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An exploratory investigation into the effectiveness of team kit sponsorship: Fans' perspectives of new sponsorship in the German Bundesliga

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Abstract:

The purpose of this paper is to provide a richer, deeper understanding of fan attitudes toward sponsoring brands, and specifically kit sponsorship. Moving away from the traditional hypo-deductive approach utilised widely in the field, this exploratory research undertaking adopts an inductive, social constructionist, qualitative approach to exploring fans' perceptions of sponsoring brands and their predilection to engage in long term relationships. The salient element of the work reveals that apathy, negative association, lack of recall, and reluctance to engage with the sponsoring brand are the hallmarks of fan engagement. Importantly, the paper reveals that pre-cognition of a brand can impact significantly on the desire to consume, influence perceptions of fit between club and brand and have nothing to do with club success. The paper makes a practical contribution by highlighting that sponsorship is far from the strategic panacea presented in the current literature.

Keywords: BRAND LOYALTY; BRAND STRATEGY; CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR; QUALITATIVE RESEARCH; SPORTS SPONSORSHIP

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1362/147539213X13832198548337

Publication date: 2013-06-01

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