FRIDAY 27 MAR 2009 10:15 AM


Public opinion towards lavish corporate sponsorship seems to be hardening, a new survey suggests.

A recent study of American consumers by Performance Research shows that, as consumers tighten their belts, they expect corporate sponsors to do the same.

Nearly one-third (32%) reported they are paying less attention to corporate sponsorships than they were a year ago. And the majority would like to see less spending on sports sponsorships for companies experiencing any difficulties (62%), and particularly by those accepting federal assistance (68%).

Corporate humility and fiscal conservatism are clearly now appealing qualities; a majority of respondents agreed they are thinking more about wasteful corporate spending now than ever before (74%), that there should be restrictions on sponsorship spending for companies receiving government assistance (69%), that it is more important than ever for companies to appear humble (64%), and that they are impressed when hearing of a company cutting back on corporate hospitality (64%).

For corporations that are stable and profitable, however, 77% of consumers said they would like to see them spend the same or more on their favourite sports, 79% would like to see same or more spending on their favourite arts or cultural programs, and 84% would like to see more spending on favourite causes or non-profits.

"This is not the time for stable companies to drop sponsorships, but to provide more value to consumers with their programs,” said Jed Pearsall, president of Performance Research.