Sponsorship portfolio as a brand-image creation strategy
The meanings held by events are sometimes transferable to a brand through sponsorship. The perceived sponsor-property fit affects brand evaluations. This research hypothesizes that in the case of a sponsorship portfolio, the source of image transfer can be composite, and brand image association may depend on the perceived fit between sponsorships. Building on theories of social cognition and categorization, this research proposes two dimensions of fit: sponsorship category relatedness and event personality fit. Two experiments show that categorical relatedness between sponsorships not only leads to the creation of a unified brand personality for the sponsor, but also enhances brand meaning consistency and clarity. Central category-related traits cue a category membership framework that integrates sponsorships in the portfolio. Under conditions of category ambiguity, the impact of event personality fit emerges. Interestingly, the findings suggest that sponsored properties having a "spiky" brand personality (having both high and low performance on dimensions) may communicate most clearly in a portfolio.
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