Sport marketing in Cyprus - the dynamics of the sport sponsorship context: emergence, development and management practices in the football industry
2013-10-28T09:31:35Z (GMT) by
This thesis investigates the underlying mechanisms and processes that shape sport sponsorship in Cyprus. A systematic review of the international sport sponsorship literature (1980-2009) is undertaken and used as the guide for the qualitative empirical study concentrating on football sponsorship activity undertaken in Cyprus as a developing sport sponsorship market. The systematic review reveals sponsorship management structures, practices, tendencies, and models adopted at a range of national settings, and discloses contrasts that exist in different contexts. The findings of the systematic review highlight the management practices employed by sponsors, such as their motives, decision-making practices, activation and leveraging initiatives, objectives, and evaluation processes. With regard to the empirical investigation, sponsorship activity is viewed and interpreted within the broader social and cultural context in which it takes place. The analysis of the findings is informed by critical realism paradigm, so that the underlying causal mechanisms and structures shaping (or influencing) sponsorship activity in Cyprus are identified and discussed. Specifically, the findings of study, which focused on the top division of the national professional league, revealed the existence of a sponsorship continuum involving four significantly different sponsorship approaches, ranging from purely philanthropic to heavily rational and commercial. Interestingly, the study revealed the interdependence of global and local processes within the sponsorship-related practices, suggesting that sponsorship arrangements in this specific context are marked culturally by processes of glocalisation. Such processes appeared to be vividly expressed in sponsorship-related projects in Cyprus, and involved an amalgamation of several local and cultural factors such as a strong prevalence of localism, nationalism, political clientelism, and reliance on personal relations. Community pressures seemed to have a central role in sponsorship related decision-making, whilst sponsorship activity appeared also to be influenced by the structure of the sponsors industry, the organisational structure and corporate culture, as well as by the structure and local specificity of the football market in Cyprus. More specifically, competitive imbalance of the national league, politicisation of football, the level of competition within a particular industry, and centrality of authority and control (both organisational and cultural), are additional factors that appeared to impact sponsorship activity in the specific market.