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An Investigation of Children's Ability to Identify Sponsors and Understand Sponsorship Intentions


Correspondence regarding this article should be sent to: Reinhard Grohs, Brand Research Laboratory and Department of Strategic Management, Marketing and Tourism, University of Innsbruck, Universitaetsstrasse 15, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria (


Sponsorship has become an important tool for companies that target children with their market offerings. Despite growing firm interest in assessing sponsorship effectiveness and public concern about the effects on children, research to date has not investigated how sponsorship functions for children. This article addresses both issues by examining children's perceptions of sponsors (i.e., ability to identify sponsors in different conditions) and their perceptions of sponsorship (i.e., ability to understand sponsorship intentions). Because prior research on these issues is scarce, the conceptual reasoning relies on findings from advertising literature pertaining to children and sponsorship literature. An empirical study features sponsorships in a theme park for children. The results reveal implications for managers and public policymakers, as well as avenues for further research.