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School of Business | Department of Management and International Business | International Business | 2011
Thesis number: 12667
Sports sponsorship as an international marketing communications tool – A multiple case study of Finnish companies
Author: Salo, Hanne
Title: Sports sponsorship as an international marketing communications tool – A multiple case study of Finnish companies
Year: 2011  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management and International Business
Academic subject: International Business
Index terms: kansainväliset yhtiöt; international companies; sponsorointi; sponsorship; markkinointi; marketing; mainonta; advertising; urheilu; sports
Pages: 133
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_12667.pdf pdf  size:2 MB (1944039)
Key terms: sponsorship; sponsorointi; sports; urheilu; marketing communications; markkinointiviestintä; international operations; kansainväliset liiketoiminnot; Finnish companies; suomalaiset yritykset
Research objectives – Sponsorship as a marketing communications tool increasingly attracts academic interest; however, the international aspect of the practice of sponsorship has not yet been extensively studied. The purpose of this study is to examine how sports sponsorship is utilizable as an instrument of international marketing communications in an effective manner in context of companies’ international operations. The theoretical part of the study aims to isolate the characteristics of effective international sports sponsorship, and on the basis of the theoretical review, a theoretical framework is proposed. In the empirical part, the case companies’ international sponsorship activities are examined and interpretations on the effectiveness of sports sponsorship as a method of international promotion are made resulting in a modified framework.

Research method – The empirical study was based on qualitative research, and a multiple case study design was applied. Data from seven cases were included in the research. Data were collected both from primary and secondary sources. Semi-structured interviews with the representatives of the case organizations were conducted as the primary data source, and textual data such as company websites, customer magazines, and press releases were used to support the study. The analysis of the data was performed through qualitative data analysis methods.

Main findings – The findings suggest that sports sponsorship is utilizable as an international marketing communications instrument in an effective manner by different kinds of companies regardless of their size, level of international involvement, or customer segment they serve. Sports sponsorship is found to be utilizable in the achievement of strategic objectives relating to the strengthening of companies’ international operations. International sponsorship deals providing simultaneous visibility across markets and local sponsorship deals which are entered in individual overseas markets are identified as the two ways of engaging in international sports sponsorship. The findings imply that focusing on the main partnerships and exploiting them to the fullest results in the best perceived effectiveness of sponsorship in the international context. Also, setting objectives and assessing the outcomes seem to be part of effective international sports sponsorship. Additionally, the findings suggest that some factors should be taken into account when selecting the sponsorship target in order for the international sponsorship activity to result in positive outcomes.
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