An examination of the impact of player transgressions on sponsorship b2b relationships

Westberg, K, Stavros, C and Wilson, B 2008, 'An examination of the impact of player transgressions on sponsorship b2b relationships', International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 125-134.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title An examination of the impact of player transgressions on sponsorship b2b relationships
Author(s) Westberg, K
Stavros, C
Wilson, B
Year 2008
Journal name International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship
Volume number 9
Issue number 2
Start page 125
End page 134
Total pages 9
Publisher International Marketing Reports Ltd.
Abstract There has been limited research exploring the impact of transgressions on the relationship between a sport and its sponsors. Transgressions in the sports context relate to on-field or off-field incidents that are out of the ordinary and that potentially bring negative repercussions by association for stakeholders. Drawing upon the literature in sponsorship, crisis management and relationship marketing, this paper investigates the effects that these incidents can impose on relationships with sponsors from a sport marketer's perspective. In undertaking this research, a series of in-depth interviews were conducted with executives representing major Australian team-based sporting organisations. The findings from this research have served to develop a conceptual model which extends previous work from the services domain, incorporating additional constructs relevant within a sports context. The model illustrates that a sponsor's reaction to a transgression is likely to depend upon a number of factors, including the nature of the incident, sponsor's type of business and the existing relationship between parties. These factors were noted by all interviewees. Respondents also indicated that the presence of a process to manage these issues within the sports organisation would influence the sponsor as well as the media's portrayal of the incident. The media was considered a prominent factor in moderating sponsor response. This was also the case for the effect on the image of sport in general. From this model, a number of propositions are identified which suggest numerous opportunities exist to further the research undertaken in this study. These include: exploring the attribution of blame; the relative impact of different types of transgression; consideration of the impact of transgressions on various customer segments; and the impact of incidents at various stages of the relationship. Further research is also suggested to investigate the possibility of a transgression event generating a positive impact for stakeholders. Expansion of the conceptual model could consider incorporating previous work completed in personal psychology and business-to-business (b2b) marketing with reference to relational stages, networks and interactions between groups. Notably, an interesting comparison could be made by considering the perspectives of other sports stakeholders with regard to particular transgressions.
Subject Marketing Communications
Copyright notice © 2008 International Marketing Reports Ltd.
ISSN 1464-6668
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