The paper “ Sports Sponsorship as a Marketing Strategy” is a convincing example of an essay on marketing. Sports sponsoring is one of the many tools that marketers use and try to reach customers and influence them to buy their products (Harvey 2001). The key to effective sponsoring is to understand consumer attitude formation and change. Attitude comprises beliefs, evaluative emotional attached and behavior tenderness towards an object. This, therefore, means that attitude has a strong impact on consumer behavior. Altitude can, therefore, be changed by changing one of the three components of attitude. Sponsorship affects the emotional attachment by developing a positive association between the consumer’ s sports team and the company products.
It can also affect the cognitive / belief components by altering brand beliefs or perceptions. For example, the Suzuki motorcycle brand saw the importance of using sports sponsorship in changing the way the brand is perceived by the public. However, marketers face a lot of challenges in assessing the effects of sports sponsorship on consumer behavior and how to determine its importance to the business (Menahga 2001). When an attitude is being formed, stimuli are generalized and many objects are formed and placed in the same category of association in the mind (Triandis 1971).
When a category is formed through cognition, it results in a pleasant or unpleasant affective state (Lardinoit & Derbaix 2001). In this case, an attitude is being assigned, there is usually a prediction made from the previous observation of how a person acts at certain times towards a certain object. Attitude is consistent if the belief towards and object and its actions reflect the feelings about it in the same way Why sponsorship affects the consumer attitude is by accessing their cognitive components of the attitude.
Consumers are drawn to a particular sporting event, marketers can use sponsorship to increase the exposure of their marketing messages to change consumer attitudes. Brands can be transferred through mere exposure and attribution theory (Rifon et al 2004). These are the two ways that explain the change of brand name in the minds of consumers. Attribution theory states that consumers make decisions after and observation and experience. In this case, consumers infer a motive for the sponsorship agreement which could lead to a positive attitude towards the sponsor. A brand associated with celebrities tends to do well according to Gwinner (1997).
Consumers associate celebrities with certain meanings as a result of what they do. When they are associated with advertising a product, those meanings are transferred to the product and then to the consumer (McCracken 1989). For example, Attrill’ s company involving boxer Greens sponsorship aimed at using the celebrity in changing their brand image in consumer’ s minds. Brand attitude affects the customer’ s behavior which is determined by the celebrity image in terms of benefits and attributes.
The linkages between behavior and attitude have forced marketers to use celebrities in the hope of influencing consumer behavior. Before deciding to market through sports sponsorship, a firm should have all the alternative methods of reaching the target market with being too depended on media coverage. Small sponsors who do not have much media coverage should concentrate on direct contact with the target audiences. They should use activities like database marketing, promotional licensing and sales promotion.