Developing sponsorship marketing : Finnish perspective
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This thesis deals with sponsorship marketing development in sport in Finnish marketplace and aims to study how sponsoring companies perceive the current situation of the sponsorship marketing, and the main issues sponsored targets should take into account in their product development to meet sponsors’ demands in the future. This thesis also examines how current sponsors perceive current sponsorship marketing relations with Blues Hockey, the employer of this research. Furthermore, this thesis clarifies the main issues Blues Hockey should take into account to develop its product portfolio to meet sponsors’ demands in the future. The research follows the inductive method. Interpreted generalization is built upon empirical findings and data. The applied approach is qualitative and the data was collected by using semi-structured interviews. The research structure is two-tier including one interviewed group of current sponsors of Blues Hockey and one group pitched by Blues Hockey. Eleven interviews were conducted out of which nine interviews were utilized. This study indicates that ccommercialization of sport is seen to influence positively on corporate sponsorship investments especially in relation to increased business professionalism. Possibilities of modern media and digitalization are emphasized and required to be utilized. Sponsors tend not to recognize the possibilities of sponsorship in terms of sponsorship integration through their stakeholder chain. Sponsor’s core field of business income logic needs to be understood by the sponsored target to maximize the value for the sponsor. Visibility and awareness levels seem to be the fundamental objects regardless of business objectives, or business markets; B2C or B2B. The corporate majority is unable to define sponsorship selection processes. In addition to rational decision-making emotions and expectations tend to play a role. Measuring Return-On-Investment will be stressed in the future and will take an increased foothold in sponsorship tracking. Both quantitative and qualitative indicators are important. Visibility, attention and awareness ratios are the most vital indicators to measure. Furthermore, tracking of direct sales and sales leads needs to emphasized and developed. Blues’ product portfolio should be modernized. Understanding of client’s business, and consultancy in maximizing the sponsor’s value should be stressed. Digital strategies covering both online and mobile marketing should be created and operational plans implemented. Visibility levels should be maximized. Both quantitative and qualitative measurements should be used and an improvement of sponsor’s ROI emphasized. ...
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