing sport facility naming rights models. However, the analysis also indicates that the sums that can be generated through crowdfunding are limited.

Originality/value

Insight into a relatively new financial instrument is provided, and an alternative approach to sport facility naming rights management is offered. Ultimately, a combination of a crowdfunding project with financing by a certain number of sponsors supporting a traditional name is proposed, which may be a possible future solution that sport facility naming rights management groups can pursue.

Details

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-678X

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2007

Ric Jensen and Bryan Butler

Throughout sport, the incidence of commercial sponsorship is increasing and shows no signs of slowing. This case study examines the negative consequences that can arise…

Abstract

Throughout sport, the incidence of commercial sponsorship is increasing and shows no signs of slowing. This case study examines the negative consequences that can arise when a corporate stadium naming rights partner (Enron) becomes embroiled in financial and ethical controversies and how its collapse affected the team that uses the stadium for its home games (Major League Baseball's Houston Astros). It examines public relations strategies and tactics the Astros used to disassociate themselves from Enron and to recapture public support.

Details

International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1464-6668

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2003

Karen Becker-Olsen

Stadium naming rights programs have proliferated over the past decade, yet we have no direct evidence that these types of sponsorship programs help companies develop their…

Abstract

Stadium naming rights programs have proliferated over the past decade, yet we have no direct evidence that these types of sponsorship programs help companies develop their long-term brand equity or even provide a short-term boost to corporate value. This paper examines the impact that naming rights programs have had on the stock values of the corporate sponsors. Using event study analysis, it is found that there are mixed responses to these types of programs. A discussion is provided which helps to explain the mixed results and provides communications mangers with some suggestions on creating more effective naming rights programs.

Details

International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1464-6668

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2004

Perry Haan and Matt Shank

This study assesses consumer awareness of National Football League (NFL) stadium names and examines consumers' familiarity with sponsoring companies' industries and…

Abstract

This study assesses consumer awareness of National Football League (NFL) stadium names and examines consumers' familiarity with sponsoring companies' industries and products. It explores whether consumers are more likely to purchase from a company or switch to products offered by a company that has paid to put its name on an NFL stadium. It attempts to understand consumers' overall perceptions of companies that put their names on stadiums. The results show that the naming of an NFL stadium has a minimal effect on consumers' perceptions towards the companies that buy naming rights or the likelihood of buying products from these companies.

Details

International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1464-6668

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Article
Publication date: 3 May 2016

Kostas Anestos, Dimitris Gargalianos and Yannis Thamnopoulos

The aim of this study was to conduct a primary examination of people’s perceptions toward the concept of selling of naming rights for publicly owned sports facilities in…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study was to conduct a primary examination of people’s perceptions toward the concept of selling of naming rights for publicly owned sports facilities in Greece to explore the possibilities for this sponsorship practice to be introduced in the future.

Design/methodology/approach

In all, 410 research participants filled out a questionnaire that focused on the level of acceptance, in relation to variations of agreements, and considering decision outcomes scenarios, as also on other naming rights parameters, such as sponsors’ fit features. A modification of methods used in previous research in the context of consumers’ price perceptions in sport was adopted to investigate the potential effects from the provision of decision outcomes messages.

Findings

The research findings indicated that, in terms of acceptance from the public, there might be grounds to implement this type of sponsorship. It is suggested that an optimal way of introducing the concept should be with marketing campaigns outlining the main purpose and the prospective benefits.

Research limitations/implications

Possibly, the participants perceived the prospect and scenarios provided as not very likely to happen and this might influence their responses. Future research should investigate the effects of other factors, such as attitudes toward commercialization, stadium identification and perceived financial status.

Originality/value

The study provides a basis for the consideration of naming rights as a sponsorship option for public sports facilities in Greece, and also offers a new perspective in the use of treatment messages as a tool for altering potential negative perceptions.

Details

Journal of Facilities Management, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-5967

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Article
Publication date: 8 July 2014

David M. Woisetschläger, Vanessa J. Haselhoff and Christof Backhaus

The aim of this article is to contribute to the literature by analyzing potential determinants of fan resistance to naming right sponsorships. Although sports sponsorships…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this article is to contribute to the literature by analyzing potential determinants of fan resistance to naming right sponsorships. Although sports sponsorships mostly trigger neutral or positive reactions by fans, the authors find empirical support which provides evidence for fan boycott or resistance.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors empirically test a model using a sample of 798 soccer fans and thereby quantify structural relations between determinants and fan resistance. They use a logistic regression to assess potential determinants of fan resistance.

Findings

Results indicate that sponsee- and sports-related variables, such as fan/regional identification and attitude toward commercialization, contribute to higher fan resistance. Furthermore, fans see themselves as in-group members who discriminate out-group members. As the sponsoring company takes over control and imposes a “threat” (the change of a stadium’s name) on the group’s ritual place, this results in strong negative emotional reactions. These emotions tend to be repeated and affirmed in intra-group communications which intensify negative reactions unless the sponsor offers a positive contribution from the fans’ standpoints. Our findings confirm that sponsorship fit and perceived benefits of the sponsorship reduce fan resistance while the sponsor’s regional identification is unrelated to fan resistance.

Research limitations/implications

Little attention has been paid on negative reactions to sponsorships in the existing research. Therefore, future research could assess negative effects resulting from other sponsorship contexts, such as the sale of a club's naming right, promotion campaigns during the venue and to sponsorship deals in general. Moreover, research should be devoted to finding strategies that lead to a reduction of fan resistance to sponsorship actions.

