Sponsorship as a Bilateral Relationship: the benefits of applying relationship marketing principles in the sponsorship exchange

Beverley J Thompson


An understanding of the workings, management and implications of sponsorship relationships, is becoming increasingly important to all arts administrators, in times of dwindling government assistance, and keener competition for audiences. Sponsorship research suffers from a lack of a suitable theoretical underpinning to assist operators in its understanding. Much is written about the practicalities of sponsorship, but it is largely in a theoretical void. This paper is an attempt to provide a theoretical framework for understanding arts sponsorship, based on relationship marketing and networking principles. It argues that both sponsor and sponsee would benefit from an understanding of relationship marketing principles when instigating, managing and even terminating a sponsorship exchange. The key argument is that by following the principles of relationship marketing, a sponsorship exchange will become a long-term "win-win" situation for both parties.

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Asia Pacific Journal of Arts and Cultural Management; ISSN 1449-1184
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