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Measuring Sponsorship Performance: Challenge and Direction


  • The author would like to thank Psychology & Marketing for enabling this Special Issue on the topic of measuring sponsorship performance to emerge. In particular, he would like to thank Professor Rajan Nataraajan for his encouragement and indeed forbearance over the evolution of this issue. Particular gratitude is due to the contributors whose insights and perspectives collectively add to a greater understanding of the issues involved in measuring sponsorship performance.

Correspondence regarding this article should be sent to: Tony Meenaghan, Professor, Graduate School of Business, University College Dublin, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland (


Corporate investment in sponsorship represents one of marketing's more dramatic investment stories of recent decades with global sponsorship expenditure forecast to reach US $53.3 billion in 2013. The scale of this investment, as well as the scrutiny to which sponsorship activity has been subjected during the “Financial Crisis” has added significant momentum to the demand for improved methodologies for evaluating the returns resulting from sponsorship investment. Indeed a range of recent sponsorship studies clearly indicate the pressure, not just for greater accountability, but a demand for new and improved methodologies for measuring sponsorship performance. Against this backdrop this special issue of Psychology and Marketing is timely. It seeks to bring together a selected series of papers from leading edge practitioners and academics which critically review certain current approaches to evaluation, explores important research methodology issues, and outlines recently developed models which quantify the value generated by sponsorship investment. It is hoped that this special issue will lead to increased levels of understanding and interaction between the academic community concerned with researching sponsorship and the practitioner community charged with managing sponsorship and will, in future, serve as a key reference source for these communities in their quest for improved methodologies to measure sponsorship performance.