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The effects of sport property relationship marketing on consumer sponsorship evaluation

Jinbae Hong, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM) is an effective tool for building long-term and mutually beneficial relationships between suppliers and consumers, especially in competitive and saturated markets (Morris, Brunyee, and Page, 1998; Sharma and Sheth, 1997; Peterson, 1995; Evans and Laskin, 1994). Sport studies in this area have primarily focused on relationships between fans and teams and between sport properties and corporate sponsors (Chadwick, 2002; Cousens, Babiak, and Slack, 2001; Lachowetz et al. 2002; Sutton et al. 1997; Rohm, 1997; McDonald and Milne, 1997). The purpose of this study is to determine whether the strength of the relationship between the sport property and its fans positively affects the fans' evaluation of the property's corporate sponsors. The proposed model includes three antecedent constructs (overall satisfaction, communication effectiveness, community involvement) and two mediating constructs (trust and commitment) to consumers' sponsorship evaluation. These are used to measure sports fans' relationship value with a sport property. Based on the literature, these five constructs are crucial for creating and maintaining relationships (Garbarino and Johnson, 1999; Sharma, Niedrich and Dobins, 1999; Duncan and Moriarty, 1998; Rodwell, Kienzle, and Shadur, 1998; Morgan and Hunt, 1994; Dwyer, Schurr, and Oh, 1987; Steers, 1977). Additionally, three dependent variables (favorable attitude, interest in other marketing communications, and actual purchasing intention) are used to assess fans' evaluation of sponsors. Data were collected from 148 season ticket holders for a team of the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA). Structural equation modeling was conducted to understand the relationship among the three groups of variables. The results of testing research hypotheses indicated that fans' overall satisfaction and perceived communication effectiveness with a sport property cause fans' trust and commitment to the sport property. In addition, only commitment mediated the three constructs—overall satisfaction, effective communication, and trust to be positively related with the evaluation of a sponsor. These results clearly suggest that fans' committed relationship to the sport property is the most important factor not only in building fan loyalty but also in creating and maintaining continuous support for corporate sponsors.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Hong, Jinbae, "The effects of sport property relationship marketing on consumer sponsorship evaluation" (2005). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3179884.