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CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP 
EFFECTS IN BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS 
MARKETS 
Mark Groza – Northern Illinois University 
Joe Cobbs – No...
Research Motivation
Research Question 
How does sponsorship 
affect B2B buyers? 
Can sponsorship enhance 
supportive behaviors (i.e., WOM, 
L...
B2B versus B2C Buying 
Process 
B2B B2C 
 Buyer Behavior 
 Professional Buyers 
 Experts 
 Well Trained, Rational 
 P...
B2B Buying Process 
 With all that said: 
 B2B buyers buy from brands and people they 
trust – Relationships are extreme...
Theoretical Framework 
 Social Identity Theory (Tajfel and Turner 1985) 
 Customer-Company Identification (CCID) 
Bhatta...
Conceptual Model 
Customer- 
Company 
Identification 
Perceived Prestige 
of Sponsored 
Entity 
Sincerity of 
Sponsorship ...
Sample and Measures 
 Customers of a North American industrial 
supply company 
 552 (992) 56% response rate 
 Sample c...
Measures 
Construct Item 
s 
Source 
Prestige 4 Mael and Ashforth, 1992 
Sincerity 5 Speed and Thompson, 2000 
CCID 2 Berg...
SEM Results 
Hypothesize 
d Model 
Alternativ 
e Model 
H1 Prestige  CC-ID .167** .154** 
H2 Sincerity  CC-ID .454** .41...
Theoretical Implications 
 CCID is key driver of B2B supportive 
behaviors (opening the black box) 
 Affiliated organiza...
Practical Implications 
 Prestige (def: perceptions that other people 
believe the organization is well regarded, 
Bergam...
Limitations & Future Research 
 Limitations 
 Self-report data 
 Customers from one firm, one industry, one 
sponsorshi...
Questions?
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Groza Cobbs wmc2014_peru B2B Sponsorship Slide 1 Groza Cobbs wmc2014_peru B2B Sponsorship Slide 2 Groza Cobbs wmc2014_peru B2B Sponsorship Slide 3 Groza Cobbs wmc2014_peru B2B Sponsorship Slide 4 Groza Cobbs wmc2014_peru B2B Sponsorship Slide 5 Groza Cobbs wmc2014_peru B2B Sponsorship Slide 6 Groza Cobbs wmc2014_peru B2B Sponsorship Slide 7 Groza Cobbs wmc2014_peru B2B Sponsorship Slide 8 Groza Cobbs wmc2014_peru B2B Sponsorship Slide 9 Groza Cobbs wmc2014_peru B2B Sponsorship Slide 10 Groza Cobbs wmc2014_peru B2B Sponsorship Slide 11 Groza Cobbs wmc2014_peru B2B Sponsorship Slide 12 Groza Cobbs wmc2014_peru B2B Sponsorship Slide 13 Groza Cobbs wmc2014_peru B2B Sponsorship Slide 14
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While a substantial body of research has emerged examining the affect corporate sponsorship has on consumers, the literature has yet to consider how sponsorship affects business-to-business customers. Grounded in social identity theory, this paper addresses this important gap by proposing and empirically testing a B2B sponsorships effects model. The model is tested utilizing Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) of data collected from 552 active business-to-business customers of an industry supply company. Results suggest B2B customers are attuned to company sponsorship activities and are influenced by these sponsorships. Specifically, corporate sponsorships can influence customer’s loyalty, positive word-of-mouth and purchase decisions by enhancing customer’s level of company identification. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.

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Groza Cobbs wmc2014_peru B2B Sponsorship

