Football Shirt Sponsorship Programmes – Is Iso 9001 A Way To Address Rentention And Value Problems?

Football Shirt Sponsorship Programmes – Is Iso 9001 A Way To Address Rentention And Value Problems?

Room G01 – Clore Management Centre,
Birkbeck College,
Torrington Square,
London WC1 7HX

Wednesday 7th December at 6pm

Given by:

Dr Simon Chadwick, Department of Management, Birkbeck College, University of London


It is acknowledged that football clubs have problems in acquiring and retaining football shirt sponsors (Thwaites, 1995; Chadwick and Thwaites, 2004; Chadwick and Thwaites, 2005). At the same time, football shirt sponsorship contracts in England have been identified as being less valuable than those in other countries (Sport+Markt, 2004). There is also growing scepticism amongst sponsors about the effectiveness and relevance of shirt sponsorships, organisations have indicated that some clubs are often unwilling to co-operate with them, fail to communicate openly or regularly, do not engage with the staff responsible for managing sponsorship programmes, and frequently reject a collaborative approach to their relationship (Chadwick, 2004).

The ISO 9001 standard exists in order that an organisation can demonstrate its ability to consistently meet customer requirements. It also aims to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of systems, including processes for continual improvement of the system and the assurance of conformity to customer requirements (International Organisation for Standardisation, 2000). Amongst benefits attributable to the standard are improved levels of quality, safety, reliability, efficiency, inter-changeability and economy ( International Organisation for Standardisation, 2005). Wilkinson and Dale (2002) highlighted five broad headings under which standards are assessed: quality management systems, management responsibility, resource management, product realisation and measurement, analysis and improvement.

Following work undertaken by Meesters and de Vries (2002), this standard clearly has a role to play in ensuring that football clubs serve the needs of their customers, amongst them a club’s shirt sponsors. In particular, they identify that sponsors will inevitably seek to maximise their returns from a sponsorship contract and their assumption is that clubs applying for and securing the ISO 9001 standard will thus be able to more readily deliver these returns. The presentation will therefore contend that football clubs can retain their shirt sponsors for longer periods of time and secure higher financial values for these contracts than is currently the case, if they were to secure ISO 9001 accreditation. The award of this standard would mean the club setting down performance benchmarks for their relationship with a sponsor. As a result, it will be argued that sponsors should be more likely to trust clubs and therefore make a longer-term financial commitment to them.


  • Chadwick, S. (2004), The Nature of Commitment in the Professional Football Club/Shirt Sponsor Dyad, unpublished PhD thesis, University of Leeds , England .
  • Chadwick, S., and Thwaites, D. (2004), Advances in the Management of Sponsorship: fact or fiction? Evidence from English professional soccer, Journal of General Management, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 39-60.
  • Chadwick, S., and Thwaites, D. (2005), Managing sport sponsorship programmes: lessons from a critical assessment of English soccer, Journal of Advertising Research, forthcoming.
  • International Organisation for Standardisation (2000), Quality management systems – requirements, ISO Central Secretariat, Geneva , Switzerland .
  • International Organisation for Standardisation (2005), Why standards matter, accessed 22 nd June
  • Sport und Markt (2004), English Premiership’s Jersey-Sponsor Income Falls, accessed 14 th December
  • Thwaites, D. (1995), Professional Football Club Sponsorship-Profitable or Profligate, International Journal of Advertising, vol. 14, pp. 149-164.
  • Meesters, Barry, and de Vries, H.J. (2002), ISO 9000 scores in professional soccer – but who is the customer?, ISO Management Systems – The International Review of ISO 9000 and ISO 14000, vol. 2, no. 6, pp. 51-55.
  • Wilkinson, G., and Dale, B.G. (2002), An examination of the ISO 9001: 2000 standard and its influence on the integration of management systems, Production Planning and Control, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 284-297.


Simon works at Birkbeck College , the University of London, where he is Programme Director for the MSc in Sport Management and the Football Industry. He is Editor of the International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship and also founder and leader of the Academy of Marketing ‘s Sport Marketing Special Interest Group. Simon has researched and published extensively in the area of sport marketing (particularly the sponsorship of professional football) and is co-editor, along with John Beech, of The Business of Sport Management, The Marketing of Sports and The Business of Tourism Management (all published by FT Prentice Hall).

For further details on this seminar series contact:

Sean Hamil
Department of Management
Birkbeck College
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HX

Tel: 020-7631 6763

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