Revisit: Sponsorship Return on Investment


Special issue of International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship; Deadline 1 Oct 2016

Manuscripts are being solicited for an upcoming special issue of the International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship on Sponsorship Return on Investment (ROI).


There is a burgeoning interest in sponsorship on the behalf of brand marketers, as an estimated $57.5 billion was invested in sponsorship in 2015 and spending is projected to grow by 4.7% in 2016 to a record $60.2 billion. However, in today’s economic environment, the ability of brand marketers to quantify the firm’s return on investment in approaches that span the marketing mix is more crucial than ever. This is particularly the case when allocating resources towards investments in non-traditional marketing approaches, such as sponsorship. For traditional approaches such as advertising and sales promotion, there are universal, agreed-upon metrics that can be readily utilized for return on investment analyzes, such as gross ratings points (GRPs). However, there are as of yet no metrics that are universally utilized across various industries for investment in sponsorship.

The aim of this special issue is to invite submissions that help to move the sponsorship literature forward by investigating not just the expected returns from investments in sponsorship, but also the investment side of the sponsorship ledger. In addition, submissions that examine returns from sponsorship that are closely linked with the sponsoring firm’s stated business objectives are also welcomed. Submissions may also analyze both returns and investment together (e.g., Jensen & Cobbs, 2014), with the goal of assisting brand marketers and sponsored sport organizations in better understanding factors that may predict return on investment from sponsorship.

Topics for this special issue may include but are not limited to:

  • Investigations of sponsorship’s impact on direct sales
  • Determinants of sponsorship costs
  • Pricing models in sponsorship
  • Examinations of factors impacting positive return on investment in sponsorship
  • Longitudinal analyzes of sponsorship-related data, which more readily allows for causal inferences
  • Use of devices (such as eye tracking software or fMRI) that are superior to standard brand recognition and recall survey measures
  • Examinations of sponsorship return mechanisms that link more closely to the sponsoring firm’s business objectives
  • Investigations of digital marketing or social media-related metrics that may shed light on the sponsoring firm’s return on its investment
  • Quantifying return on investments in sponsorship-linked marketing approaches (i.e., activation of investments in sponsorship)

Editorial Information

  • Guest editor: Jonathan A. Jensen, Assistant Professor of Sport Administration, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC (
  • Guest editor: Darin W. White, Professor of Marketing, Brock School of Business, Samford University, Birmingham, AL (

Full information is available here: