- Stock prices of Japanese sponsors reacted positively to the participation of sponsored athletes selected as country representatives in international tournaments.
- The positive market responses intensified when the sponsored athletes performed well or when a long-term contract was in place prior to the sport events.
- National and functional congruence likely increased the sponsor’s stock price.
- Sponsoring a less-costly underdog who may perform well in an event may yield better results than sponsoring a more costly star athlete.
The scale of the sports business is growing rapidly, as is attention to sponsorships that link sports and business. Prior studies have shown that sponsorships can enhance brand awareness, improve brand image, and increase brand loyalty by exposing sponsor brands and transferring consumers’ positive perception of the sponsored property to the sponsor’s brand (Cornwell and Maignan, 1998; Gwinner and Eaton, 1999; Mazodier and Merunka, 2012; Quester and Thompson, 2001).