The Dynamics of Relationship Marketing in International Sponsorship Networks
Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 26(8), pp. 590-601, 2011
31 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2013
Date Written: 2011
The purpose of this work is to advance the research of corporate sponsorship as a means of business-to-business (B2B) sports marketing towards a network conceptualization, which can be dissected from both the perspective of the sponsoring firms and that of the sponsored enterprise (i.e., teams, leagues, events, etc.). This paper employs network analysis as a tool to explore the inter-organizational relationships within corporate sponsorship portfolios (i.e., several firms simultaneously sponsoring a single sports team, league, or event). Several research propositions and applicable network analytics are presented within the context of Formula One racing team sponsorship portfolios. The concepts of network range, density, power, growth, and social capital are explored in regards to their influence on network actors and prospective actors. By utilizing an international contextual case and explicating several analytic network measures, this research extends the investigation of sports sponsorship beyond the image and awareness-based objectives that have dominated this area of research. This application of social network analysis to the study of inter-organizational networks in sport builds on the discussion of sponsorship as a bilateral relationship and advances the dialog towards a broader exploration of corporate sponsors and sport enterprises as network partners.
Keywords: sponsorship, Formula One, network analysis, inter-organizational sponsorship, relationship marketing, networks, corporate hospitality
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