The Changing Game of Sponsorship
Public PhD defence of Remco Beek
The phenomenon of sports sponsorship evolved into a complex ecosystem. During the last decades, sponsorship became increasingly important in the marketing domain to leverage engagement and conversations with stakeholders through meaningful content. This changing game of sponsorship has been investigated from a longitudinal perspective by a trilogy of studies within the context of international football.
The first part of the trilogy examined the changed game of sponsorship from a historical perspective. What developments in the international ecosystem of football have changed the game of sponsorship over the past decades? Globalization dynamics changed the international playing field, commercial dynamics in the English Premier League resulted in sponsorship eras, and the rise of esports changed the modern game.
In the second part, the changing impact of sponsorship has been studied within the context of the UEFA Champions League and the English Premier League. How has the impact of sponsorship developed over time within the context of international football? Long-term sponsorships were studied over decades to understand the impact of sponsorship on the sponsors’ brand equity, the changing sponsorship impact resulted in defining the sponsorship lifecycle, and the relationships between sportive success, sponsorships characteristics, and sponsorship loyalty were identified.
The third part examined the game changers for sponsorships as a prelude to forthcoming dynamics in the changing game of sponsoring. What developments emerge as game changers for the sponsorship ecosystem in international football? Two contextual factors were examined in several studies, including the interplay between sports and gaming within the modern sportscape. The engagement patterns in social and environmental issues have been identified as second game changer in the sponsorship ecosystem. The related study on sponsorship and social justice clarified inclusive marketing strategies within the context of the UEFA European Football Championships 2020.
The findings of these studies support decision makers, scholars, and lecturers in sports marketing and management in understanding the challenges and opportunities. The goal of this trilogy is to bridge the gaps between science and practice to reveal continuity by considering sponsorship with an infinite mindset and learning to create a meaningful legacy.