To explore the impact of gender perception on sponsorship decision making.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Commerce
This thesis discusses the prolific use of sponsorship as a marketing tool within the New Zealand sports industry, as well as the associated decision-making process and the influence of gender on sports sponsorship. This thesis predominantly looks at two sports, rugby and netball, and their respective regional teams (Crusaders and Tactix). Conducting research involving both sports allows for comparison and promotes a more in-depth analysis of findings.
Data was collected through conducting in-depth interviews with eight participants who had an affiliation with either sport code. Participants ranged from players, coaches, managers and those involved with sports marketing. They discussed their thoughts and opinions about successful sponsorships, what makes teams appealing to sponsors and the influence of gender throughout the in-depth interviews. They also completed an association exercise to attain subconscious thoughts and feelings towards sports sponsorship, that they may not have been willing to express verbally.
The results of these findings support, and are consistent with, previous literature surrounding sports sponsorship; the associated benefits and decision-making process. Results concur with Lough & Irwin (2001) in regard to the benefits associated with successful sponsorships. Whilst sponsorship is a thoroughly researched area of literature, much like gender, there is currently minimal literature surrounding the influence that gender has on a sponsor’s decision-making process. Thus, this thesis addresses this area of research and presents a new finding for literature.
Managerially, findings can provide teams or athletes looking for sponsorship opportunities in New Zealand, with an understanding of what sponsors value and consider significant factors. From a sponsor’s perspective, these findings discuss the benefits of using sponsorship as a marketing tool and show the benefits of sponsoring women’s sports. This research suggests that sponsors should become more aware of the lack of opportunities women’s teams and athletes have faced, in an attempt to reduce the gender bias within the New Zealand sports industry.