Kelly Evans

Date of Award

Summer 2019

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management

First Advisor

Stephen Shapiro

Second Advisor

Matthew T. Brown


The biggest problem interfering with effective sport sponsorships is marketing clutter and the negative impact it has on sponsorship recall accuracy (Cornwell & Relyea, 2000; Rumpf, 2012; Seguin & O’Reilly, 2008). Previous research shows that external sponsorship congruence plays an important role in how consumers remember and recall sport sponsors (Cornwell et al., 2005; Fleck et al., 2012; Jagre et al., 2001; Olson & Thjømøe, 2011; Solomon, 1996; Stangor & McMillan, 1992), ultimately influencing consumer attitudes and behavior (Close & Lacey, 2013; Gwinner & Bennett, 2008; Lee & Thorson, 2008; Simmons & Becker-Olson, 2006). Great strides have been made in identifying multiple types of external sponsorship congruence, however congruence constructs are inconsistently conceptualized and measured, leaving a gap in the understanding of congruence theory within a sport sponsorship context. The current study addressed this issue by critically analyzing all elements of external sponsorship congruence from a conceptual and measurement standpoint, and created one concise measurement instrument by following scale development framework outlined by Churchill (1979), Hinkin (1995), and Hinkin, Tracey, and Enz (1997). Results of the External Sponsorship Congruence Scale (ESCS) illustrate four specific external congruence constructs are salient within consumers’ minds: geographic, functional, audience, and brand equity. Accordingly, the ESCS provides theoretical groundwork for future sponsorship research measuring how a sponsor and event are (dis)similar. Implications for future research and practical use are discussed.