Journal of Cultural Economics

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 205–224 | Cite as

Why Do Companies Sponsor Arts Events? Some Evidence and a Proposed Classification

  • John O'Hagan
  • Denice Harvey


Corporate philanthropy towards the arts isof long standing in the United States. There is nosuch tradition in Europe, but corporate sponsorship ofthe arts has been in place since the 1960s (seeFrémion, 1994). This paper will discuss thedifferences and similarities between these two formsof business support to the arts and then concentrateprimarily on corporate sponsorship. The motivationsfor companies to sponsor arts events are examined inthe context both of the literature relating to themotivations for corporate philanthropy and corporatepromotional/marketing expenditure. Results from asurvey of 69 companies that had sponsored 129 artsevents in Ireland are presented and compared to thelimited results from similar surveys elsewhere. Itis suggested that the motivations for such sponsorshipcan usefully be reduced to four: promotion ofimage/name, supply-chain cohesion, rent-seeking andnon-monetary benefit to managers/owners. The evidence for this from the survey, either directly available orimplicit in the responses to some other questions, issignificant.

arts sponsorship and promotion rent-seeking supply-chain cohesion corporate philanthropy special events 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • John O'Hagan
    • 1
  • Denice Harvey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsTrinity College DublinIreland

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