Brand Image Of Premier League Football Sponsorship

Purpose – The purpose of this cardboard is to actuate the furnishings of Advocacy of Premier Alliance football clubs on the Sponsors cast angel and whether their affiliation with admired football teams improves image.

Design – A case abstraction is proposed in adjustment to admeasurement the affiliation amid the sponsors captivation and how they are perceived by the consumer. Questionnaires and all-embracing interviews will be administered in adjustment to accumulate advice apropos the consumers’ attitude.

Expected Findings – Apropos to accomplished research, it is accepted that the advocacy of Premier Alliance football teams has a absolute admission on the cast angel of the sponsor due to angel transfer.

Opportunities – This assay offers the befalling for the consumers’ attitude on cast image, a assemble that has had little antecedent assay undertaken on it, to be adjourned and accretion a added compassionate into this area.


Prior to the contempo all-around recession, the convenance of corporations demography allotment in sports advocacy was one of the fastest-growing methods of business advice in use, with the cold of extensive a categorical ambition audience. Studies by Meenaghan, 1998 appearance that aural the UK, the best accepted accident accompanying blazon of advocacy is that of sports, which receives 61% of the advocacy expenditure. Cornwell and Roy, 2004, accompaniment that “the bulk of advance in advocacy expenditures is greater than for acceptable media announcement and sales promotion” as according to Erdogan & Kitchen, 1998 and Meenaghan, 1998, advocacy bypasses the media ataxia that acts as an obstacle to announcement and sales advance by attempting to analyze and auspiciously ambition audiences of accurate demographs and lifestyles. However, due to the bread-and-butter abatement and the slashing of business budgets, advocacy advance slowed to an admiration of aloof 3.9% in 2009, afterward a 15% admission in 2008 (Appendix 1), yet the actuality advocacy spending has remained absolute in such an bread-and-butter altitude is encouraging.

Surprisingly, alone in contempo years has assay apropos advocacy been primarily focused on issues apropos the accord amid accident advocacy and cast angel (Eaton, 1999; Musante et al, 1999). It is credible that corporations accept alien sports sponsorships as a communications apparatus that attempts to body the cast angel of an organisation (Javalgi et al, 1994; McDonald, 1991; Quester, 1997; Turco, 1995; Witcher et al, 1991). The cold of the assay that is actuality undertaken is to see to what admeasurement the cast angel bedevilled by a customer is afflicted by sponsorship. In adjustment to assay this, the assay catechism that has been authentic is:

How does the advocacy of English Premier Alliance football clubs affect the cast angel of the sponsors?

The English Premier Alliance draws in the best admirers of any antic alliance authoritative it the best watched in the world, whilst additionally actuality the best advantageous football alliance in the apple with accumulated club revenues admired at about £2 billion pounds according to banking abstracts for the 2007/08 division (BBC News), admitting the bread-and-butter crisis. Additionally, the Deloitte Football Money Alliance 2010 listed seven clubs from the English Premier Alliance in the top twenty of the accomplished earning clubs in the world, “the bigger representation of any distinct country” ( Considering that this is the best adored football alliance in the apple it is accessible that organisations would booty advantage and charge into the bazaar in adjustment to try and advance and advance the cast angel of their company. Organisations such as Audi, Samsung, Emirates, Nike, Adidas and Turkish Airlines amidst a scattering of others pay multi-million batter abstracts to sponsor teams aggressive in the Premier League. This is about done so in adjustment to attack to alteration the angel of the sponsored organisation to the angel of the sponsor.

Literature Review


Sponsorship can be authentic as an advance (in banknote or kind) by the sponsor (i.e. an organisation or brand) in an action that the sponsored organisation is complex with, in adjustment to accretion admission to the bartering abeyant that accompanies the action (Cornwell et al, 2005; King, 1995; Meenaghan, 1991) whilst McCarville & Copeland (1994, p. 103) accompaniment it as actuality “an barter of assets with an absolute accomplice in hopes of accepting a agnate acknowledgment for the sponsor”.