  1. 1. CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP EFFECTS IN BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS MARKETS Mark Groza – Northern Illinois University Joe Cobbs – Northern Kentucky University
  2. 2. Research Motivation
  3. 3. Research Question How does sponsorship affect B2B buyers? Can sponsorship enhance supportive behaviors (i.e., WOM, Loyalty, Share of Wallet)? What does the ‘black-box’ of this process look like?
  4. 4. B2B versus B2C Buying Process B2B B2C  Buyer Behavior  Professional Buyers  Experts  Well Trained, Rational  Product  Large Quantities – Volume Discounts  Customized solutions  Promotion  Salespeople important part of selling firm’s promotional strategy  Buyers are engaging venders later in purchase process  Buyer Behavior  Non-Professional Buyers  Knowledge Gap  No formal training, Emotional  Product  Smaller volumes  Standardized  Promotion  Salespeople not as important to selling firm’s promotional strategy  Buyers are engaging venders later in purchase process
  5. 5. B2B Buying Process  With all that said:  B2B buyers buy from brands and people they trust – Relationships are extremely important (Mudambi 2002)  “Analyzing data from more than 100,000 business decision makers, Chally discovered that 39% of B2B Buyers select a vendor according to the skills of the salesperson rather than price, quality, or service features.” – Fogel, Hoffmeister, Rocco and Strunk (2012 HBR)
  6. 6. Theoretical Framework  Social Identity Theory (Tajfel and Turner 1985)  Customer-Company Identification (CCID) Bhattacharya and Sen (2003)  Individuals identify with companies to satisfy key self-definitional needs. The need for….  Self-Continuity  Self-Distinctiveness  Self-Enhancement
  7. 7. Conceptual Model Customer- Company Identification Perceived Prestige of Sponsored Entity Sincerity of Sponsorship Customer Loyalty Word-of- Mouth H3 H1 H2 H5 Controls Age Gender Tenure Share-of- Wallet H4
  8. 8. Sample and Measures  Customers of a North American industrial supply company  552 (992) 56% response rate  Sample consisted of customers who were aware of the company’s sponsorship but not directly engaged (i.e., attending an event) in the sponsorship
  9. 9. Measures Construct Item s Source Prestige 4 Mael and Ashforth, 1992 Sincerity 5 Speed and Thompson, 2000 CCID 2 Bergami and Bagozzi, 2000 Loyalty 3 Palmatier, Scheer and Steenkamp, 2007 WOM 5 Harrison-Walker, 2001) Share-of- 1 Lichtenstein, Drumwright and Braig, 2010 Wallet  CFA (RMSEA = 0.057, CFI = 0. 96, GFI = 0.93, NFI = 0.94)  Factor Loadings (all above .7, but 1 (.68)  AVE (all above .60)
  10. 10. SEM Results Hypothesize d Model Alternativ e Model H1 Prestige  CC-ID .167** .154** H2 Sincerity  CC-ID .454** .412** H3 CC-ID Loyalty .814** .761** H4 CC-ID  WOM .878** .831** H5 CC-ID  Share-of-Wallet .538** .556** Controls Age  CC-ID -.169** -.177** Gender  CC-ID .015 .015 Tenure  CC-ID -.047 -.049 Direct Effects Prestige  Loyalty n.s. Prestige  WOM n.s. Prestige  Share-of- n.s. Wallet Sincerity  Loyalty .095* Sincerity  WOM n.s. Sincerity  Share-of- n.s.
  11. 11. Theoretical Implications  CCID is key driver of B2B supportive behaviors (opening the black box)  Affiliated organizations (i.e., sponsored orgs) can influence a customer’s identification levels  Linking an inter-organizational relationship to customer supportive behaviors
  12. 12. Practical Implications  Prestige (def: perceptions that other people believe the organization is well regarded, Bergami and Bagozzi 2000) is an important antecedent  Sponsors must appear to be sincere  B2B firms should use sponsorship to build long-term customer relationship
  13. 13. Limitations & Future Research  Limitations  Self-report data  Customers from one firm, one industry, one sponsorship  Future Research  Include additional antecedents  Use longitudinal data  Use objective sales data
  14. 14. Questions?

While a substantial body of research has emerged examining the affect corporate sponsorship has on consumers, the literature has yet to consider how sponsorship affects business-to-business customers. Grounded in social identity theory, this paper addresses this important gap by proposing and empirically testing a B2B sponsorships effects model. The model is tested utilizing Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) of data collected from 552 active business-to-business customers of an industry supply company. Results suggest B2B customers are attuned to company sponsorship activities and are influenced by these sponsorships. Specifically, corporate sponsorships can influence customer’s loyalty, positive word-of-mouth and purchase decisions by enhancing customer’s level of company identification. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.

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