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Analyzing the Influence of Sports Sponsorship on Consumer Behavior

Sport Sponsorship   |   Dec 14, 2023   |  by Hannah Shain

 If you are an executive in the sports marketing sponsorship industry, you would know that sports sponsorship is one of the most exciting and effective marketing strategies that can skyrocket your brand's recognition and popularity. But, are you aware of the deeper influences it has on consumer purchasing behavior? Studies have shown that sports sponsorships can impact consumer purchasing behavior by a significant percentage. That is quite remarkable, isn't it? In this blog, we will break down the influence that sports sponsorship has on consumer purchasing behavior and how you can utilize this insight to better target your audience.

Influence of Sports Sponsorship on Consumer Behavior

1. Emotional Connection

Sports sponsorship helps brands build an emotional connection with their customers. When a customer sees a brand supporting their favorite sports team or athlete, it creates an emotional bond between the customer and the brand. This connection can translate into a higher willingness to purchase products or services associated with the sponsored sports team or athlete. In essence, the emotional connection that sports sponsorship provides establishes brand loyalty, fostering a long-term relationship with the customers.

One way to measure emotional connection is by understanding consumer's recall and perception of the brands they see in a given sport. In partnership with SponsorPulse, for example, we measured recall, annoyance, action, purchase, and favorability, and added all scores into an "Asset Impact Score" like so: 

SponsorPulse Asset Impact Score


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2. Increased Visibility

Sponsorships increase brand visibility and brand recognition. Sponsoring sports events, teams, and athletes means that your brand will be present at major sporting events that attract a large audience. When the audience sees your brand name and logo prominently displayed, it increases the likelihood of them remembering your brand and recognizing it in the future. This increase in visibility is crucial for developing brand recognition, as it facilitates easy recall by the customer, resulting in higher sales conversions.


3. Quality & Relevant Association

By associating with popular sports teams and athletes, or rights holders that align with your brands target geography, your brand is perceived as having a high level of quality or relevancy, thus increasing its brand image. Customers tend to associate the performance of their favorite team with the quality of the sponsor, hence choosing a brand that associates itself with highly relevant sports teams and athletes. This association with quality helps establish brand credibility, which, in turn, leads to increased trust by customers in the brand, leading to more loyal customers and higher sales.


4. Emotional Engagement

Sports sponsorship not only builds an emotional connection between the brand and customers but also enables brands to engage with customers emotionally, encouraging more customer engagement. Brands can utilize social media channels to leverage the emotional connections formed through sports sponsorship, generating buzz and creating conversations that customers are eager to participate in. This engagement could be in the form of contests, giveaways, or simply sharing stories of customers and their association with the sponsored team or athlete. By generating this emotional engagement, customers are more likely to identify with the brand, strengthening their bond and increasing sales.


5. Purchase Decisions

Studies have shown that sports sponsorship impacts consumer purchasing behavior significantly. By sponsoring a sports team or athlete, brands increase their likelihood of being chosen by customers when making purchasing decisions. Customers tend to value brands that support their interests, leading to higher brand recognition, engagement, and ultimately, increased sales. As such, sports sponsorship is a highly effective marketing strategy that can influence not just customer purchasing decisions but also their perceptions of brands, establish brand loyalty, and customer retention.

Sports sponsorship is a highly effective marketing strategy that can influence consumer purchasing behavior by a significant margin. By building an emotional connection with customers, aiding in increased visibility, association with quality, and fostering emotional engagement and purchase decisions, sports sponsorship establishes a sustainable brand-customer relationship, developed through careful planning and consistent execution. As a senior executive in the sports marketing sponsorship industry, you must understand the critical role that sports sponsorship plays in influencing consumer purchasing behavior, allowing you to use this insight to your benefit and enhance your brand's growth and popularity in the market.

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