Sponsorship is a fast growing marketing tool mainly used by companies that want to promote
their products or services. According to the last spending report done by the professional
authority in sponsorship consulting and research (IEG), sponsorship is positioned as the main
tool used by the companies worldwide with over $51 billion dollars investments in 2013.
This could be deemed mainly because of the proven effectiveness of sponsorship over
traditional methods. As a result of this, answering the question of how effective is for a
company to invest in sponsorship has become increasingly important.
Previous studies of sponsorship show that there is a lack of both theoretical research and
sponsorship effectiveness measures. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to explore the
effects of sport sponsorship based on brand awareness, corporate image and brand
association. This research was integrated by primary and secondary research in order to first
establish the concepts and theories stated by different authors and further determine a link or
connection with the primary data gathered. The primary research was undertaken using the
study of Heineken as an official sponsor of the UEFA Champions League and it involved
people from different nationalities using quantitative techniques. Hundred respondents
between the ages of 18 and 37 were approached and requested to fill up an online selfadministered
questionnaire. The outcome of the results from the questionnaires was used for
evaluating the effectiveness of three of the main objectives of sponsoring a sport event: brand
awareness, corporate image and brand awareness, as well as measuring the influence of key
variables that might affect these objectives.
The results gathered by the primary research undertaken in this investigation, suggest that the
majority of the respondents involved in this study are aware of the sponsor of the event, have
a positive corporate image towards the sponsor and associate positively the sponsor with the
status of the sponsored event. In other words, Heineken’s sponsorship strategy is effective
while sponsoring the UEFA Champions League, focusing on three of their main objectives:
brand awareness, corporate image and brand association.
Finally it can be stated that the final results of this thesis are similar and congruent with the
views expressed by several authors cited in the secondary research, however, further research
needs to be done in this area in order to have a better understanding and perspective of the
effects of sport sponsorship.