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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

The added value for sponsors: A study of network and business partnership in soccer 2011-2018.

Published: May 27, 2020


Morten Erichsen, BI Norwegian Business School; Trond Stiklestad, NTNU Business School; Tor Jakobsen, NTNU Business School; Marthe Holum, NTNU Department of Computer Science


Sponsorship; Effects; Network


Abstract Main goals: Data used in this quantitative research has been gathered over a period of 8 years – from 2011 to 2018 – in a network of sponsors associated with the Norwegian football club, Rosenborg Ballklub (RBK). They have established a network of sponsors – called the RBK Partner Network – that is comprised of over 100 partners. The major purpose of our annual research of RBK has been to map out the contours of the sponsors’ satisfaction with RBK as an object of sponsorship, and consequently with the commercial intention of contributing to the extension and further development of the sponsorship agreement. In other words, what we have is data material that is both unique and very interesting. The contribution our research makes is primarily in connection with looking more closely at the worth of establishing networks. Findings: The major objective of this study was to assess how participation in a sponsor network might provide additional value for sponsors. It is clearly evident in our results that network effects are extremely important for the sponsors in RBK’s network. This is the case for its large, primary sponsors as well as its many smaller collaborative partners. As we can see, there are positive and significant effects of the sponsors’ evaluations of how RBK is performing on the items venue to strengthen customer relations, mingling, venue to meet new partners, success of RBK, focus on return of investment, use of the RBK brand and sales possibilities to other partners. Conclusions: It is important to assess both consumer responses, such as exposure and improved image, as well as network potential. Our focus is on networks and enterprises must assess the dynamics of the network they enter into. RBK’s focus on network has contributed to attract a growing number of partners and thus an important source of income.