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Evolving priorities in sponsorship: From media management to network management

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Commercial sponsorship has continually adapted to the needs of the market. The purpose of this paper is to tracks these changes and draw out the evolution in management capabilities required to manage sponsorship effectively. Five distinct approaches to sponsorship have been identified from an extensive review of the literature, including: the philanthropic approach, the market-centred approach, the consumer-centred approach, the strategic resource, and finally the relations and networks approach. By examining these approaches, the paper identifies key capabilities required for the future of sponsorship, including network visioning, network orchestration, and relationship portfolio management. This is presented in a four-level framework for sponsorship network management. This paper serves two key audiences. On the one hand, for sponsorship managers, it examines past and future capabilities required to manage sponsorship effectively. For researchers, the paper historically reviews the emergence of sponsorship capabilities and sets out a research agenda to progress our understanding on a network perspective on sponsorship.

Keywords: interaction; marketing management; networks; sponsorship

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Limerick, Ireland

Publication date: 2012-08-01

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