AS A FACTOR IN ENHANCING BRAND IMAGE AND BRAND AWARENESS FOR GLOBAL COMPANIES
During the last decade, Formula One Grand Prix races have attracted extensive media expo-sure, turning the event into an ideal platform for companies operating in the global market. The major branding opportunities, offered by Formula One teams have magnetised billions of sponsorship dollars. This dissertation investigates the cause/effect relationship between Formula One sponsor- ships, enhanced brand image and increased brand awareness. Thereby exploring the possible connection between Formula One sponsorships and brand equity. The dissertation offers an extensive literature review connecting sport sponsorship, in particular Formula One sponsorship, to important marketing topics, such as brand equity and buyer behaviour. The primary research process involved the conduction of a survey carried out on 37 Formula One sponsors. The research was of a phenomenological nature exploring the Formula One phenomenon and the sponsors’ perceptions and, therefore, used a deductive approach. Although the results of the analysis confirmed the hypothesis, the research discovered further inter-linkages, which reduced the hypothesis’ validity. Recommendations to that would be suggested by researcher with regards to this project include:The sponsoring companies need to look for co-sponsorship opportunities where they will combine with other sponsors instead of bearing the bill alone. It is also recommended that concerned companies should continue producing high performance brands to be able to satisfy their markets. Companies should also look for ways to continue their brand’s exposure in their target markets through other channels which will support their sponsorship efforts.Concerned companies also need continuously carry out marketing audits to measure the effectiveness of their sponsorship efforts.Audience analysis is another strong recommendation. Concerned companies need to carry a continuous audience analysis. Concerned companies should also be involved in the Formula One events organizing and ensuring that the events improve and meet the requirements of the targeted audience of the sponsors. Concerned companies should also ensure involvement in the sponsored team’s functionality. During the process of this investigation, several interesting thoughts and ideas were developed regarding further in-depth research studies. These thoughts were mainly developed while searching for information on very specialised topics. For some reason sport sponsorship is still an underdeveloped field of study, although it has become a phenomenon of the 20th century, into which billion of dollars are invested every year. If companies are investing so much money into sport sponsorships, why has there never been a study on the return on investment of sponsorships. It would also be interesting to develop the results obtained within this study. Dividing the results by the teams sponsored, or by the level of sponsorship. This should offer valuable insights for companies considering to sponsor a Formula One team. A further study on the direct effect of sport sponsorships on sales, would also prove to be interesting and valuable, however, to my knowledge impossible to perform. Sport sponsorship will continue to grow and become one of the most important marketing tools, therefore, offering many topics to explore.
I wish to acknowledge the assistance received from the following people who made it possible for this document to be put together.
My supervisor, Mr. I. Mavhunga who tirelessly guided me in conducting and compiling this dissertation, my mother, my sister, Daniel and friends who gave the encouragement and patiently put up with the difficulties and frustrations faced in getting the work done, and Miss Xolani who did the initial editing and typing on this document with expertise.
I also want to express my...