Title: The influence of club and sponsor images and club-sponsor congruence in the Australian Football League

Authors: Margaret A. Johnston, Neil Paulsen

Addresses: UQ Business School, The University of Queensland, Brisbane Queensland, 4072, Australia. ' UQ Business School, The University of Queensland, Brisbane Queensland, 4072, Australia

Abstract: The benefits that congruence between a sports club and its main sponsor delivers to the club are not well understood. This study tested a preliminary model that examined the direct and mediated relationships between the motivations for club membership, perceptions of the club and sponsor, evaluations of club-sponsor image congruence, and in turn, sponsor patronage, and satisfaction with club membership. A sample of 299 football club members provided ratings on these measures through a structured questionnaire. Results revealed that members who identified highly with the club, and who responded positively to efforts to maintain club traditions, were more likely to have a positive image of the sponsor and to report higher levels of sponsor patronage. Sponsor image partially mediated the relationship between club identification and traditions, and overall satisfaction with the club. A direct positive relationship between the congruence score and members| patronage of the sponsor|s products was also observed.

Keywords: sport sponsorship; image congruence; sponsor patronage; club member satisfaction; love of sport; club identification; club traditions; economic benefits; club membership; sport management; sport marketing; club image; sponsor image; Australian Football League; Aussie rules.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2011.040256

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2011 Vol.9 No.1/2, pp.29 - 53

Available online: 22 May 2011 *

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