This thesis sets out to investigate the effect of participation in motorsports on the image of a company. The focus in this investigation lies on the effect for companies that participate in Formula 1. The research looks at three different items that can influence the image: brand fit, brand involvement and popularity of the sport. Another factor investigates the moderating effect that the influence of the image of the sport has on the three items under investigation. These issues where investigated using an online questionnaire. The results show that a correct brand fit and a high brand involvement are the issues that will ensure a positive change on the image of a company. In addition, companies need to choose a sport with a positive image in order to create an image transfer regime that is positive for both parties.
Chapter 1 - Introduction.
The topic of this thesis focuses on participation in sports by a company. More in particularly, we take a close look at the partnership created through sponsorship between a company and a participant on to the next level. Two different types of sport marketing exists, the first deals with the marketing of a sport, the second the marketing of a company via a sport. This second type of sport marketing is the focus of this thesis. A further division of this type of sport marketing can be made: the sponsoring of an event, and the sponsoring of a team through participation. This is something that applies for almost every sport. It could be a tennis racket for a tennis player, shoes for a runner, swimming goggles for a swimmer, skis for a skier or, as will be the case for this thesis, a car for a racing driver. This thesis will therefore look at the advantage that a car company receives from participating in car racing.
Although at first sight both investment types (sponsoring and participation) appear to be rather similar, participation is much more expensive, but when a race is won, the possible marketing benefits will also be much higher.