EFFECTS OF SPORTS SPONSORSHIP ON PERFORMANCE OF KENYAN FIRMS INVOLVED IN SPORTS
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Many companies make investment to sponsor the big sports events such as Olympics, world Cup and popular sports games. Effective promotional strategy involves strategic decisions about five factors target audience, objective of the promotion effort, nature of the product, stage in the product life cycle and amount of money available for promotion. The general objective of the study was to establish the effects of sports sponsorship on performance of Kenyan firms. The study sought to analyze the effects of status of sports sponsorship, target market’s awareness, demand of the sponsor`s products and services, corporate reputation and consumer loyalty on performance of Kenyan firms. The study adopted a descriptive survey design to collect information from the sample drawn from the population of the study. The target population was 87 companies involved in sports sponsorship in Kenya. Eighty two companies were selected to represent eighty seven companies involved in sport sponsorship in Kenya. One senior respondents was selected from operations or marketing department, thus a sample size of 82 respondents. Questionnaires were preferred because they are effective data collection instruments that allow respondents to give much of their opinions in regard to the research problem. A pilot study was carried out to pretest and validate the questionnaire. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) computer software was used for analysis to generate data array that would be used for subsequent analysis of the data. SPSS has descriptive statistics features that would assist in variable response comparison and give clear indications of response frequencies. Inferential statistics was also used to analyze the statistical sample. The data was coded to enable the responses to be grouped into various categories. Descriptive statistics was used to summarize the data. This included percentages and frequencies. Tables and other graphical presentations were appropriately used to present the data that was collected for ease of understanding and analysis. The study used regression analysis to establish the relation between the study variable and ANOVA to test the research hypothesis. The study revealed that connecting the company brand through sponsorship, helps to develop a link in the minds of the target audience that the company is responsible. It was found that sponsorship generates awareness, or raise levels of knowledge of a company’s products and services, product lines. It was established that sponsorship improves company or brand name by connecting them to an event or organization that is highly valued by target consumers. The study also found that customer loyalty has positive impact on performance of Kenyan firms and there is need for the management of companies to consider evaluating their customers’ choice of sports. From the regression analysis the study revealed that there was positive significant relationship between status of sport sponsorship, corporate reputation, target market awareness, customer loyalty and demand of the sponsor’s products and services and performance of the company.