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Sports sponsorships have become an increasingly large investment for many organizations. IEG (citation) has forecast that in 2017, total global sponsorship spending will be approximately $62.8 billion, up 4.2% from 2016 expenditures. Close to 70%, or almost $44 billion, of total sponsorship spending will be directed towards the sponsoring of sports events, leagues, teams and individual sports personalities. And the bulk of these investments will be implemented by marketers such as McDonald’s and Coca-Cola in efforts to create a sports overlay so as to increase demand for nonsports products. Who benefits from this outpouring of money by companies? Of course, the sports sponsors themselves that are seeking a return on their investments in terms of financial and intrinsic gain are beneficiaries; otherwise these companies would not invest in this marketing strategy. We propose that in addition to sponsors, others who gain from sports sponsorships are threefold: the sports that receive resources from sponsors, the spectators of sporting events, and society as a whole. We propose a model of the various interactions among these four parties and the benefits received by each of these entities in the following paper.

About the Authors

Carol L. Bruneau received her PhD at the University of Arizona and has undergraduate and MBA degrees from Oklahoma State University. She is an Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Montana in beautiful Missoula, MT. She has also served as visiting faculty at St. George University in Grenada. Her research interests are diverse and include sports marketing, services marketing and generational studies. Her research has appeared in several journals including the Journal of Applied Marketing Theory, the Journal of Product and Brand Management and the Journal of Computer Information Systems. Carol has been attending AMTP regularly since 1998.

Sam Fullerton received his PhD in Marketing from Michigan State University. He is a Professor of Marketing at Eastern Michigan University. He has also served as a visiting professor at the University of Michigan, the University of Waikato (NZ), the University of Southern Queensland (Australia), and the North West University (South Africa) where he was awarded the title of Extraordinary Professor. His research primarily focuses on ethics, sports marketing, and marketing education. In recent years, his research has appeared in Sport Marketing Quarterly, Strategic Management, the Journal of Applied Marketing Theory, the Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, the Australasian Marketing Journal, and Health Marketing Quarterly. He has received nine best paper awards at the AMTP and SMA conferences. He has also authored books on Sports Marketing, Contemporary Selling, and Marketing Research.

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