Tag Archives: Billboards in Ballparks

The Impact of Corporate Sports Sponsorship

A recent Seton Hall Sports poll found, as Darren Rovell of ESPN noted, that

Some of the responses to this finding were interesting, to say the least; a couple wondered if this news would “finally” lead to less corporate spending for sponsorships — a decluttering of stadiums.

I believe Rovell’s take is closer to the truth — that the number saying sports sponsorship did have an impact was too low for the money spent by sponsors.

And, importantly, it should be noted that the poll gauged what people said, not what they do.

Among marketing people, that 44% admitted that they paid attention was cause for major celebration; and perhaps, that 85% believe themselves to be unaffected by the ads was cause for even greater celebration– as advertising works best that way, just under the radar.

But what do sponsors get from these placements and affiliations?

I’ll leave that analysis to the able hands of Seton Hall, Stillman School of Business, Professor Kurt W. Rotthoff, a co-author of “Influences on Sponsorship Deals in NASCAR: Indirect Evidence from Time on Camera,” which was published in Applied Economics and looks at sponsorship value and influence. This passage below deals with sponsorship and stock price, as good a place to start as any.

Rotthoff writes:

Although the measurement of sponsorship effectiveness if notoriously difficult (for a description of the difficulty see Breuer and Rumpf 2012), the marketing literature, as well as the economics and finance literature, have all attempted to measure the overall benefit and effectiveness of corporate sponsorship dollars. In the finance literature, event studies have found a positive relation between athletic sponsorship and stock prices. Cornwell, Pruitt, and Clark (2005) find that sponsorship in the National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Hockey League (NHL), and the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) all increased the stock prices of the sponsoring firms. Pruitt, Cornwell, and Clark (2004) also find that announcement of sponsorship of a NASCAR team increases the sponsoring company’s stock price. Mahar, Paul, and Stone (2005) find that NASCAR sponsors that sell directly to end consumers have a positive relationship between winning and sponsors stock price; however, this does not hold for firms that market to businesses. Durr, Eaton, and Broker (2009) find that a portfolio of corporations that sponsor NASCAR teams consistently outperforms the risk-adjusted returns of the S&P 500.

They claim that NASCAR sponsorship sends a signal of a firm’s financial health. Other event studies have also found a relationship between athlete image and stock prices. For instance during the Tiger Woods scandal in 2009, his sports-related sponsors’ stock value decreased by over four percent and the stock prices of his top five sponsors fell by two to three percent (Knittel and Stango 2010).

Seton Hall Sports Poll Update

Seth Everett gives the latest Seton Hall SportsPoll update: MLB’s World Series vs. NFL; interesting result for sports stadium billboard sponsorship and perceived effect (1 minute, 27 seconds).

World Series vs. NFL? Strong Gain for Baseball Shown in Preference

South Orange, NJ, October 29, 2015 — The World Series, which will go head-to-head against the NFL this Sunday (if a fifth game is necessary), has shown strong growth in such a match-up in the opinion of the American public, according to a Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted this week.

While a regular season NFL game is preferred over a World Series game by a 48%-36% margin, when Seton Hall asked the question five years ago, the NFL margin was 56%-22%. That is a shift from a 34% to 12% differential, and seems to match the ratings for Tuesday night’s Game One of the World Series, which was the highest in five years.

There were no clear differences in the percentages based on whether a baseball or a football game was being played on the day the question was asked.

“This is a strong trend for baseball,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the Poll, which is sponsored by The Sharkey Institute. “Despite the absence of household name stars in this year’s Kansas City-New York Mets matchup, the public is finding the games compelling.”

The Poll was conducted this week (October 26-28) among 820 random adults called on landlines and cellphones across the country. There is a margin of error of 3.5%.

Asked which they expected to be more competitive, the World Series or the political debate, 49% said the debate and 41% said the World Series. (The vast majority of respondents answered prior to the airing of the debate on CNBC, which began at 8 pm eastern time on the final day of polling).

In other findings, 45% felt the World Series takes place too late in the year (vs. 37% saying it was fine to end in November). When asked two years ago, 53% said it takes place too late, and 36% said it was okay as is.

59% said it didn’t matter if a baseball player acts out with a demonstrative gesture in a game (such as a bat flip or a pitcher’s gesture after a strikeout). 17% felt that was good for baseball and 15% said it was bad for baseball.


Although there are growing varieties of ways to watch sports, 83% still choose television and 7% choose “in person,” leaving only 5% who usually watch streaming video and 5% “other” or “none.” Streaming video was launched back in 2000 when Rick Gentile produced the Paralympic Games from Sydney, Australia for WeMedia, but now, 15 years later, it remains a small piece of the viewership pie.

Good news for billboard sponsors – 44% of respondents said they pay attention to sponsor signs in the stadium. Asked if they are more or less likely to purchase a product they see sponsoring sports events, only 9% said more likely and 85% said “no difference.” (Advertisers would surely dispute this finding). 6% said they would be less likely.

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