This research was conducted by Normand Turgeon and Francois Colbert at HEC Montreal, Canada


This paper sets out a model to illuminate and explain the ways in which corporations decide to sponsor arts events or organisations. Even by 1992 the authors confidently stated that the 'days of sponsorship decisions being made mainly by CEOs on the basis of their pet projects or hobbies are long gone'.

A criteria for sponsoring the arts

After surveying relevant literature the researchers arrived at five general categories of criteria: event-related (does the event ‘fit’ with the product being promoted, and is it going to reach the right kind of audience or consumer?); sponsored-organisation and sponsor-organisation related (will the organisation be able to handle the sponsorship appropriately, and are they a good ‘fit’ for the corporation looking to sponsor?); market-related (for example whether competitors are engaged in sponsorship of the same kind); and effect-related (will the sponsorship achieve the desired outcome?).

To understand the relative importance of these criteria the researchers looked at sponsored events in Canada

Of the five criteria categories identified, effect-related outcomes appeared uppermost in the minds of corporate sponsors, and within that whether or not the event would help alter the public's perception of the corporation. Other important factors were whether or not sponsorship would allow the corporation to contribute to society in some way, or whether it would improve relations with employees. Event-related factors were the second-most important category, and within this whether the sponsorship fits with other ongoing promotional activities, and whether it portrays the right corporate image, or garners media coverage.

Title The decision process involved in corporate sponsorship for the arts
Author(s) Turgeon, N. & Colbert, F.
Publication date 1992
Source Journal of Cultural Economics, Vol 16, pp 41-51
Author email