This cross sectional study examined whether the sport sponsorship of local disabled athletes could somehow help companies to reach their business goals and improve their results, thanks to the influence this sponsorship has, or might have on consumers and athletes.
Pluralistic research approach is employed to explore the beliefs and feelings of consumers and athletes according to situations, like whether they would be more influenced knowing a company is sponsoring a local disabled athlete or not; and to highlight the possibilities and advantages of this strategy for all sized-firms within the Loire-Atlantique region (LA region).
This study makes contributions. First, it presents the willingness and the desire of consumers and athletes to see and being more concerned by sport sponsorships (including the sponsorship of disabled and local athletes) through significant results coming from questionnaires and interviews. Second, it shows and highlights companies needs and wants in accordance to athletes’ ones: the advantages of the sponsorship strategy are put forward by companies themselves, showing that the LA region has the potential and ability to see more sponsorship cases in the next future. Third and last, but not least, this study focuses on the disability point and proves the benefits companies could get from a sponsorship of disabled athlete (all kinds of benefits like financial, image, etc.).
Despite the fact that a lot of participants could not answer the questions concerning sport sponsorship, that does not mean participants did not feel concerned or influenced by this strategy; that has been proved through the data collection showing that they do consider the social responsibility of companies and believe this is a good and social action. This study recommends athletes to ask local companies to build sponsorship contracts, and companies to consider this strategy, even if the investments might be important, so would be the benefits.