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Catherine Mpolokeng Sephapo, Johannes Arnoldus Wiid ORCID logo, Michael Colin Cant ORCID logo


Sponsorship is a powerful marketing tool that organisations in South Africa are embracing. From the evaluation of the sponsorship growth over the years, the industry in South Africa has developed from a R63 million industry in 1985 to the value of just under R7 billion in 2011 (City Press, 2012). Small businesses in South Africa are faced with the challenge of effectively reaching target segments. These small businesses are restricted in terms of limited marketing budgets and therefore need alternative ways of improving their brands in the eyes of the consumer. Theoretically, sponsorship is considered to improve the brand image of an organisation and ultimately improve sales. However, the question that this study aims to answer is whether small business owners perceive sponsorship to be a useful tool that even they can utilise. The study made use of a quantitative approach whereby a web-based questionnaire was distributed to small business owners. The findings indicated that the general attitude towards sponsorship as a marketing tool is positive. The correlation between sponsor sincerity and sponsorship usefulness was found positive; however, average in strength. Although sponsorship is seen as a useful tool, 15.4% of the respondents indicated that they would not consider using this marketing tool. This response may provide an opportunity for further research to be conducted which may shed some light on the strategies small business owners perceive to be most effective for their unique circumstances.

Keywords: Perception, Sponsorship, Small Business, South Africa

How to cite this paper: Sephapo, C. M., Wiid, J. A., & Cant, M. C. (2014). The perception of sponsorship usefulness among South African small business owners. Corporate Ownership & Control, 11(4-5), 475-488.