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Roles of sport and cause involvement in determining employees’ beliefs about cause-related sport sponsorship

Inoue, Y ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1983-6217, Havard, CT and Irwin, RL (2016) Roles of sport and cause involvement in determining employees’ beliefs about cause-related sport sponsorship. International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, 17 (1). pp. 3-18. ISSN 1464-6668

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© 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Purpose: – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the roles of employees’ involvement with the sponsored sport and cause in determining their beliefs about cause-related sport sponsorship. Design/methodology/approach: – Respondents completed a survey that included the measures of sport involvement, cause involvement, and sponsorship beliefs adapted from previous studies. The final sample included 131 attendees who identified themselves as employees of sponsors of a cause-related sport event in a web-based post-event survey. A multiple regression analysis was performed to test hypotheses. Findings: – Despite the prevailing logic that companies can enhance the perception of goodwill by sponsoring sport that is important to their employees, employees’ sport involvement was found to have no effect on their sponsorship beliefs. In contrast, cause involvement alone explained a large amount of the variance in those beliefs. Originality/value: – The findings contribute to the literature by indicating that how employees evaluate cause-related sport sponsorship may be different from their evaluation process of traditional sport sponsorship without the cause affiliation. This research highlights the need to conduct further internal marketing research specific to cause-related sport sponsorship.

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