Brand recall and brand preference...
Brand recall and brand preference 365 European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 33 No. 3/4, 1999, pp. 365-386. # MCB University Press, 0309-0566 Brand recall and brand preference at sponsored golf and tennis tournaments J.A.F. Nicholls and Sydney Roslow Marketing and Business Environment, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, USA and Sandipa Dublish Farleigh Dickinson University,Teaneck, New Jersey, USA Keywords Advertising, Brands, Consumer behaviour, Sponsorship, Sport, USA Abstract Sports events are a prime place-based medium for promoting a company���s brands. This study investigates the demographics, brand recall, and brand preference of spectators at the Ryder golf and Lipton tennis tournaments. The demographic profile of spectators can be valuable information to brand advertisers. The demographics of the spectators at the two tournaments were similar in important respects, although there were (face valid) differences where these might be anticipated. The study indicates that there are differences between spectators��� recall of, and preference for, brands sponsoring both the golf and tennis events, or just one of them. The overall correlations between brand recall and brand preference were significantly high in all instances. Implications of similarities and differences between recall and preference with respect to particular brands are discussed. Introduction Sponsorship provides the wherewithal for the production of sports events and so for promotion to the consumers who attend the events as spectators or follow them in the broadcast and print media. Billions of dollars are invested in sponsoring such events (Promo, 1993). In 1990, corporations spent $23.5 billion on sports marketing in the United States (Burnett et al., 1993). For 1995, sponsorship alone was projected at $4.7 billion (Kate, 1995). Thus, sponsorship is a major marketing tool (Knox, 1992). Sponsorship is an opportunity for companies to reach consumers through their ������hearts and minds������, presenting sponsors with a ������back door������ opportunity to promote their companies and brands (Heitsmith, 1994). Consumers attend sports events as part of their leisure activities, to experience excitement and entertainment. It is an opportunity for companies to escape the mounting expense and clutter of the conventional advertising media (Hastings, 1984). Consequently, sports event sponsorship is a prime example of place-based marketing. Many elements of the marketing mix come into play with sports sponsorship: promotion, product, and place, in particular. Sports event sponsorship gives companies opportunities for promotional activities, such as advertising, publicity, premiums, and selling. In their promotional efforts, This study is based on data which were originally gathered by students under the supervision of Henry A. Laskey and J.A.F. Nicholls.
European Journal of Marketing 33,3/4 366 companies may emphasize awareness of the brand or they may emphasize benefits, which become motivations for preference or purchase of the brand. With such copious amounts of money being poured into sports marketing, measures of effectiveness are very necessary (Meenaghan, 1991b Witcher et al., 1991). Until effectiveness measures for this advertising medium are created, most sponsors will ������waste money������ and sponsorship of sports events will be a ������high-rollers game������ (Advertising Age, 1991 Kim, 1993). Moreover, sponsorship of events is usually accompanied by an additional budget to cover the cost of broadcast advertising. It would appear that some companies were premature in thinking that sports sponsorship was approaching saturation (Wilber, 1988). A greater variety of corporations, in increasing number, is committing promotional resources to sports sponsorship (Promo, 1993). The setting of this paper To use their sponsorship budgets effectively, Banks (1992) suggested that corporations need measures of commercial performance, such as awareness, recall, and attitude. Recall of brands as a measure of effectiveness has also been reported by Dubow (1994) and Wells et al. (1995). In the absence of a valid measure of effectiveness, one company has estimated the value of bowl sponsorship during the American football season by calculating the implicit advertising cost of lineage devoted to the event that is published in newspapers and magazines, locally and nationally (McCarthy, 1991). The need to resort to such a time-consuming approach indicates there was no published media measure readily available. This exploratory paper compares two of Banks��� (1992) measures of advertising effectiveness: spectators��� brand recall and brand preference. If the degree of recall and preference differ by brands, sponsors may feel they need to concentrate on influencing one or the other. This may well affect copy content. The research was conducted at two prominent tournaments in the US, featuring championship competition in golf and tennis, sponsored by national and international corporations. Both the events, the Ryder Open Golf Tournament and the Lipton Open Tennis Tournament, are held in Miami, Florida in February-March each year. The principal sponsor of the golf event, Ryder System, is a major vehicle leasing corporation. This company leases its vehicles both to individual consumers and to corporate entities. Although the tennis tournament carries the name of its founding sponsor, the Thomas J. Lipton Company, the current sponsor is Mitsubishi Electronics, a leading manufacturer of a wide range of consumer goods. The spectators have come to enjoy a golf or tennis tournament. The sponsors recognize this reality, see an opportunity, and take advantage of the event to promote their companies or their products. A sponsor of any event is, willy-nilly, engaged in place-based marketing (Nicholls et al., 1994). The rest of this paper is composed of two sections on the conceptual basis for sports sponsorship and research questions pertinent to such sponsorship. These two sections are followed by others on the method and sample, data
Brand recall and brand preference 367 measurement, and the results. The paper concludes with a discussion of the relationship between brand recall and brand preference, including implications of the results. Conceptual and pragmatic bases for sports sponsorship To spectators, golf and tennis tournaments are important events in their own right. These spectators attend for a variety of reasons, e.g. to watch experts in a particular sport, to enjoy the excitement of competition, to socialize, to be entertained, because they play the sport themselves, or simply because they are fans of the sport. Whether it be an Olympiad or a local track meet, from an academic point of view, sports event sponsorship is a member of the wide group of ������event marketing������, that also includes non-sporting activities, such as the Mardi Gras, World Fairs, and art festivals (Ritchie, 1984 Ritchie and Beliveau, 1974). These are activities where considerable numbers of people, sharing a common interest, congregate (Roslow et al., 1992). Event marketing is also identified as a ������place-based������ medium. Such a medium is not confined to sports events but also includes any place where people gather for a purpose, and may be exposed to promotional messages. Expositions and conferences are obvious examples of place-based media. Less obvious instances include airport terminals, physicians��� offices, schools, and supermarkets (Roslow et al., 1993a). Sponsorship (especially when combined with concomitant advertising) serves a purpose: to make potential customers aware of a company���s brand, to inform them of its benefits, to let them know where and how to obtain the brand (Russell and Lane, 1996 Krugman et al., 1994). Thus, sports events are an advertising medium. In addition to providing a basis for advertising, sponsorship is undertaken to enhance the image of a company, its products, and its brands through the linkage to the event (Marshall and Cook, 1992). When a company sponsors sports events, it is creating a distinct, even a unique, association for itself and its brands (Abratt et al., 1987). As a consequence, most sponsorships involve long-term relationships (McDonald, 1991). Indeed, Otker (1988) argues that successful sponsorship activities entail reciprocal relationships between sponsors, the events being sponsored, and the media. In addition to the on-site audience, companies fulfil their promotional objectives by including advertising in the mass media. Companies view the event as the basis for possible exposure to regional, national, or international, television, radio, and print audiences that might number in the millions (Abratt et al., 1987). In effect, the mass audience gives advertisers the confidence that they will reach a sufficient number of customers, or potential customers, to achieve a minimum effective exposure frequency (Rossiter and Percy, 1987). Consequently, sports advertising and sponsorship falls readily into a firm���s set of strategic marketing alternatives. For example, by their association with sports events, companies can increase brand awareness among a mass audience (Gilbert, 1988).