Memorisation of Rugby World Cup Sponsors: The Home Team Sponsor’s Advantage

Geoff Dickson, Michael Naylor and David P. Hedlund


A challenge for mega sporting events such as the Rugby World Cup is to ensure that team sponsors are not confused with event sponsors. The purpose of this research is to (1) measure consumer identification rates of mega-event sponsors and misidentification rates of product-category competitors, and (2) investigate the impact of different retrieval cues on identification rates of megaevent sponsors. Data about Rugby World Cup 2011 sponsors were collected from 608 students at a large New Zealand university using quasi-experimental design. The percentage of the full sample that correctly identified event sponsors across the recognition and recall mechanisms varied considerably. Different retrieval cues had no effect on the recognition rates. The key finding is that Adidas, Air New Zealand and Hyundai/Ford—all prominent, longstanding sponsors of the All Blacks—were consistently misidentified as official RWC sponsors.

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