Managing a sponsored brand: the importance of sponsorship portfolio congruence

Mark D. Groza

Northern Illinois University

Joe Cobbs

Northern Kentucky University

Tobias Schaefers

EBS University, Germany

Introduction

Commercial sponsorship is one of the most popular and fastest-growing promotional tools available to brand managers. One indication of this popularity is the proliferation of corporate sponsorships of large-scale events. The 2010 FIFA World Cup held in South Africa, for example, was sponsored by no fewer than 20 corporate brands (FIFA 2010). The level and designation given to these sponsors ranged from FIFA Partners – the highest level of corporate involvement – to National Supporters – a lower level of involvement. The 2012 London Olympic Games – another event that will receive a large amount of worldwide attention – has well over 40 corporate sponsors, encompassing four levels of sponsorship, ranging from Worldwide Partners to Official Suppliers and Providers (London 2012 (2010)).