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Independent Studies


Picture This: "The Official Sports Drink of the ......Symphony?"

While corporate sponsorship has been the mainstay of growing financial support for many American pastimes, corporate sponsorship of fine and performing arts has somehow been left behind as more and more money is being spent on everything from Pro Football to the Olympic Games.

Audiences and sponsorships are well documented in sports, but until recently, little has been known about Arts audiences. How do they compare?

Over one-half (56%) of those with an interest in the Arts say they would "Almost always" or "Frequently" buy a product sponsoring Arts or Cultural events over one that does not. In contrast, according to previous Performance Research studies, only about a one-third (36%) of NFL fans, one-third (34%) of America's Cup yachting enthusiasts and less than one-fifth (17%) of the 1996 Olympic Games audience chose products based on their sponsorships. (The highest sponsor loyalty numbers have traditionally been seen in motorsports, where as many as 72% claim to preferentially select sponsors' products)

Even more revealing was that almost one-half (48%) of Americans with an interest in Art and Cultural events indicated that they hold a "Higher" trust in companies that sponsor these events compared to those who do not, while only 16% of Olympic Games enthusiasts claim a "Higher" trust in their sponsors.

What does all this mean for corporate connoisseurs? For those brands marketing to a more refined audience, there is ample opportunity. According to the nationwide study, this new breed of art and culture consumers sketch themselves as "Family oriented", "Active", "Mature", "Fun loving", "Traditional", and "Socially liberal". They can best be described as married (58%), middle income ($30-$60K), baby boomers (average age 47) with a penchant for traveling. These consumers with an interest in the Arts are brand loyal purchasers that appreciate corporate involvement and are not yet inundated by the advertising and sponsorship clutter so apparent in other pastimes.

So has the picture been painted? ..... Does this study predicate a corporate free-for-all in sponsoring events such as last season's Philadelphia Cezanne exhibit or Boston's Opening Night at Pops?

Not necessarily. Although most forms of advertising used to promote corporate art and cultural sponsorships are widely accepted, the audience did have their "beaux des Arts" standards, particularly eschewing affiliations with alcohol, beer, and tobacco companies. Curiously in addition to the above "sins", in a list of over twelve possible promotions, "Lobby based auto displays" were specifically identified as "Inappropriate" in the world of art and cultural sponsorship.

Performance Research measured the nationwide art and cultural audiences in an independent study of over 600 respondents ranging from occasional (1 per year) to frequent (5 per year) visitors of Museums, Galleries, Performing Arts or Cultural Events.

Full List of Independent Studies

United States Studies

2014 Performance Research / IEG Sponsorship Decision Makers' Survey
The latest report.

BP Oil Spill Ramifications
consumer attitudes to the oil giant and its marketing

Big Three Still Dominate
Study of Olympic sponsorship at Vancouver 2010

Times Square Advertising: Is it over-the-top or top-of-mind? (2002)
A look at how visitors connect to the commercial clutter of Times Square.

At the Olympics, Less May Be More
Study of Olympic sponsorship at Sydney 2000

Americans Welcome Return of Formula 1
Study of sponsorship at the 2000 Indianapolis US Formula One Grand Prix

Log-Ons and Sponsors and Boats, Oh My!
America’s Cup (2000)

Viagra and Lycos Outperform First Year Sponsors to NASCAR
Research at the 2000 Daytona 500

Sponsors Still Live Dream Despite Scandal Nightmare
Consumer attitudes to the Olympics following Salt Lake City Scandal (1999)

NASCAR Fans Say “Welcome Back” to the Dodge Boys!
NASCAR Winston 500 (1999)

Picture This: “The Official Sports Drink of the …….. Symphony?”
Consumer attitudes toward corporate sponsorship of the arts (1997)

Naming Rights, Naming Wrongs
Consumer reaction to sponsorship of arenas and stadiums (1997)

Extreme Games, Commercialism Taken Too Far?
ESPN X-Games audience study (1996)

Watch Out For The Ambush 1996
Study of Olympic sponsorship (Atlanta)

America loses the Cup, but sponsors win over the fans…
America’s Cup sponsorship (1995)

Winners and Whiners
Indy Car Study (1994)

Loyal NASCAR Fans Please Stand Up
Racestat: a comprehensive analysis of the NASCAR audience (1994)

Olympics, What Olympics? Sponsors, What Sponsors
1994 study of Olympic sponsorship (Lillehammer)

AT&T Win Official Race With Sprint
1992 study of Olympic sponsorship (Barcelona)

Winter Olympic Viewers “Can’t Beat the Feeling”
1992 study of Olympic sponsorship (Albertville)

Europe Studies

The Wild, Wild East? Sponsorship in Poland
Study explores attitudes to corporate sponsorship among Poles.

Why Do American Formula One Fans Value Sponsors?
Compares and contrasts opinions of visitors to both the 2000 US and 2000 British Formula One Grand Prix.

HOWZAT!! For Sponsorship
UK cricket sponsorship – beyond awareness (2000)

British Football Fans Can’t Recall Euro 2000 Sponsors
Research into sponsorship effectiveness at Euro 2000

Caution Flags Fly as CART Set for New Arrival
Attitudes of F1 racing fans to the introduction of US motorsports in Britain (2000)

Sponsor Loyalty Left by Roadside
Research at the 2000 British F1 Grand Prix

Sponsors Find Home in Dome
Millennium Dome sponsorship awareness study (2000)

Naming Rights, Naming Wrongs
Consumer reaction to sponsorship of arenas and stadiums (1999)

American Companies Welcome As Smoke Clears From F1
Research among European Formula 1 Grand Prix 1999

Rugby World Cup Findings Are Black And White
Research at the Rugby World Cup 1999