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School of Business | Department of Marketing | Marketing | 2015
Thesis number: 14131
Sponsorship leverage as a part of company's integrated marketing communications strategy - Case Fazer
Author: Lepistö, Laura
Title: Sponsorship leverage as a part of company's integrated marketing communications strategy - Case Fazer
Year: 2015  Language: fin
Department: Department of Marketing
Academic subject: Marketing
Index terms: markkinointi; marketing; viestintä; communication; mainonta; advertising; sponsorointi; sponsorship; strategia; strategy
Pages: 102
Key terms: sponsorship, sponsorship leverage, integrated marketing communications
The objective of this study is to add insight into understanding the phenomenon of sponsorship leverage. Since sponsorship is a complex and multifaceted marketing communication method, this study has a broader aspect by concentrating on the whole process of planning, implementation, coordination and measurement of sponsorship leverage programs as a circular ongoing process, and as a part of company's integrated marketing communications (IMC) strategy. Thus, to enable such thorough in-depth evaluation in a coherent way, the conceptual framework was derived from the IMC theory.

The research problem was approached by executing a qualitative intensive case study. Five semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted: Three of them with the key personnel that are involved in sponsorship management of the case company, and two with the sponsees. The two sponsee representatives acted as expert interviews as well. Additionally, in order to gain a more multidimensional conception of the case, multiple complementary data sources were used. The analysis was executed by reflecting the findings to previous academic literature as well as complementary data.

The key findings gave strong confirmation to the previous academic discussion that sponsorship and its leverage is a highly context-dependent and complex area. Since there cannot be defined any distinctive best practices, sponsorship leverage was recognized as its own field of professionalism, which requires specific capabilities and skills. Five key cornerstones were found out in the case company's sponsorship leverage professionalism: 1.Existence of Head of partnerships in the organization, 2.Coherent portfolio of sponsees, 3.Short-term vs. long-term aspect, 4.Context- dependent and tailored channel decisions, and 5.Measurement of the outcomes. Additionally, three highlighted themes of discussion contributing to existing theories of sponsorship leverage and IMC aroused: 1.The future of content marketing and the potentiality of sponsorship leverage in it, 2.Discussion of the definition of sponsorship, and 3.IMC-based model as a coherent template for sponsorship leverage evaluation.
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