An IMC Approach to Event Marketing: The Effects of Sponsorship and Experience on Customer Attitudes

Julie Z. Sneath
University of South Alabama

R. Zachary Finney
University of South Alabama

Angeline Grace Close
The University of Nevada Las Vegas

INTRODUCTION

Event Marketing is an increasingly important component in the promotions mix. In response to the many challenges facing traditional media, including cost, clutter, and fragmentation, the use of events in which companies can have face-to-face contact with their target audience has grown and become a valuable contributor to marketing communications programs. It is estimated that 22 percent of total marketing communications budgets are dedicated to event-related sponsorship activities (MPI Foundation, 2004). Not surprisingly, the fees paid to sponsor events, along with the campaigns and promotions designed to leverage the sponsorship, have also grown. Despite these increases, event sponsorship is still a “new activity” for many firms (Cornwell and Maignan, 1998, p. 7), and many companies are uncertain how the effects of sponsorship activities (Hulks, 1980; McDonald, 1991), and their relationship to other elements in the promotional mix, should be measured.