Marketing through sport: a case of a religious organization

  • Seungbum LeeEmail author
Case Report


The existence of competition is inevitable in our society, and even nonprofit organizations including religious organizations, are not immune from competition. Given the fact that religious organizations are facing more heated competition in the market than before, they have been adapting various marketing techniques. The purpose of this study is, first, to provide an introduction of the Peace Cup soccer tournament, operated by the Unification Church, commonly known as Moonies. Secondly, the overriding goal of this study is to show how a religious organization can strategically utilize and even capitalize on sport sponsorship for its marketing purposes. It is believed that the proper use of sport marketing by the religious organizations will create nothing but positive effects for the church and society.


Marketing Sport marketing Sponsorship Sport sponsorship Religion 


  1. Aaker D (1996) Building strong brands. Free, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Abratt R, Clayton M, Pitt L (1987) Corporate objectives in sports sponsorship. Int J Advert 6:299–311Google Scholar
  3. Abreu M (2006) Brand positioning and image of a religious organization: an empirical analysis. Int J Nonprofit Volunt Sect Mark 11:139–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Amis J, Cornwell B (2005) Global sport sponsorship. Berg, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  5. Angheluţă A, Strâmbu-Dima A, Zaharia R (2009) Church marketing: concept and utility. J Study Relig Ideol 8(22):171–197Google Scholar
  6. Bagozzi R (1979) Toward a formal theory of marketing exchange. In: Ferrell O, Brown S, Lamb C (eds) Conceptual and theoretical developments in marketing. American Marketing Association, Chicago, pp 431–447Google Scholar
  7. Baimbridge M, Waiman P (1997) Demand of religion in the British Isles. Appl Econ Lett 4:79–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bennett R (1999) Sports sponsorship, spectators recall and false consensus. Eur J Mark 33(3/4):291–313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Berger P (1967) The scared canopy. Doubleday, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. Bromley D, Shupe D (1979) “Moonies” in America: cult, church, and crusade. Sage, Beverley HillsGoogle Scholar
  11. Catherwood D, Van Kirk R (1992) The complete guide to special event management. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. Cimino R, Lattin D (1998) Shopping for faith: American religion in the new millennium. Jossey-Bass, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  13. D’Alenssandro D (2001) Brand welfare: 10 rules for building the killer brand. McGraw Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  14. Davis S (2002) Brand asset management. Jossey-Bass, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  15. Dawson L (1998) The cultural significance of new religious movements and globalization: a theoretical prolegomenon. J Sci Stud Relig 37:580–595CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Greer B, Roof W (1992) Desperately seeking Sheila’: locating religious privatism in American society. J Sci Stud Relig 31:346–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hadden J (1995) Religion and the quest for meaning and order: old paradigms, new realities. Sociol Focus 28:83–100Google Scholar
  18. Hartland T, Skinner H, Griffiths A (2005) Tries and conversions: are sports sponsors pursuing the right objectives? Int J Sport Mark Spon 6(3):164–173Google Scholar
  19. Haydon J (2003) Peace Cup is the last goodwill event for sport. Unification News Available at Accessed 30 Aug 2009
  20. Howard D, Crompton J (2003) Financing sport, 2nd edn. Fitness Information Technology, MorgantownGoogle Scholar
  21. Keller K (1993) Conceptualizing, measuring, and managing customer-based brand equity. J Mark 57(1):1–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Keller K (1998) Strategic brand management. Upper Saddle River, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  23. Kilbourne B (1986) Equity or exploitation: the case of the unification church. Rev Relig Res 28(2):143–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kinney L, McDaniel S (2003) American consumer attitudes toward corporate sponsorship of sporting events. In: Kahle L, Riley C (eds) Sports marketing and the psychology of marketing communication. Erlbaum, New Jersey, pp 211–222Google Scholar
