Sports sponsorship in Nigeria : why are corporate sponsors involved and are they deriving value?
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Sports sponsorship is an umbilical cord that ensures supply of essential resources for sports to ensure its sustenance and development. Corporate sponsors provide the greatest resources in sponsorships. Sponsorship is a symbiotic business relationship, one that is supposed to benefit sponsors and sports entities who are in partnership. Value derivation from resources invested in a sponsorship is important to sponsors, it is the greatest benefit for them. Chances of sustaining a sponsorship is enhanced when value is derived from a sponsorship. Sports in Nigeria contend with various challenges, including inadequate funding. In order to surmount this problem, it is essential for sports entities to know why corporate bodies desire to sponsor sports and what they define as value since value is subjective to a large extent. This thesis sought to resolve four questions: a.Why are corporate sponsors interested in sponsoring sports in Nigeria? b. What do sponsors perceive as value in a sponsorship? c. Are they getting value from existing sponsorships? d. What is expected of recipients to sustain or enhance a sponsorship relationship? This qualitative study involved three case studies and four face-to-face interviews of representatives of corporate sponsors of sports in Nigeria. This study is based on Homan’s Social Exchange Theory. The focus was not to test theory but rather to highlight that sponsorship is exchange based relationship. It is a commercially motivated relationship in which sponsors give their resources to sports entities to enable them associate their brands with them. The benefits derived are varied , including possibility to leverage their brands. A thematic approach was used in data analysis. Results showed that recognition, attention, visibility, broad reach to variety of people, association/relationship, inherent nature of sports are some major themes deduced from reasons of interest to sponsor sports. Respondents agreed that they have derived value from sponsorship though it could have been better in some cases. Honesty, professionalism, innovativeness, discipline, transparency were stated as important to sustain a sponsorship. Themes connected to value included, youth empowerment, brand projection, enhanced visibility and image. Sponsorship was stated to be a symbiotic affair, anything far from this will undermine their interests in such sponsorship. Sports entities in Nigeria need to create an outlook that will attract sponsors as well as help deliver value in relation to expressed value definitions by their sponsors. Sports in Nigeria will experience a positive change if sports administrators and other sports entities desiring fulfilling sponsorship act on findings from this study. ...
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