Outsourcing Sports Sponsorship Activities: A Multi-Theoretical Approach

UZH Business Working Paper Series - Working Paper No. 351

Posted: 1 Mar 2015 Last revised: 21 Jan 2017

See all articles by Helmut M. Dietl

Helmut M. Dietl

University of Zurich - Department of Business Administration (IBW)

Nicolas Schweizer

University of Zurich - Department of Business Administration

Date Written: February 28, 2015

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to understand and explain why some professional sports organizations outsource their sponsorship-related activities to sports marketing agencies whereas others purposely retain these activities in-house. The paper applies the Resource-Based View (RBV) and Transaction Cost Economics (TCE) to the outsourcing of sports sponsorship activities. It examines the extent determinants descending from these theories influence the sourcing choice of professional sports organizations. We argue that RBV- and TCE-related determinants are useful to analyze which sponsorship-related activities are more or less likely to be outsourced, but they are not sufficient to answer which kinds of sports organizations will outsource and to what extent. With recourse to Contingency Theory, we propose two additional determinants, a sports organization's size and its degree of professionalism, as key drivers for the sourcing decision. Based on these additional determinants we make recommendations on how intensively different sports organizations should outsource, explain why sports organizations actually deviate from these recommended outsourcing levels, and discuss ways to counteract these deviations. This is the first paper to apply classical theoretical concepts to outsourcing sports sponsorship activities. As a conceptual paper, it hopes to stimulate further research on outsourcing in sports sponsorship and on the relationship between sports organizations and sports marketing agencies.

Keywords: Outsourcing, sports sponsorship, sports organizations, sports marketing agencies, Resource-Based View, Transaction Cost Economics

JEL Classification: D23, L20, L83, M10, M30

Suggested Citation

Dietl, Helmut M. and Schweizer, Nicolas, Outsourcing Sports Sponsorship Activities: A Multi-Theoretical Approach (February 28, 2015). UZH Business Working Paper Series - Working Paper No. 351, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2571848 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2571848

Helmut M. Dietl

University of Zurich - Department of Business Administration (IBW) ( email )

Hottingerstrasse 10
Plattenstrasse 14
Zurich, 8032
Switzerland

Nicolas Schweizer (Contact Author)

University of Zurich - Department of Business Administration ( email )

Plattenstrasse 14
Zurich, 8032
Switzerland

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