Does Race Matter? Sports Sponsorship and Discrimination: Evidence from Professional European Soccer
28 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2022
Date Written: February 21, 2022
Sponsorship income is one of the most important revenue sources for professional soccer clubs operating in the European top leagues. In light of the media attention that the Colin Kaepernick case and the Black Lives Matter movement have gained world-wide in recent times, the study at hand investigates the existence of racial discrimination within the scope of Sports Sponsorships by testing the relationship between the ethnic composition of a team and the value of the team’s front-of-the-shirt sponsorship.
In contrast to North American sports leagues, the economic consequences of discrimination have seen little investigation in Europe. Using panel data from the German Bundesliga and English Premier League (EPL), the current study makes use of a “market test” approach to determine whether racial discrimination economically affect sponsorship rights holder in European Soccer by applying fixed-effects models.
The findings reveal that having black players in general or having players of sub-Saharan African nationality significantly reduces the value of a club’s annual front-of-the-shirt sponsorship value, in particular in the German Bundesliga. Furthermore, this negative effect is not mitigated by players’ average value, club’s reputation or participation in UEFA Club Competitions.
Keywords: sport sponsorship, racism, discrimination, professional football, soccer
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