International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Supporting Causes: Non-Profit Sponsorship of Gay Games IX
David Hack, PhD

Over the past three decades, sport sponsorship has played a significant role in the financial and operational success of sporting entities and events. While there has been dramatic growth in the numbers, complexities, and size of sponsorships, there are still large gaps in the literature regarding these multifaceted agreements. Little research has been executed regarding amateur sporting events, non-profit sponsorship agreements, and sponsorship of sport for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) communities. Hence, this exploratory case study sought to investigate non-profit organizational sponsorships of the 2014 Gay Games, an amateur LGBT-focused sporting mega-event which garnered $4.16 million dollars in sponsorships. Document collection and analysis, site observations, and semi-structured interviews were conducted with sponsorship decision-makers at six non-profit organizations in order to investigate this phenomenon. The first emergent theme indicated that non-profit sponsorship decision makers define sponsorship as support for a cause or event, a definition which differs from that found in much of the existing sport sponsorship literature. A second theme indicated that non-profit sponsorship was spurred by a desire to support diversity and inclusion. Finally, a third theme indicated that a desire to support education was also an important factor with regard to non-profit sponsorship of the 2014 Gay Games.

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