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Determinants of commitment in the professional football club/shirt sponsor dyad

By Simon Chadwick


The recent growth in sponsorship expenditure has been marked with football being a major recipient, particularly through shirt sponsorship programmes. The relationship between football club and shirt sponsor is an important one for both parties leading them to routinely profess their\ud commitment to one another. Common notions of commitment are often associated with long-term relationships, although evidence from the sponsorship literature contradicts this. Many football shirt sponsorship deals are short-term, often accompanied by a low rate of contract renewal. In this context, the study therefore sets out to identify determinants of commitment in the dyadic relationship between English professional football clubs and their shirt sponsors.\ud \ud A review of printed and electronic media is initially undertaken to confirm the relevance of the study. This forms the basis for a subsequent examination of critical incident interview data which leads to the development of a questionnaire which was despatched to clubs and sponsors,\ud achieving a response rate of 60.4%. Returns have been analysed using factor and multiple regression analyses in order to identify statistically significant determinants of commitment. A final research stage involving structured face-to-face interviews within six sponsorship dyads is\ud presented to establish the generalisability and validity of findings. \ud \ud Following the review of printed and electronic media,used term in shirt sponsorship programmes and the critical incident interviews highlight nine determinants of commitment. The analysis of questionnaire returns indicates three variables (shared values, perceived benefits and opportunistic behavior) are statistically significant\ud determinants of sponsorship commitment. Further analysis of dyadic interview data results in the development of a typology which highlights the nature and characteristics of four sponsorship commitment types (Calculators and Commercials, Cynics and Short-Termers, Carers and\ud Communals, and Innocents and Indifferents). In the light of these findings, the study concludes by examining issues and implications for academics, practitioners and researchers

Publisher: Leeds University Business School
Year: 2004
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