Fan identification and the perception of the sponsor-team fit: The case of Emirates Airlines and Arsenal FC
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Sponsorship has become an important factor in determining the success and competitiveness of a sports team. While previous sports sponsorship literature has been substantial, the fans and their perceptions of the sponsor(s) has often not been focused upon. A fans’ identification or connection with a sports team can differ amongst fans, as it influences their engagement with the team and their respective sponsor. Previous literature regarding the perceived fit between a team and a sponsor has been limited to the use of hypothetical sponsors. This research therefore focuses on how different levels of fan identification influence their perceptions of the sponsor-team fit, with a specific focus on the sponsor Emirates Airlines and the football team Arsenal FC.
The purpose of this research is to establish an insight into how different levels (high and low) of identified Arsenal FC fans perceive the sponsor-team fit with Emirates Airlines. The research questions have been divided into two sub questions; one focusing on high- identified Arsenal FC fans and the other on low-identified Arsenal FC fans. In order to fulfil the purpose of this thesis, existing literature was used to create an identification survey that was completed by over 100 Arsenal FC fans residing in Sweden. The survey identified a number of high-identified and low-identified fans, of which five high-identified and five low-identified fans were chosen to participate in interviews.
The empirical findings reveal that the identification of a sports fan with their sports team does impact their perception of the sponsor-team fit. High-identified fans were more receptive of the sponsor due to their financial support, contributing to a more successful team. Low-identified fans were more receptive of the sponsor due to the duration of the sponsorship, and described this as the main reason to their positive perception of the sponsor-team fit.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 80 p.
Barclays Premier League, sponsorship, sponsorship fit, sponsor-team fit, fan identification
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-30072ISRN: JU-IHH-FÖA-2-20160263OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-30072DiVA: diva2:931566
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration
Berndt, Adele, Professor