Describing the business decision–making process for evaluating cricket sponsorship proposals
Coetzee, Alida Johanna
MetadataShow full item record
One of the major challenges facing cricket unions today is getting adequate funding; on the other hand, one of the challenges facing businesses are the hundreds of unsolicited sponsorship proposals they receive annually. This study investigated the business decision-making process for selecting sponsorship proposals, specifically to contribute to the cricket unions’ understanding of the formal selection process that the sponsorship proposal goes through. The primary objective of the study was to determine the degree to which businesses follow the decision-making process when selecting a sponsorship opportunity. The research study was based on a descriptive research design. First, a theoretical discussion of sponsorship within the marketing communication mix was conducted to illustrate that a sponsorship is a product that the business must purchase, and therefore they use the decision-making process to choose among different sponsorship opportunities. The business decision-making process was discussed in further detail for selecting sponsorship proposals. Primary data was collected by means of a web-based questionnaire. A convenience sample was used to distribute the questionnaire to sponsors of the sixteen cricket unions in South Africa. The nature of a sponsorship relationship is rather sensitive; therefore a complete list of all the sponsors could not be compiled. A total of 39 respondents participated in the study. The sample was not representative, and therefore the results are only valid for those respondents who participated in the study. The results indicated that respondents were most likely to set product/brand/service objectives and media objectives for their sponsorships. All the sponsorship objectives are equally important to the respondents from the medium and large sponsors, except for guest hospitality objectives which are deemed more important by large sponsors than the respondents from medium sponsors. With regard to decision-making criteria, respondents found positioning / image criteria as very important during a sponsorship decision. The role-players identified by the respondents who most frequently participate in the decision-making process are the marketing manager, public relations manager, CEO or owner. With regard to the degree to which businesses follow the decision-making process, it was found that large sponsors are more likely to follow a fairly formal evaluation process than medium sponsors. It is recommended that cricket unions need to focus on the decision-making criteria and objectives that are deemed important by sponsors, and that they should also include these aspects in their sponsorship proposals. With regard to medium and large sponsors, cricket unions should focus on providing large sponsors with more guest hospitality opportunities; they must also prepare their proposals for a formal decision-making process as compared the less formal approach followed by medium sponsors when reviewing sponsorship applications. Recommendations for future research include that a similar study should be conducted with a large sample size, to be able to identify if statistical significant differences do exist for different size sponsors. A probability sample should be used, to be able to obtain data that is representative of the entire population. The limitations of the study, such as financial and time constraints, prevented from achieving all the recommendations for future research set out above.