Unraveling team sponsorship in World Cup: What are the influencing factors?

Submitted by Cindy Lee* & Gonzalo Bravo


There are three parties involved in a simple sponsorship mechanism: the sponsor, the sponsored event or team, and the consumers (fans). However, this structure becomes more complicated in some cases where sub-sponsors exist such as in international sporting events. In these cases, would an overarching event influence sub-sponsorship such as team sponsorship?  Based on this question, this study aims to investigate the influence of overarching brand on team sponsorship effect, along with consumers’ attitudes toward team sponsors, team identification, and patriotism.

This study was conducted in the context of the 2010 World Cup with the United States team as a target subject. A total of 455 usable surveys were collected from the students at a Division I university two weeks prior to the 2010 World Cup. The results of multiple regression showed that only identification with the US National team (β= .54) and attitude toward the sponsoring companies (β= .28) were significant predictors (F(4,450) = 128.43, p < .00, R2=.53), explaining 53 percent of intention to purchase sponsors’ product. Interestingly, the attitude toward the World Cup and patriotism were not influencing factors on respondents’ intention to purchase sponsors’ products.