Research agitated out by Quester & Thompson, 2001; Speed & Thompson, 2000, Verity, 2002 and Whannel, 1992 has apparent that amidst assorted alternative factors, the around-the-clock admission in the cardinal of sports contest advertisement on television has led to the anniversary common bulk of advocacy spending to angle at a appear £33 + billion (Akaoui, 2007). This of advance supports the abstracts provided by Meenaghan, 1998 declared ahead assuming that in the UK, 61% of advocacy bulk is channelled appear sports, as able-bodied as acknowledging assay undertaken by Crompton, 2004 and Verity, 2002, advertence that about the aforementioned bulk is spent globally to ambition antic leagues, teams etc. McDonald, 1991, additionally states that at the time, organisations were added breach funds that would usually be spent on alternative business advice tools, appear that of advocacy and that this would admission as the years went on, a account that has built-in truth.

During the aboriginal 1990s back the convenance of avant-garde advocacy was alone aloof emerging, instead of cerebration strategically and highlighting the banking and accumulated assets that are associated with sponsoring, chief managers about chose to sponsor a accurate team, action or accident out of their own claimed interests (Crompton 2004). This blazon of convenance can aftereffect in a abortion because the advocacy has not been strategically planned and so the furnishings can not be accepted or abstinent effectively. As acclaimed by Cornwell et al., 2005; Meenaghan, 2001; Quester & Thompson, 2001; Thjømøe et al., 2002 little assay has been undertaken to admeasurement and accept the furnishings of advocacy on the consumer. Admitting the actuality that chief managers about booty ascendancy of advocacy projects as they accept high-level objectives that are appropriate to be met, such as angel transfer, advance of attitude and cast disinterestedness (Cornwell et al 2001a; Gwinner & Eaton 1999; Miyazaki & Morgan 2001; Polonsky & Speed 2001), it is somewhat baffling that contempo surveys agitated out by Thjømøe et al, 2002 and Crompton, 2004, apropos aloft sponsors apparent that a aerial allotment absorb a minimalistic bulk of money to admeasurement the furnishings of their advocacy and/or use measures that are extraneous for their accurate advice goals. However, Elizabeth Nelson believes that assay into the furnishings of advocacy is not usually abstinent artlessly because the bulk to undertake the assay will about be absolutely aerial in affiliation to the bulk that is invested in the sponsorship, compared to how abundant it would bulk to undertake media announcement research. In animosity of this, if the furnishings of advocacy aren’t measured, again how can they be apparent to be successful?

Crompton, 2004; Javalgi et al, 1994; McDonald, 1991; Pelsmacker et al, 2007 and Quester, 1997 all accede that there are abundant advantages associated with event-related advocacy and that they are financially advantageous due to the cost-effectiveness of this accurate blazon of business advice tool, on the base that the cardinal of bodies apparent to the advocacy is of such a aerial bulk and it is cheaper to ambition these bodies via sponsorships than through acceptable announcement methods.

McDonald, 1991 acclaimed that if advocacy was well-managed and accommodating finer again the affairs can be of abundant abeyant and can absolutely admission the acumen that consumers authority of that organisation, additionally however, a advocacy affairs that has been brash may accept no effect, or may in actuality accept a abrogating one.

Brand Image

Brand angel is important as it portrays the strengths of the sponsor in their corresponding markets and through application advocacy organisations’ attack to abutting the gap that exists amid the cast angel and the cast identity.

Keller 1993 (1993, p.3) defines cast angel as “perceptions about a cast as reflected by the associations captivated in memory”. This analogue angle cast angel as actuality affiliated to the anamnesis anatomy that the customer possesses apropos the cast as this forms a set of behavior that are adopted by the consumer. Keller believes that the angel that a cast has can be afflicted by bond it to a antic accident through adventure a advocacy deal. In this instance, it is appropriate that the above-mentioned angel that a customer possesses of the antic event, aggregation etc is affiliated to the sponsor in their memory. As such, the angel of the accident or aggregation that is actuality sponsored is transferred to the sponsor which should accordingly advance the organisations cast image. An archetype acclaimed in the assignment of Dolphin, 2003 is one conceived by Ho, 1995 whose assay showed that those organisations that sponsor the Olympics are beheld by consumers as actuality the arch aggregation in that accurate industry, appropriately assuming that advocacy has an aftereffect on the acceptability of a sponsor. The Olympics is the bigger antic accident in the world, accordingly organisations that are affiliated with it are advised bazaar leaders.

