Determinants of Corporate Sponsorship Award Opportunities for Soccer Premier League Clubs in Kenya
Kisaka, Thomas Mboya
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Corporate sponsorship is a common phenomenon in major soccer leagues worldwide. Studies in the area of sports sponsorship decision-making have been done from a global context but lack focus on a particular sport or a major soccer league. None has been done on the Kenya Premier League. The purpose of this study was to determine the factors considered by corporate organizations in availing sponsorship to clubs in the Kenya Premier League. The study determined the influence of team-based, country-based and environmental-based characteristics on corporate organizations’ decisions to sponsor. The descriptive survey research design was used. Sponsorship decision making factors were the independent variables and the corporate organizations’ willingness to avail sponsorship to a Kenya Premier League club was the dependent variable. The target population were personnel in Departments of sponsorship, marketing or welfare within corporate organizations that sponsored Kenya Premier League in 2018/2019, as well as club chairmen and treasurers. The study was conducted in Nairobi City County using self-administered questionnaires and interview schedules to collect data from purposively selected corporate organizations and clubs. Interviews were also conducted on two personnel who were the manager and the assistant of sponsorship, marketing or welfare department in the corporate organizations. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics. Regressions were done to test the hypotheses. The data obtained through interviews was sorted out according to the objectives and presented in a narrative form. The study found that team-based, country-based and the environmental-based factors had a positive and significant influence on corporate organizations’ decisions on sponsorship. Fan base strength emerged as the most important team-based factor considered by corporate sponsors (mean=4.67). Economic state of Kenya was the most important country-based factor in corporate sponsorship decisions (mean=3.90) while Kenya Premier League authority over sponsorship deals emerged as the most important environmentally-centered factor (mean=3.83). Overall, team-based factors had the highest positive and significant effect on decisions made by corporate organizations to sponsor KPL clubs (β=0.592, p=0.000). This was followed by country-based characteristics (β=0.562, p=0.000). The last factor was environmental based characteristics (β=0.320, p=0.011). This implies that the three factors contributed differently to decisions made by corporate organizations to sponsor KPL clubs. The study recommended areas for further research which included length of sponsorship impact, the ease of planning the sponsorship, appeal to target audience lifestyle, the relevance of the sponsorship, the factors which make sponsors to terminate sponsorships and ambush marketing in Kenyan sports sponsorship. Additionally, the study recommended that clubs should strive to perform well and maintain a non-scandalous image in order to be attractive to corporate sponsors. The government through the ministries of Sports, Culture and Heritage, and Finance should give tax incentives to sponsors of Kenya Premier League clubs so as to enable them to avail more sponsorship.