Measuring sport sponsorship effectiveness: links to existing behaviour Research Completed


Measuring sport sponsorship effectiveness: links to existing behaviour

Lead Author

Ron Garland , Jan Charbonneau, Terry Macpherson


University of Waikato

Publication Year



Innovative Marketing


Ron Garland



The expanding role of sponsorship in the communications mix has generated increased attention to, debate about, and demand for effective measures. Yet there is no universally accepted approach to measuring sponsorship effectiveness.

At the core of the sponsorship effectiveness debate is the role information processing plays in influencing consumers.

Some commentators emphasize cognitive/emotional responses as fostering behaviour while others view sponsorship as primarily serving to reinforce existing brand-related behaviours. As such, evaluation of sponsorship effectiveness, whether in sport or general sponsorship remains a vexing issue for marketers, sponsors and academics alike.

Using New Zealand rugby fan reactions to sponsorship, this research contrasts two cognitive measures (free and prompted sponsor awareness) with two behavioural measures (past and future intended sponsor brand purchase). Future purchase intentions had the highest correlations with recent past purchase. In response to a single-item, direct question on the probability of sponsor purchase because of their home team sponsorship, the correlations remained high. This suggests that sponsorship reinforces existing purchase behaviour, making, by inference, sponsorship more suitable for larger, well-known brands. Claiming that sponsorship can affect consumers in ways beyond reinforcement of existing behaviour remains unproven.

Keywords: sport sponsorship, effectiveness measurement, cognitive and behavioural measurement


How to access

Areas of Focus

Population Groups

Settings (location)

Provision (delivery type & infrastructure)


Sport and Recreation Types




January 27, 2014