Sponsorship as experiential marketing : a natural experiment on how event experiences transfer to the brand
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- Master Thesis 
The focus of this thesis is the effects of a sponsored event experience. This study aims to contribute to the understanding of brand experience by investigating whether the effects of a sponsored event experience on consumer responses can be mediated through brand experience. It also explores how to create positive sponsorship responses and brand experience through event sponsorships. Sponsorship responses are operationalized as Brand Associations and Brand Evaluation. At sponsored events, attendees have different levels of event experiences, which vary by their level of interaction with the sponsor. This study examines whether there is a relationship between the levels of event experiences and the effects on sponsorship responses, and whether these effects are mediated by brand experience. A natural experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of three types of event experiences on sponsorship responses and brand experience. The study proposes that all event attendees will have more favourable sponsorship responses than the control group and that the higher event experience attendees have the more positive sponsorship responses. The results show that the highest level of event experience resulted in a significantly higher level of Brand Evaluation and Brand Experience compared with the other groups. An unexpected finding was that the lowest level of event experience created generally higher sponsorship responses than the second highest level. The interpretation of the results suggests that to get the most out of the event sponsorship, it is of importance that attendees actively participate in the activities offered. The research contributes to the understanding of different types of event experiences and how brand experience can be used to influence consumer responses to the brand. Suggestions and recommendations regarding how to successfully implement on-site activities are proposed.