Despite the popularity of sponsorship, there remains a paucity of research attention. This is especially the case when considering the product relevance issue (the fit between the sponsor and the activity being sponsored). In the past, relevance has incorrectly been treated in terms of two mutually exclusive categories: function-based similarity (where the sponsor’s product is used in the event being sponsored) and image-based similarity (where the sponsor’s image is congruent with that of the event). In reality, however, these two types of similarity can coexist. In this paper a new product relevance construct–integrated product relevance–is proposed. Research hypotheses are then formulated as to how integrated product relevance may affect consumer responses (in terms of quality perceptions, attitude towards the brand and purchase intention) to a sponsor’s products. Directions for future research are proposed based on this new construct.
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