The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of brand experiences on customer-based brand equity (CBBE) for title sponsors of short-term tournaments. Although prevalent in practice, the intersection of the variables under study has received limited academic probe, the study seeks to empirically illuminate the relationship. The study presents an adapted theoretical framework to interpret this relationship. The target population for the study were brands who title sponsor short-term tournaments in the Premier Soccer League (PSL), South Africa’s top-flight league. The PSL’s sponsorship income was estimated to be well over R300 Million in 2018, attracting more than 10 million unique spectators yearly. Non-probability sampling was used to select executive decision makers who represented the sponsor brands and in-depth interviews were conducted using structured questionnaire guides. The results show that brands have not fully utilized brand experiences beyond the selling and awareness objectives, and further show that brand experiences can be used as an intervening variable between sponsorship and CBBE to build stronger resonance. The adapted theoretical framework posited in this study proved as a conduit to interpret the relationship under study; however, future research further may empirically validate the framework. The study findings can assist sponsors who collectively spend more than R300 Million to better leverage sponsored properties to build lasting resonance. The generalizability of the findings is restricted due to the limited sample size.
Key words: Customer-based brand equity, title sponsorship, short-term tournaments, brand experiences.
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