Measuring the Effectiveness of True Sponsorship

Bill Harvey
TRA, Inc.

Stu Gray
Independent Consultant

Gerald Despain
Next Century Media, Inc.


Sponsorship is again on the rise, and marketers have called for new efforts by researchers to measure the business value of this form of marketing communications. The methodologies appropriate to making sponsorship accountable are similar to those used for other forms of advertising, and the effects of sponsorship fit within the continuum of effects known as the ARF Model. What causes Persuasion in the sponsorship context appears, however, to be logically different from what causes Persuasion in the advertising context. Advertising appears to work by causing improvements directly in brand perception, whereas sponsorship appears to work by causing improvement directly in the perception of the sponsoring company and often indirectly by halo effect in the brand perception. However, even when brand perception is not affected, sponsorship can increase purchase intent, apparently as result of gratitude toward the sponsor.