Identifier

etd-1114101-172927

Degree

Master of Mass Communication (MMC)

Department

Mass Communication

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Despite the pervasiveness of sports in American society and the ever-increasing role of sponsorship in the marketing mix, sponsorship marketing as a discipline currently lacks the rigorous academic study and theoretical foundations that exist in other marketing disciplines. The purpose of this study is to determine whether or not sponsorship of New Orleans Zephyrs baseball is an effective way of increasing awareness of a product or brand. Using intermediate measures of recognition testing, fans at three New Orleans Zephyrs games were surveyed to test sponsor recognition. The study examined various elements of sponsorship marketing including the effects that gender, age, income, education and attendance frequency had on sponsorship recognition. Additionally, fans were asked if they consciously looked for sponsor messages at games and where they most noticed the messages. Lastly, respondents were asked if they would use a Zephyrs sponsor's product over a non-sponsor's product given the same price and quality. Results showed that all 12 sponsors tested were recognized. Major sponsors were recognized considerably more so than mid-level sponsors and minor sponsors. A little more than half of the respondents reported that they consciously looked for sponsor messages at games, and the majority of respondents noticed sponsor signage the most on outfield fence signs. More than 80% would choose a Zephyrs' sponsor over another brand given equal price and quality. Chi-square analysis provided significant differences concerning age, income, education and attendance frequency. Attendance frequency had the biggest impact. The more games a fan attended, the more likely they were to correctly identify most sponsors. As the practice of sponsorship marketing becomes an increasingly more important element of the marketing mix, this study seeks to contribute to the growing body of evidence that supports sponsorship as a means to increase awareness and enhance brand image.

Date

2001

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Alan Fletcher

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