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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

Sport Sponsorship as an Engagement Platform - Micro-Foundations through Empirical Findings

Published: May 28, 2019


Herbert Woratschek, University of Bayreuth; Markus Buser, University of Bayreuth; Jan Schoenberner, University of Bayreuth


sponsorship platform; sponsorship engagement; sport service ecosystem


Sport sponsorship is widely analysed as dyadic relationship between sponsee and sponsor. Considering sponsorship portfolios of sport organisations, which include multiple sponsors, a dyadic perspective on sponsorship seems narrow-minded. Consequently, the latest sport management literature considers the importance of B2B-relationships in sponsorship. However, there is still a lack of a holistic network perspective. Hence, we used the ideas of service-dominant logic and engagement platforms as theoretical foundations to build a conceptual sponsorship model. Subsequently, we conducted two empirical Delphi studies to explore micro-foundations to develop a conceptual sponsorship model. Our results show that sponsorship can be described as a platform in the sport service ecosystem where various actors engage in service exchange and resource integration. Thereby, we revealed the roles of actors engaging in sport sponsorship. Furthermore, we identified various actors’ resource integration and defined sport sponsorship engagement, which manifests in actors’ resource integration behaviour that goes beyond contractual bindings.