Sponsor networks and business relations orchestrated by team sport clubs



Wagner U, Persson HTR & Overbye M (2017) Sponsor networks and business relations orchestrated by team sport clubs. Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, 7 (4), pp. 426-443.

Purpose  This study investigates firms’ reasons and motives for becoming sponsors and how they benefit from this networking engagement by exploring sponsorship networks associated with two Danish team sport clubs – a Premier League football club and a second-division handball club.  Design/methodology/approach  Two online surveys were conducted with firms associated with the networks during the autumn and winter of 2013/14 (N=116). The questionnaire was theoretically anchored in existing sponsorship literature, business network research and social capital theory.  Findings  The results show that business logics were the dominating reasons for joining the network. A large proportion of the respondents reported having increased their number of business (32%) and social (26%) relations with other network members after joining the network. Furthermore, 37% of the respondents reported having made business agreements with companies external to the network via network contacts, which supports ideas of bridging social capital. More than half the respondents (59%) preferred doing business with network members rather than with non-members.  Originality/value  By investigating a local and regional sport-club context, the paper adds to our knowledge about sponsorship networks. It emphasizes the potential importance of team sport clubs for the business landscape, thus maintaining that sport clubs fulfill an important role for local communities beyond being mere entertainment industries.

Small businesses; survey; team sport club management; network theory; socialcapital; business-to-business

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal: Volume 7, Issue 4

Publication date31/12/2017
Publication date online11/09/2017
Date accepted by journal02/05/2017

People (1)


Dr Marie Overbye
Dr Marie Overbye

Lecturer in Sport Management, Sport