Alcohol sponsorship of sports


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Pat Kenny, lecturer in the School of Marketing, Dublin Institute of Technology, talks about alcohol sponsorship of sports and the arts at Alcohol Action Ireland's conference "Time Please... For Change"

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Alcohol sponsorship of sports

  1. 1. Alcohol sponsorship - Corporatephilanthropy or self-interest?Patrick KennySchool of MarketingDublin Institute of
  2. 2. Overview•The (commercial) nature of sponsorship•Sources of evidence on alcohol sponsorship and drinking behaviour
  3. 3. Sponsorship is growing at approx. 5% per year Equivalent sums needed to leverage the sponsorship
  4. 4. Sponsorship Ambush marketingpromotional spend ratio
  5. 5. Integratedmarketingcommunications• Marketing is more than advertising and promotion• Wider marketing mix• Each element is integrated and mutually reinforcing• Other marketing mix elements support sponsorship - higher number of alcohol ads around sponsored sports events.
  6. 6. Sponsorship is not philanthropy...• But sponsors benefit from the perception that it might be…
  7. 7. Advertising versus Sponsorship: A halo ofgoodwill• Attitude: Selfish versus Generous• Influence: Direct & forceful versus Indirect & subtle• Persuasive intention: Overt versus Disguised• Defence mechanisms: High versus Low• Perceptions actively cultivated and reinforced by the industry
  8. 8. Meetingconsumers in theirpassion•Advertising perceived as an interference•Sponsorship captures consumers where they are passionate•Attempt to align image of event/sport to the brand •Sport and masculinity
  9. 9. Attitudes associated with sportssponsorship• Sports sponsors more likely to be perceived as healthy, young, energetic, fast, vibrant and masculine.• Attractive positioning when targeting young males
  10. 10. Relationship between alcohol andsponsorship:Background• Most research on advertising, not sponsorship • Extremely difficult to isolate sponsorship and measure the impact• Tendency to focus on brand level rather than product level
  11. 11. What can we learn from marketing ingeneral?• The relationship between exposure to marketing (of all types) and alcohol consumption is increasingly clear• Greater awareness of, and engagement with, marketing (including sponsorship) is related to increased consumption• Alcohol-related merchandise strongly associated with consumption• Relationship especially strong amongst the young
  12. 12. What can we learn from tobaccosponsorship?• Some evidence from tobacco - 12/13 year olds who liked motor racing were more aware of its tobacco sponsors and were significantly more likely to commence smoking over time (Charlton et al 1998).• Young people aware of cricket tobacco sponsorship were more likely to experiment with smoking (Vaidya et al, 1996)
  13. 13. What can we learn from alcohol sponsorshipstudies?• 14/15 year olds involved in sport more likely to drink and get drunk; sponsorship enhanced these effects (Davies, 2009).• Australian and New Zealand sports players sponsored by alcohol companies were considerably more likely to abuse alcohol (OBrien et al, 2008 & 2011).• Australian children aware of alcohol sponsors and had favourable attitudes towards them (Jones et al 2009).
  14. 14. What can we learn from internal industrydocuments ?• Carling: (Young men) think about 4 things, we brew 1 and sponsor 2 of them.• The aim of Carlings music sponsorship: Build the image of the brand and recruit young male drinkers.• Ultimately, the band are the heroes at the venue and Carling should use them to piggy back and engage customers emotions
  15. 15. What can we learn from social normstheory?• Perceptions of what is common and of what is socially acceptable• Scores of studies show that social norms have a much greater influence on behaviour than almost all other factors• But where do social norm perceptions themselves come from?
  16. 16. The pervasive nature of marketing communicatesnormative messages
  17. 17. The extent of branding and sponsorship insport• Tournament• Stadium names• Pitch hoardings• Teams• Other supporters• Merchandise• Consumption on site
  18. 18. Impact on social norms• Marketing, and sponsorship, normalise alcohol consumption• Evidence that one can be indirectly influenced by the drinking culture in sport even if one is not explicitly aware of sponsorship
  19. 19. The evidence base• Studies on alcohol marketing in general• Tobacco sponsorship studies• Alcohol sponsorship studies• Industry documents• Social norms theory• We know about as much about alcohol sponsorship as we did about tobacco sponsorship when it was banned.