Title: It's got to 'fit' - exploring corporate sponsorship decisions for festivals

Authors: Wayne W. Smith; Robert E. Pitts; Stephen W. Litvin; Rhonda W. Mack

Addresses: College of Charleston, 66 George Street, South Carolina, 29424, USA ' College of Charleston, 66 George Street, South Carolina, 29424, USA ' College of Charleston, 66 George Street, South Carolina, 29424, USA ' College of Charleston, 66 George Street, South Carolina, 29424, USA

Abstract: The sponsorship decision criteria for a local, but significant, non-sporting event is examined via in depth interviews and a grounded theory-based qualitative methodology. Transcripts of in depth interviews of the key sponsorship decision makers at 30 sponsoring firms across a range of business categories were systematically coded to identify sponsorship decision criteria. 29 of the 30 respondents mentioned 'fit' as a key criterion in the decision to sponsor. Further probing during the interviews revealed that the concept of 'fit' takes on multiple dimensions and meanings: 1) an altruism component of community goodwill and personal linkage; 2) a marketing component of both business-to-business and business-to-consumer; 3) an internal organisation component of employee relations and employee involvement were determined to be variations in the defining of the concept. Findings are discussed and directions for future research identified.

Keywords: corporate sponsorship; festivals; sponsorship decisions; fit; business-to-business; B2B; decision making; festival sponsorship; non-sporting events; altruism; community goodwill; personal links; marketing; business-to-consumer; B2C; employee relations; employee involvement.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHEM.2016.082163

International Journal of Hospitality and Event Management, 2016 Vol.1 No.4, pp.293 - 304

Available online: 07 Feb 2017 *

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