Practical implications

Results show that sponsorship fit reduces fan resistance. Existing literature suggests that sponsorship fit can be improved by emphasis or creation of fit between sponsor and sponsee. Additionally, sponsors should try to build a bridge between sponsor and fans to gain acceptance of the in-group by raising awareness on the benefits that the sponsee receives from their partnership. Moreover, sponsors should actively strive to understand negative reactions of the fans and adapt their communication strategy to avoid resistance, e.g. due to fans’ feelings of overt commercialism.

Originality/value

Although naming right sponsorships are generally considered a powerful instrument for companies to gain high profile and market share, they seem not to be entirely free of risk. This article contributes to the literature by conceptualizing the phenomenon of fan resistance and assessing the determinants that contribute to fan resistance when naming rights are sold. Our findings extend the understanding of negative sponsorship effects in addition to the mechanisms and theoretical frameworks that are documented in the literature (Cornwell et al., 2005).

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 48 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 5 May 2020

Jonathan A. Jensen, David Head and Christopher Mergy

Naming rights sponsorships of sport facilities are among the most highly visible marketing agreements in the world. However, factors that may lead one sponsorship to…

Abstract

Purpose

Naming rights sponsorships of sport facilities are among the most highly visible marketing agreements in the world. However, factors that may lead one sponsorship to persist for decades, while others end after just a few years, have yet to be investigated. Thus, this study examines the decision-making of brand marketers by investigating the predictors of a sponsoring brand's decision to either continue or dissolve such agreements.

Design/methodology/approach

Utilizing a global data set of 219 naming rights agreements, an empirical approach is utilized to isolate whether a variety of factors increase or decrease the probability of sponsorship dissolution.

Findings

Results indicate that agreements entered into with new, as of yet-unnamed facilities lead to a reduction in the probability of dissolution, with a high level of brand equity also reducing the probability of dissolution. Agency conflicts may also play a role, as the sponsoring firm being headquartered in the same metropolitan area as the facility also contributes to the persistence of such agreements.

Originality/value

These results are intended to assist both sides of what is ideally a long-term relationship in better understanding the factors that may either contribute to or inhibit longer-term partnerships.

Details

International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1464-6668

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Makoto Nakazawa, Masayuki Yoshida and Brian S. Gordon

Integrating several streams of theoretical reasoning such as social identity theory, congruity theory and the customer gratitude approach, the purpose of this paper is to…

Abstract

Purpose

Integrating several streams of theoretical reasoning such as social identity theory, congruity theory and the customer gratitude approach, the purpose of this paper is to develop a model of the antecedents and consequences of sponsor-stadium fit and examine the hypothesised relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from professional football spectators in a non-historic stadium context (n=342). Through a confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modelling, the authors assessed the antecedents and consequences of sponsor-stadium fit.

Findings

Based on the results, team identification and prior sponsor attitude were found to be the dominant factors in enhancing sponsor-stadium fit. Furthermore, the indirect effects of team identification on purchase intentions through sponsor-stadium fit and gratitude towards the sponsor were positive and significant.

Research limitations/implications

When renaming non-historic stadiums of relatively new sport teams, sponsors that present a team-related brand identity can create a preference and image fit with stadiums. The findings serve to advance the literature on stadium sponsorship particularly at non-historic stadiums.

Originality/value

In its conceptualisation of sponsor-stadium fit, the current study extends previous research that has focused primarily on sponsor-event fit.

Details

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-678X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 October 2012

James Santomier and John Gerlach

The purpose of this article is to examine selected public policy and funding issues of six New York Metropolitan Area sport venues and to discuss their implications for…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to examine selected public policy and funding issues of six New York Metropolitan Area sport venues and to discuss their implications for the future of sport venue construction.

Design/methodology/approach

The design of this paper is a descriptive case study, which is appropriate when the question to be answered is how or why, when there is no necessary control of behavioral events, and when the study is focused on contemporary events. A systematic review of public documents and available research related to the recent development and funding of selected sport venues was conducted. In addition, a critical appraisal and financial analysis was performed on selected data collected from a variety of proprietary facility reports and public documents.

Findings

Based on a systematic examination of public documents and available research it was determined that a complex mix of local, regional, and state politics has impacted significantly the dynamics of professional sport venue development in the New York Metropolitan Area. It is also apparent that there has been a significant lack of transparency with respect to public policy. In addition, it appears that sport venue development in the entire US will experience a trend toward integration with retail, commercial, and residential real estate development that appears to be a result of political pressure and the need to rapidly recoup investment costs associated with sport venue construction.

Research limitations/implications

Because this is a descriptive case study, the findings, etc., are limited to those specific venues and public policy issues that were selected for examination.

Practical implications

This case study should provide educators and practitioners with insight into the complexity of mission critical decisions that are involved in the development and funding of sport venues. It also should provide insight into the political process related to sport venue construction and the importance of transparency in communicating with the public.

Social implications

This case study may provide educators and practitioners with insight into the relationship among public policy, venue financing, and selected social issues.

Originality/value

This case study provides original insight into the key elements of funding sport venues in the New York Metropolitan Area. It will provide educators and practitioners with a frame of reference for further examination of the development of sport venues worldwide.

Details

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-678X

Keywords

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