1.1. Background of the Study
Sponsorship has turned out to be very popular in the 21st century's mix of communication tools for organizations looking to develop a communication flow toward set goals. Sponsorship appears to be gaining prominence in marketing communication tactics. Sponsorship is a concept that exists in the minds of customers and is beneficial to the firm's sales and publicity. Furthermore, it is beneficial to comprehend consumer perceptions of the company's product and what factors influence customer perceptions of products that the customer has previously utilized. Sponsorship has an impact on customer perceptions and beliefs.
Organizations become affiliated with an independent source of communications with a specified communication flow through sponsorship (Jalleh, Donovan, Giles-Corti, & Holman, 2015). For example, a football team is a unique source. It sends out its own messaging and employs media outlets that place a high value on sporting events since they know how enticing they are to the general population (McDonald, 1991). Because they know their audience wants to be informed about this type of attraction, media pay considerably more attention and space to event producers (sports, cultural, musical, or other public events). As a result, whether in video or print, the media require this type of material to fill their spaces. The media requires the producer's information more than the producer requires the media, creating a power imbalance in the information market that might benefit sponsors financially (Akwensivie, Narteh, & Iden, 2016).
Today, sponsorship has turned out to be a crucial tool for attracting customers swiftly. Sponsorship is an important instrument for implementing marketing plans and targeting target markets. The primary goal of sponsorship is to reach a huge number of people (AsimTanvir, 2012). Consumer purchase intent, brand image, and brand exposure are all affected by sponsorship. According to Zouaoui and Omri (2013), sponsorship has become a necessary technique for any corporation to increase product sales volume and the brand image of a corporate product in the minds of customers. More corporations are using sponsorship as a tactic to improve their product brand image in the minds of customers because people are more likely to be drawn to sports programs on television. It is a more effective tool than advertising for promoting a company's goods.
Brand publicity is a tool used to promote a company's product from a broad to a specific level. Only when two companies reach an arrangement with another sponsored company can brand publicity be achieved (Amoako, Dartey-Baah, & Kwesie, 2012). In the product or publicity, the sponsors are not mentioned or identified. Independent individuals communicate services. Newspapers and other forms of communication are commonly used to communicate goods and services. More information on a company's product marketing can be found under brand publicity (Meenaghan, 2001). Advertising is a more expensive method of promotion. As a result, sponsorship is an important strategy for promoting a product at a low cost. Sponsorship can give a corporation with a wealth of product expertise, and it is a quick approach to promote a product (Bahauddin, 2014). Many companies spend billions of dollars on sponsorship since it is thought to be the most effective way to promote their brand. Companies capture a large audience or individuals in order to sell their products. When the Indian cricket team plays cricket, for example, the entire sports team represents the SAHARA brand. Because the Indian cricket team's gear bears the name or trademark of the SAHATRA Company (Lee & Trail, 2012). The name or trademark is printed on the Indian cricket team's shirts. This sponsorship is also done with well-known people or during large events like the AMVCA. Pepsi, Promasidor, Quick Teller, Moet and Chandon, Supa Komando, Sunlight Detergent, Lush Hair, and 2Sure are among the event's sponsors.
Sponsorship provides a variety of benefits to businesses (Irwin & Sutton, 2011; Cousens, Babiak & Bradish, 2016), which includes direct media access, increased sales and market share, enhanced company’s image, prevail over cultural barriers, developing relationships with politicians and business leaders, and to as well as enhance the morale of employee (Hickman, Lawrence & Ward, 2005). However, there are two types of basic effects of sponsorship from the perspectives of demand, which are: those on awareness, and those on image (Crowley, 2017). Majority of empirical investigations (Lardinoit & Derbaix, 2001) gave special attention to sponsor awareness, whereas brand image was given less attention (Meenaghan, 2001). However, there is a substantial empirical evidence that sponsorship enhances the awareness of awareness (e.g. Cornwell, Maignan, & Irwin, 2000), and that the impact on awareness is reliant on the nature of exposure, product type, message features and the target (Walliser, 1994), the sponsorship level of integration with other communication campaign tools (Quester & Thompson, 2001), and the level of consumer participation in the sponsored activity (Quester & Thompson, 2001). After a series of research (Ganassali & Didellon, 1996; Giannelloni, 1993; Gwinner, 2011) that explored the theoretical foundations of the image effects of sponsorship and were mostly exploratory in nature, the analysis of the impact on image appears to have slowed in recent years. However, little is known about the factors that influence image transfer from the sponsored activity to the sponsor.
