At a time when football clubs are seeking to enhance revenue streams and shirt sponsors are looking to add value to their deals, selecting the right sponsorship partner and professionally managing a deal with them has never been more important.
“When football shirt sponsorship contracts are agreed, football clubs and shirt sponsors normally make announcements about their commitment to one another. The question is: what does ‘making a commitment’ actually mean?” says sports marketing expert Mr Simon Chadwick of Leeds University Business School.
Mr Chadwick’s research into the complex relationship between football clubs and shirt sponsors shows that there are key determinants of sponsorship commitment, including: the degree of trust; the nature of their communications; the geographic location of their relationship partner; the perceived benefits of their relationship; the extent to which they share organisational values; their perceived contractual obligations; the influence of their informal relationships and social networks and the existence of opportunistic tendencies.
Mr Chadwick believes that there are key implications of his research for both football clubs and shirt sponsors:
“The nature of commitment is commonly associated with relationship longevity and durability, a willingness to maintain a valued relationship, and loyalty,” says Mr Chadwick, “but this is not necessarily the case here; the figures reported for sponsorship deals often show they are short-term. In the past, clubs have traditionally chased revenue, whilst sponsors have sought to associate with the popularity of football. But this is changing, because clubs and sponsors are starting to recognise the need to take a different view of the way in which they manage their relationship.
“By understanding the reasons why partners commit and identifying the type of partner they are, football clubs and shirt sponsors are more likely to have a positive experience of their relationship,” he says.
Mr Simon Chadwick | alfa
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