IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Legal battles for sponsorship exclusivity: The cases of the World Cup and NASCAR

Listed author(s):
  • Joe, Cobbs
Registered author(s):

    Theorists have emphasized brand differentiation in achieving a competitive advantage through sponsorship, and managers of sports sponsorships have recognized product category exclusivity as among the most valued rights afforded sponsoring firms. Yet the proliferation of sponsorships in the sports marketplace poses a challenge to sponsors attempting to establish a unique brand position apart from the clutter. The competition between corporate rivals for sponsorship exclusivity in the world's highest profile sporting arenas has begun to spill into the courtroom. The purpose of this paper is to review the cases of MasterCard versus FIFA, and AT&T versus NASCAR, and discuss the relevance of these contract disputes to sponsorship scholars and practitioners. Specifically, the courtsâ finding of irreparable harm faced by the excluded sponsor offers an intriguing legal recognition of the theorized goodwill and inimitability of corporate affiliation with a specific sponsored enterprise. The cases also contribute an opposing view of best practices, where legal ramifications arise from treating sponsorship as a property-based resource and neglecting the relational dimensions of collaborative communication, trust, and commitment emphasized by contemporary sponsorship theory.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Sport Management Review.

    Volume (Year): 14 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 3 (August)
    Pages: 287-296

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:spomar:v:14:y:2011:i:3:p:287-296
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Postal:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Wolfe, Rosita & Meenaghan, Tony & O'Sullivan, Paul, 2002. "The sports network: insights into the shifting balance of power," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 55(7), pages 611-622, July.
    2. Cousens, Laura & Babiak, Kathy & Bradish, Cheri L., 2006. "Beyond Sponsorship: Re-Framing Corporate-Sport Relationships," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 1-23, May.
    3. Turner, Paul & Cusumano, Sam, 2000. "Virtual Advertising: Legal Implications for Sport," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 47-70, May.
    4. Farrelly, Francis & Quester, Pascale G., 2003. "What Drives Renewal of Sponsorship Principal/Agent Relationships?," Journal of Advertising Research, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(04), pages 353-360, December.
    5. Sam, Michael P. & Batty, Richard & Dean, Rebecca G.K., 2005. "A Transaction Cost Approach to Sport Sponsorship," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 1-17, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:spomar:v:14:y:2011:i:3:p:287-296. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.