Attitudes, forth with attributes and benefits, is one of the three ambit proposed by Keller, 1993 that affect cast association. Keller (1993, p. 4) defines cast attitudes as “consumers’ all-embracing appraisal about the brand” and he fatigued the accent of this assemble due to its adeptness to aid a bigger compassionate and estimation of the choices fabricated by consumers. Attributes affair the appearance appointed to anniversary product/service and these are afar into artefact and non-product accompanying categories (Tsiotsou & Alexandris, 2009). The allowances ambit apropos the bulk of the artefact to the customer and how they apperceive this value. Meenaghan, 2001 suggests that consumers accept a absolute attitude appear a sponsor if they accept that the advocacy absolute amid the sponsor and the aggregation they abutment produces an all-embracing account for their team.

According to Tsiotsou & Alexandris, 2009, adventure assay into the allowances and attributes constructs would be aloft the acreage of this accepted assay as it would crave the accumulating of abundant advice apropos to the articles offered by alone sponsors and the allowances accepted of them.

Considering that one of the capital objectives of advocacy for the sponsor is to actualize a favourable attitudinal change as to how the customer perceives the cast angel it is apprehensible that this is about accounted to be the best important aftereffect of advocacy that can be abstinent (Irwin et al, 2003; Martensen et al, 2007; Speed & Thompson, 2000; Verity, 2002).

As Fishbein’s Expectancy-Value archetypal (Appendix 2) shows, how a customer perceives the cast angel of an organisation awful influences their attitude appear that organisation. Antecedent assignment undertaken by St Elmo Lewis, 1900; Sheldon, 1911; Kitson, 1921; Colley, 1961; Lavidge & Steiner, 1961; Rogers, 1962 and Robertson, 1971 accede attitudes to abide of three components: cognitive; melancholia and behavioural. Marketers about apply on one of these apparatus back attempting to change attitudes (Pelsmacker et al, 2007). For example, through allotment Manchester United, it appears that Audi are apperception on the cerebral basic by allotment the best admired football club in the apple (Forbes), one of the affidavit abaft this advocacy accord is no agnosticism to portray Audi in the aforementioned affectionate of accent and alteration the success of the Manchester United image, as this follows the heuristic appraisal process. This links with the after-effects aggregate by Musante et al, 1999 assuming that back the cold of advocacy is to adapt the acumen of the cast image, the organisation should accessory itself with a team, accident etc that possesses the angel they desire.

The assignment of McDonald, 1991 addendum that the RSL Advocacy Tracking Study, which measures the furnishings of advocacy on cast image, claims to accept begin abundant scenarios breadth assay shows that the akin of a consumer’s favourability appear a cast increases in affiliation to their akin of acquaintance of the brand. Additionally, it is accepted and frequently begin that consumers who accept an absorption in a accurate team, action etc, or use the products/services of allotment organisations are already accustomed with accurate sponsors and accept a favourable attitude appear them.

Taking the antecedent assay into application it is proposed that:

H1. Advocacy is absolutely accompanying to Cast Image.

H2 Consumers who consistently watch Premier Alliance football will acquire a added absolute appearance of the sponsor’s cast angel than those who do not.

Proposed Assay Strategy

Proposed Architecture Strategy

Initially, accessory assay will be undertaken through the use of books, bookish journals and the internet. This will acquiesce for the assay catechism to be added developed and accredit a greater compassionate of the area.

Primary assay will be undertaken in the anatomy of a case abstraction that will focus on Manchester United Football Club and the cast angel of their sponsors. Saunders et al, 2009 use the analogue of Yin (2003, p.13) to ascertain a case abstraction as “an empiric assay that investigates a abreast abnormality aural its real-life context”. Application a case abstraction will acquiesce for a complete and complete compassionate of the assay ambience and the associated processes complex (Morris & Wood, 1991) whilst additionally enabling the researcher to acknowledgment questions accompanying to ‘why?’, ‘what?’ and ‘how?’ things appear (Saunders et al, 2009). The aforementioned authors additionally acclaimed that admitting the “‘unscientific’ feel” (Saunders et al, 2009, p.147) that case studies have, they are advantageous in their adeptness to explore, adapt and catechism absolute theory. Although the generalisation of case studies is weak, this can be adequate if one than one case is acclimated as this increases the alien authority (Tharenou et al, 2007).

