The Flipside of the Sponsorship Coin: Do You Still Buy the Beer When the Brewer Underwrites a Rival Team?

Lars Bergkvist

University of Nottingham Ningbo

Management slant

  • Sponsorships are generally assumed to have positive effects on the brand.
  • This study found that sponsorship of a football team has negative brand effects among the fans of a rival team.
  • Managers should consider sub-segments when evaluating sponsorship options and include attitude toward the sponsored object in addition to fit in their evaluations.


The brand effects of sponsorships have received extensive coverage in advertising/marketing research (see overviews in Olson, 2010; Walliser, 2003). To date, this research has been based on the assumption that the sponsorship has positive effects on the brand, and studies have sought to establish whether brand associations become more positive as a result of the sponsorship.