  25. Kotler P, Anderson A (1996) Strategic marketing for nonprofit organizations management. Prentice Hall, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  26. Lough N, Irwin R (2001) A comparative analysis of sponsorship objectives for US women’s sport and traditional sport sponsorship. Sport Mark Q 10(4):202–211Google Scholar
  27. Madrigal R (2000) The influence of sponsee identification and group norms on intentions to purchase a corporate sponsor’s products. J Advert 29(4):13–24Google Scholar
  28. Maguire B, Weatherby G (1998) The secularization of religion and television commercials. Sociol Relig 59(2):171–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. McDaniel S (1989) The use of marketing techniques by churches: a national survey. Rev Relig Res 31(2):175–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Meenaghan T (1983) Commercial sponsorship. Eur J Mark 17(7):1–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Meenaghan T (1991) The role of sponsorship in the marketing communications mix. Int J Advert 10:35–47Google Scholar
  32. Meenaghan T (2001) Understanding sponsorship effects. Psychol Market 18(2):95–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Melton J (1995) The changing scene of new religious movements. Soc Compass 42:265–276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Miller K (2002) Competitive strategies of religious organizations. Strateg Manag J 23(5):435–456CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mullin B, Hardy S, Sutton W (2007) Sport marketing, 3rd edn. Human Kinetics, ChampaignGoogle Scholar
  36. Nelms D (1996) Going for gold. Air Transp World 33(11):71–74Google Scholar
  37. Newman C, Benchener P (2007) Marketing in America’s large Protestant Churches. Seventh Annual IBER & TLC Conference Proceedings, Las Vegas, NV, 2007Google Scholar
  38. Otker T, Hayes P (1987) Judging the efficiency of sponsorship. Eur Res 15(4):53–58Google Scholar
  39. Page C (1952) Bureaucracy and the liberal church. Rev Relig 16(3/4):147–148Google Scholar
  40. Parsons AS (1986) Messianic personalism: a role analysis of the Unification Church. J Sci Stud Relig 25(2):141–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Pope N (1998) Overview of current sponsorship thought. Available via Accessed Aug 30 2009
  42. Pringle H, Thompson M (1991) Brand spirit: how cause related marketing builds brands. Wiley, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  43. Richelieu A, Pons F (2006) Toronto maple leafs vs football club Barcelona: how two legendary sports teams built their brand equity. Int J Sport Mark Spon 7(3):231–250Google Scholar
  44. Rines S (2002) Guineess Rugby World Cup sponsorship: a global platform for meeting business objectives. Int J Sport Mark Spon 3(4):449–465Google Scholar
  45. Rossiter J, Percy L (1997) Advertising communications and promotion management, 2nd edn. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  46. Roy D (2005) Global sport sponsorship: towards a strategic understanding. In: Amis J, Cornwell B (eds) Global sport sponsorship. Berg, Oxford, pp 147–161Google Scholar
  47. Sandler D, Shani D (1993) Olympic sponsorship vs ‘ambush’ marketing: who gets the gold? J Advert Res 11:9–14Google Scholar
  48. Shank M (1999) Sport marketing: a strategic perspective. Prentice Hall, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  49. Shawchuck N, Kotler P, Warren B, Rath G (1992) Marketing for congregations. Abingdon, NashvilleGoogle Scholar
  50. Slater J, Lloyd C (2003) It’s gotta be the shoes: exploring the effects of relationships of Nike and Reebok sponsorship on two college athletic programs. In: Kahle L, Riley C (eds) Sports marketing and the psychology of marketing communication. Erlbaum, New Jersey, pp 191–210Google Scholar
  51. Speed R, Thompson P (2000) Determinants of sports sponsorship response. J Acad Mark Sci 28:226–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Stark R, Iannaccone L (1994) A supply-side reinterpretation of the “secularization” of Europe. J Sci Stud Relig 33:230–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Stark R, McCannm J (1993) Market forces and Catholic commitment: exploring the new paradigm. J Sci Stud Relig 32:111–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Till B, Nowak L (2000) Toward effective use of cause-related marketing alliances. J Prod Brand Manag 9(7):472–484CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Vokurka R, McDaniel S (2004) A taxonomy of church marketing strategy types. Rev Relig Res 46(2):132–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Waite N (1979) Sponsorship in context. Dissertation. Cranfield Institute of ManagementGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of AkronAkronUSA

Personalised recommendations