Tribal motivation in sponsorship and its influence on sponsor relationship development and corporate identity

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Whilst the literature on sponsorship suggests it has evolved from a philanthropic gesture to a strategic tool that mangers leverage to provide sustainable competitive advantage, this paper reports on a study which suggests other motivational factors may be on par with or supersede commercial or altruistic considerations. Drawing on self identification, social identity and tribal marketing literature, the paper explores the concept of tribal support as a motivational factor for sponsorship participation and examines the moderating effect this may have on sponsor-object relationship development and on corporate identity development. Findings show strong sub-cultural, tribal connection and variations in self and social identification among sponsors and demonstrate how sponsorship motivation affects sponsor relationship development, sponsor-event fit, brand association and corporate identity development in complex ways.
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