As a result, the purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of event sponsorship on brand perception: a case study of Amstel Malta at the 2022 AMVCA awards show.
1.2. Statement of the Problem
Sponsorship, according to Czinkonta and Ronkainen (2004), is a promotional tactic used by marketers to influence client behavior. Sponsorship was discussed by Fahy, Farrelly, and Quester (2018) as a potential source of competitive advantage and marketing success. They showed that developing contributions to understanding the mechanics of sponsorship management is critical, and that this should be researched and empirically tested in future study. According to Cornwell, Pruitt, and Clark (2015), the literature review primarily focuses on theoretical explanations of how sponsorship works and research questions, bringing together variables to better understand their impact on sponsorship processing mechanics and related consequences. Because there is a shortage of practical research on the evaluation of the influence of sponsored events on consumer purchase intention, O'Reilly and Madill (2007) focused on the necessity for continuing improvement of theory and practical instruments of sponsorship assessment.
Gwinner and Swanson, (2009); Roy, (2015); and Woisetschlager and Michaelis (2012) found that literature has addressed the need for more theory-based and field-tested guides to assist brand managers in event selection. Many academics (Arens & Weigold, 2012, Picton & Broderick, 2005) have focused on sponsorship because of its importance in today's marketplace and how sponsorship is vital to acquire competitive advantage in a highly competitive market. However, many of the sponsorship reviews are out of date, and the majority of the studies do not focus on the influence of event sponsorship on brand perception. This is a gap that the current study aims to fill by looking at the impact of event sponsorship on brand perception: a case study of Amstel Malta at the AMVCA awards presentation in 2022.
1.3. Research Objective
The overall objective of this study is to examine the impact of event sponsorship on brands perception: a case study of Amstel Malta at the 2022 AMVCA awards show. However, the specific objectives are to:
- Assess the impact of event sponsorship on brand image
- Investigate the impact of event sponsorship on brand publicity
- Explore the impact of event sponsorship on brand patronage
1.4. Research Questions
Based on the above research objectives, the following research questions are formulated for the study.
- What is the impact of event sponsorship BY Amstel Malta on its image?
- How does event sponsorship by Amstel Malta enhance its publicity?
- How does event sponsorship by Amstel Malta enhance its patronage?
1.5. Significance of the Study
Generally, the understanding of this study would serve as a useful guide to companies on the importance and benefits to achieve in sponsoring events. Furthermore, this study will be of benefit to companies in that, it will help them identify and understand the various benefits to gain in event sponsorship, which will help enhance their brands reputation, image and perceptions to the public.
To the management of companies, the findings will provide them with strategies to enhance the growth and perception of their companies through event sponsorship. In addition, the findings from this study may benefit management by equipping them with the needed information on the reasons why they should be a part in event sponsorship. The finding of the study will as well contribute to the existing literature in the field of event sponsorship on brands perception. In addition, this study will act as a reference point for further research to refine and extend the present study. Lastly, this study will assist other researchers to further their studies on areas of interest not exploited yet in the study.
1.6. Scope of the Study
The study focuses on the impact of event sponsorship on brand perception: of Amstel Malta at the 2022 AMVCA awards show. The survey research design will be adopted for the study in order to collect data among the attendees of AMVCA in Lagos State, Nigeria. The reason for using the attendees is because they are considered well knowledgeable to give first class information on the impact of event sponsorship on brand perception, using Amstel Malta.
Data for the study is collected through a questionnaire, which will be administered to the respondents. The population of the study consists of 2,000 attendees of AMVCA awards show, Lagos State, while the sample size of 333 was arrived at by using the Taro Yamane formulae at 95% confidence interval and 5% margin error. To administer the questionnaire, the simple random sampling technique will be adopted in order to ensure that both female and male attendees of AMVCA as every chance of being represented for the study.
1.7. Operational Definition of Terms
Event Sponsorship: refers to a promotional tool through which a firm provides finance or other resources to cover a section or all of the costs involved in a project, in exchange for displaying the company’s logos, names and products or services.
Brand Perception: refers to how consumers perceives a brand
Brand Patronage: refers to the degree at which customers buys from a brand
Brand Image: refers to the perception of a brand by a customer which is linked with the attributes of a brand, brand benefits and brand attitude held in consumer memory.
Brand Publicity: refers to the tools adopted by a company to advertise its products or services from broader level to narrow level.