An analysis of the key criteria driving the selection process for Swedish firms investing in sports sponsorship

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Schroder, Ola
Issue Date
MSc in International Business
Dublin Business School
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The use of sport sponsorship as a marketing tool and as a vital part in the promotional mix has grown incredible in the last decades. Furthermore, the impact that sport sponsorship can have on the audience is far greater than the traditional advertising. Moreover, sport sponsorship is a multi-billion industry that is unexplored and it is thereby further important to investigate deeper in this area. One of the biggest problems within sponsorship is to choose the right entity by the right reasons. The purpose of this thesis is to get a greater understanding of sport sponsorship in general but especially a greater understanding of the key criteria used in the selection process within sport sponsorship. Because of time limitations, the study was design only to focus on Swedish companies. In order to reach this purpose, the research questions focus on the objectives, selection process and evaluation of the effectiveness of sport sponsorship. Based on the research questions a literature review was conducted to build the foundation of which further data that needed to be collected for this study. To gather the data a qualitative case study methodology was used, using documentations and interviews of two Swedish companies. The general result of the study was that companies use several criteria in the selection process, and the choice of them depends of the objectives of the sport sponsorship. However, the study shows that some criteria and objectives are seen as more important than others. Moreover, the study implies that criteria and objectives with sport sponsorship often gets more influenced by personal interest when there is no structured strategy from the company and its top management to guideline the sport sponsorship investment. Furthermore, the evaluation of the effectiveness of the sport sponsorship is rarely done at all or thoroughly enough because the lack of methods or the lack of knowledge of how to use the methods. Moreover, based on the results of the study, companies do not consider risks as one of the most important criteria, and thereby do they not evolve any strategies to pre-empt risk. Author keywords: Sport sponsorship, sponsorship objectives, sports sponsorship evaluation