A study of Irish consumers' attitudes towards alcohol brand sponsorship
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Bezawada, Sai Ratnakar
MA of Business Administration (international)
Dublin Business School
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Sponsorship is a fast growing form of marketing, especially with large multinational companies sponsoring sporting events. In view of the above fact, it is impossible to identify any major event that is not sponsored some way or the other. It acts as a major platform for creating of products through an event. However, sponsorship of sports by branded alcoholic drinks effectively reaches the young male consumer which is a complex target to influence through direct advertising. The main aim of sports is to promote health and wellness, but the irony is that these events are sponsored by alcohol companies. The purpose of this study was to understand the Irish consumers' attitude towards alcohol brand sponsorship and the implications it has on health and the youth. A primary research was undertaken among Irish consumers using qualitative and quantitative techniques. Qualitative research included using focus groups and questionnaires. Ninety Irish consumers were approached within the sample population area with a pre-determined criterion and were requested to fill up the self-administered questionnaire. This was undertaken during January and February 2009. The outcome of the results from the focus groups and questionnaires were used in assessing the attitudes towards alcohol brands sponsoring sporting events. The results divulged that Irish consumers involved in this study were aware of the ill-effects caused due to alcohol on health and other related issues. Nevertheless, despite knowing that alcohol has been the main cause of health related problems in Ireland, a majority of the respondents felt that alcohol brands sponsoring sporting events made them develop a positive opinion of the brand. The results also showed that alcohol sponsorship is one of the main vehicles influencing teenagers and youth into drinking. The concluding results of this study conform to the views expressed by various studies, cited in the literature review, on consumers' attitude towards alcohol brands sponsoring sporting events.