Sponsorship-linked marketing: research surpluses and shortages

Abstract

This systematic review of sponsorship-linked marketing from 1996 to 2017 analyzes the current state of research. The overarching conclusion is that there is a surplus of research that examines audience responses to sponsorship-linked marketing but a shortage of research that examines marketing management of the sponsorship process. This misalignment of research needs to research investments stems partly from a failure to consider the sponsorship process as a whole. Research has failed to account for the complexity of the sponsorship-linked marketing ecosystem that influences both audience response and management decision making. The authors develop a sponsoring process model, generalizable to all sponsorship contexts, as an organizing frame for the review and as a reorienting perspective for research and practice. To spur future work, they advance a series of research questions and, to support practice, provide managerial insights.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the following individuals for comments on the manuscript: Dan Crumb, Yoav Dubinsky, Katrina Galas, Conor Henderson, Steffen Jahn, Merritt Richardson, three JAMS reviewers, our AE and the special issue editors, Mark B. Houston, and John Hulland.

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Correspondence to T. Bettina Cornwell.

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References for the sections of text detailing the sponsorship process model are included in Web Appendix Table A5.

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Cornwell, T.B., Kwon, Y. Sponsorship-linked marketing: research surpluses and shortages. J. of the Acad. Mark. Sci. 48, 607–629 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11747-019-00654-w

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Keywords

  • Sponsorship
  • Ecosystems
  • Engagement
  • Marketing management
  • Advertising