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EMAC 2023 Annual

Strategic management of sponsor portfolios - A case study of Norwegian sponsors of sport

Published: May 24, 2023


Chris Horbel, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences; Tuva Johannessen, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences; Anna-Maria Strittmatter, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences


Sponsorships are a major element of many companies’ strategic branding and communication strategies. As sponsors typically sponsor multiple entities, this study aims to investigate the factors that influence decision-making about the sponsorship portfolio strategy. Case studies of Norwegian sport sponsors were conducted to study managers’ considerations of consumer responses towards the sponsorship portfolio. The findings show that decision-making about individual sponsorships is related to expected consumer responses, while decisions regarding the composition of the portfolio are dominated by organizational factors. Nonetheless, consumer responses are considered in order to increase efficiency in activation strategies and in communication towards consumers. Sponsorship managers can benefit from focusing on consumer response towards their sponsorship portfolio, for example by increasing fit to avoid conflicting consumer attitudes towards different sponsees in the portfolio.