Proposed Abstract Position

Saunders et al, 2009 accent the accent of compassionate your abstract position by suggesting that alone by compassionate the assumptions of how the apple about us functions can we absolutely appraise and adapt these assumptions. For this allotment of assay the ontological attitude actuality adopted is that of the subjectivist due to the actuality that “the amusing phenomena (brand image) is created from the acumen and consistent accomplishments of those amusing actors (sponsorship) anxious with their existence” (Saunders et al, 2009, p.110). In alternative words how the sponsor is perceived and the allowances associated with their advocacy affects the cast angel that the customer holds of that organisation. A deductive rather than anterior assay admission will be implemented as there is already a all-inclusive bulk of abstract accordant to advocacy and cast angel that can be consulted to deduce a abstract framework. This is usually a action involving little accident back compared to anterior research, except for the achievability of a abridgement of check respondents.

Proposed Abstracts Accumulating Methods

To ensure that the abstracts is actuality interpreted as it should be the adjustment of triangulation will be adopted and both qualitative and quantitative date will be calm application all-embracing interviews and questionnaires. The questionnaires will be bearding and will accommodate questions apropos to how consumers perceived the sponsors cast angel afore their acquaintance of the sponsorship, how their acumen differed afterwards acceptable aware, attitudes etc. A almost small, adumbrative sample of about 50 bodies will be conducted and it is hoped that these bodies acknowledgment their completed questionnaires in adjustment to accommodate the appropriate quantitative data.

The all-embracing interviews will aftermath a high-volume of rich, qualitative abstracts and a adamant anatomy will be adhered to due to the claim to statistically generalise, and to get after-effects of a accurate and reliable nature. These interviews will booty abode with consumers in adjustment to accretion a bigger compassionate of how their perceptions of cast angel are affected. Interviews will be recorded application a Dictaphone to acquiesce the advice to be analysed finer at a after date. The interviews will abide mainly of accessible concluded questions as this will acquiesce for added advice to be gathered.

Proposed Methods of Analysis

The qualitative abstracts that is aggregate through administering interviews will be analysed application agreeable analysis. According to Tharenou et al (2007, p. 252) based on the assignment of Sommer & Sommer, 1991, agreeable assay can be “defined as a address for systematically anecdotic the anatomy and agreeable of accounting or announced material”. The abstracts will be advised adjoin antecedent admission and hypotheses in adjustment to authorize a causal link. This will again be coded and analysed by a computer application the NVivo software program.

The quantitative abstracts produced by the questionnaires will be ranked application a Likert Scale of 1-5 in adjustment to admeasurement the attitude of the customer appear cast image. These after-effects will be coded and graphed in adjustment to adapt the advice and they will be analysed aboriginal application antecedent analyses, and again a bivariate assay to abstraction for alternation coefficients amid the two variables.

Ethical and Admission Considerations

According to Saunders et al, 2009, advisers should be acquainted to the actuality that ethical implications are apprenticed to appear back apropos the admission accepted to the organisation and individual, and as acclaimed by Tharenou et al, 2007 it is acute that afore the assay is conducted, the advisers architecture is adjourned to ensure that follows the austere ethical procedures. In this case, it is the claim that a accord certificate is created advertence that all advice appear by the customer is bearding and confidential. Additionally, it is important with commendations to the believability of the assay and the researcher that that bamboozlement and bigotry of the customer is abhorred at all costs, and that the consumers captivation is both autonomous and informed, Sieber, 1992 defines autonomous as the adeptness to participate freely. It has additionally been accustomed that there is a austere claim that the researcher abide aloof at all times so as to not account any bent furnishings on the research.


See Appendix 3 – Gantt Chart


The assets appropriate for this assay are:



NVivo Software

Academic Journals

Academic Books

The majority of journals can be accessed via the internet whilst all-important books can be purchased or loaned from Bangor University Library and Manchester Library. A Dictaphone can calmly be acquired and the NVivo software can be accessed via the Bangor University Intranet back logged assimilate the University network. Given that the assets listed aloft are already of access, the costs associated with adventure the assay should be small.


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