Continuing our series inviting leading academics and practitioners to offer commentaries on important challenges facing the advertising business, Gerard Prendergast and Marc Mazodier of the Hong Kong Baptist University School of Business-with Aishwarya Paliwal of Prosperity Investments Worldwide Ltd-provide an assessment of the theory and practice of sponsorship. Their starting point is that sponsorship (the act of providing resources for a sports event, or other activity in exchange for advertising) mainly has been predicated on the concept of “unidirectional transfer,” whereby the image of the event is transferred to the brand. What they deftly point out, however, is that there is also potential for “bidirectional transfer,” whereby the image of the brand is transferred to the event. The authors go on to examine the importance of the relationship between the brand and its customers, the relationship between the brand and the event, and the potential wrecking impact of ambush marketers on a sponsored event. The topic is particularly timely in light of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
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