Sports fans categorise brands as having different “personalities”, and understanding these perceptions can help marketers enhance their sponsorship strategies, according to a study published in the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR).
Why it matters
Sponsorship is a comparatively expensive approach, but proving its impact is frequently a challenge. Knowing how consumers evaluate brand sponsors over time can help marketers in determining the return on investment from this activity.
The key learnings
Lane Wakefield, Kirk Wakefield (both from Baylor University), Kevin Lane Keller (Dartmouth College) and Anne Rivers (basc partners) discussed this topic in a paper entitled, “Are brands wasting money on sport sponsorships? A new look at brand personality, brand equity, and official sponsorship effects.”
And, based on the views on the fans of Major League Baseball, they found:
Fans typically categorise brands as having “fun–friendly–social” personalities and “traditional–reliable–straightforward” personalities.
All brands are a “mix of each dimension”, but only 16.8% perform highly on both metrics.
Brands with “strong fun–friendly–social personalities” often waste money on sponsorships, with expenditure of more than $30 million being “associated with weaker differentiation”, and spend over $55 million faring “little or no better” in this regard, the study said.
Marketers with strong “traditional–reliable–straightforward personalities” that spend between $60 million and $85 million on sponsorships do not have meaningfully higher brand equity positions than counterparts spending less than $20 million on sponsoring rights.