Recommendations for SMEs in terms of sponsoring women’s team sports

The aim of this bachelor thesis is to establish guidelines and recommendations for Swiss SMEs in terms of sponsoring women’s team sports. The guidelines should primarily support SMEs with reasons, facts, and best practices to allow them to benefit from the opportunities of sponsoring women’s sport.

Aurora Rigo & Céline Huber, 2021

Bachelor Thesis, FHNW School of Business
Betreuende Dozierende: Barbara Therese Miller
Keywords: sponsoring women’s sport, sponsorship, women’s sport, sponsorship strategy, sponsorship decision-making
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Every year USD 65.8 billion are spent on sponsorship worldwide. Around 70% of this amount is directed to sport sponsorship. However, only around 0.4% - 1% of sponsorship focuses on women’s sport. Sponsorship is seen as an element of the marketing mix and can be used as a communication tool to increase brand awareness and access new target groups. Despite the inequality in sport sponsorship, the interest in women’s sport is rising. Women’s sport offers enterprises the opportunity to enter into affordable sponsorship deals with considerable impact in an environment of growing interest.
After reviewing existing literature around women’s sport sponsorship, benefits, strategies, and existing guidelines in sponsorship, a qualitative research with semi-structured interviews was conducted. Three small, three medium and five large enterprises as well as two experts were interviewed to gain data about best practices, processes, and the benefits of sponsoring women’s sport. The interviews were analysed with MAXQDA. The aim of this thesis is to establish guidelines for Swiss SMEs to encourage them to sponsor women’s sport.
The interviews corroborate the fact that more sponsoring is directed to men’s sport than women’s sport in Switzerland. Most of the enterprises did not consider the aspect of gender in their sponsorship decisions. Notably, most interviewed SMEs have no processes in place to reach sponsorship decisions and consequently tend to sponsor mainly men’s sport. The main reason for choosing a sponsorship partner is often that they receive more requests from men’s teams and make a reactive decision. However, when enterprises have a sponsorship strategy or guidelines, the sponsorship deals are distributed more equally between women’s and men’s sport. Therefore, it can be assumed that implementing a sponsorship decision-making process or guidelines can lead to a more even distribution of sponsorship. Additionally, the data show that enterprises experienced women’s sport sponsorship as more emotional and witnessed a higher identification of female athletes with the company. Women’s sport offers more content, which gives the enterprise the basis for storytelling. These findings support primarily SMEs with reasons, facts, and best practices to encourage them to sponsor women’s sport teams.
Studiengang: Business Administration International Management (Bachelor)
Fachbereich der Arbeit: Strategie, Marketing & Kommunikation
Vertraulichkeit: öffentlich
Art der Arbeit
Bachelor Thesis
FHNW School of Business, Olten
Autorinnen und Autoren
Aurora Rigo & Céline Huber
Betreuende Dozierende
Barbara Therese Miller
Sprache der Arbeit
Business Administration International Management (Bachelor)
Standort Studiengang
sponsoring women’s sport, sponsorship, women’s sport, sponsorship strategy, sponsorship decision-making