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Why Do Companies Sponsor Arts Events? Some Evidence and a Proposed Classification


  • John O'Hagan
  • Denice Harvey


Corporate philanthropy towards the arts isof long standing in the United States. There is nosuch tradition in Europe, but corporate sponsorship ofthe arts has been in place since the 1960s (seeFrémion, 1994). This paper will discuss thedifferences and similarities between these two formsof business support to the arts and then concentrateprimarily on corporate sponsorship. The motivationsfor companies to sponsor arts events are examined inthe context both of the literature relating to themotivations for corporate philanthropy and corporatepromotional/marketing expenditure. Results from asurvey of 69 companies that had sponsored 129 artsevents in Ireland are presented and compared to thelimited results from similar surveys elsewhere. Itis suggested that the motivations for such sponsorshipcan usefully be reduced to four: promotion ofimage/name, supply-chain cohesion, rent-seeking andnon-monetary benefit to managers/owners. The evidence for this from the survey, either directly available orimplicit in the responses to some other questions, issignificant. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Suggested Citation

  • John O'Hagan & Denice Harvey, 2000. "Why Do Companies Sponsor Arts Events? Some Evidence and a Proposed Classification," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 24(3), pages 205-224, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jculte:v:24:y:2000:i:3:p:205-224
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1007653328733

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    Cited by:

    1. Björn Frank & Kurt Geppert, 2002. "Corporate Donations to the Arts: Philanthropy or Advertising?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 307, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Justin Tan & Yuejun Tang, 2016. "Donate Money, but Whose? An Empirical Study of Ultimate Control Rights, Agency Problems, and Corporate Philanthropy in China," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 134(4), pages 593-610, April.
    3. Björn Frank & Kurt Geppert, 2004. "Are Small Recipients Overlooked by Sponsors? An Empirical Note," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 28(2), pages 143-156, May.
    4. Bennett, Roger & Sargeant, Adrian, 2005. "The nonprofit marketing landscape: guest editors' introduction to a special section," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 58(6), pages 797-805, June.
    5. Julia Hiscock & David E. Hojman, 2004. "Where Have All the Flowers Gone? Coase Theorem Failures in English Summer Cultural Events: The Case of Sidmouth International Festival," Research Papers 200406, University of Liverpool Management School.
    6. John O'Hagan & Clare McAndrew, 2000. "'Protecting' the National Artistic Patrimony; An Economics Perspective," Trinity Economics Papers 20007, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
    7. Arthur Gautier & Anne-Claire Pache, 2015. "Research on Corporate Philanthropy: A Review and Assessment," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 126(3), pages 343-369, February.
    8. repec:eee:touman:v:31:y:2010:i:2:p:240-249 is not listed on IDEAS


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