Commitment in the football shirt sponsorship dyad

Commitment in the football shirt sponsorship dyad

A seminar in Room B20,
Malet Street Building,
University of London,
Malet Street,
London WC1E 7HX

Monday 22nd March  6pm-8pm

Given by:

Simon Chadwick


Having signed a shirt sponsorship contract, football clubs and sponsors routinely pronounce their commitment to one another. Notions of commitment found in the academic literature indicate that it is characterised by relationship longevity, durability, and loyalty. But evidence from football shirt sponsorships appears to counter such notions, as many deals are often short-term. The presentation therefore sets out to examine the nature of commitment in the football shirt sponsorship dyad, and to identify the implications of this for sponsorship management.

Based upon questionnaire returns (n=110: 60 football clubs and 50 shirt sponsors) and face-to-face interviews (n=28: 14 football clubs and 14 shirt sponsors), it was found that there are nine determinants of commitment, of which three (perceived benefits of a relationship, the extent to which organisational values are shared, and the existence of opportunistic tendencies) are significant. Following further analysis of the determinants, four types of football club/shirt sponsor were subsequently identified: ‘Calculators and Commercials’, ‘Cynics and Short-Termers’, ‘Carers and Communals’, and ‘Innocents and Indifferents’.

The presentation concludes by examining the nature and characteristics of commitment displayed by each of these types. It will then go on to discuss the implications for the management of relationships in cases where sponsorship partners are drawn from each one of the types.

Further Reading

  • Anderson, E., and Weitz, B. (1982), The Use of Pledges to Build and Sustain Commitment in Distribution Channels, Journal of Marketing Research, vol. 29, February, pp. 18-34.
  • Chadwick, S. (2002), The Nature of Commitment in Sport Sponsorship Relations, International Journal of Sport Marketing and Sponsorship, September/October, pp. 35-53.
  • Chadwick, S., and Thwaites, D. (2004) Advances in the management of sport sponsorship: Fact or fiction?, Journal of General Management (forthcoming).
  • Thwaites, D. (1995), Professional Football Club Sponsorship-Profitable or Profligate, International Journal of Advertising, vol. 14, pp. 149-164.

For further details contact:

Sean Hamil, Football Governance Research Centre on 020 7631 6763

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