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The MIXMAP-model for international sport sponsorship The Authors Claudio Vignali, Claudio Vignali is in the Department of Retailing and Marketing, The Manchester Metropolitan University, Aytoun Building, Manchester, UK Abstract Posits that this analysis is based on the dependence of international sport sponsorship on the market audit and the individual product class/product form or brand environment. The MIXMAP-model addresses the question of how the marketing mix framework can be used to analyse the competitive standing of a business organization, and how the outcomes of this analysis can be translated into practical tactics which capitalize on the organizations’ strengths. The MIXMAP-model was developed as a guide to make this transition from the strategic to the tactical level. The MIXMAP-model begins by categorizing the product in the product-life-cycle concept and Boston Consulting Group matrix. This position is decisive for the intensity of the different elements (product, price, promotion, place) and their different variables. Discusses how a qualitative survey was used to provide an initial check of the theory and that the survey approach was a questionnaire to 60 multinationals in Germany, England, Italy and France. Article Type: Conceptual Paper Keyword(s): Marketing mix; Multinationals; Sponsorship; Sport. Journal: European Business Review Volume: 97 Number: 4 Year: 1997 pp: 187-193 Copyright © MCB UP Ltd ISSN: 0955-534X Introduction According to estimates by Sponsorship Research International (Hitchen, 1994) the worldwide sport sponsorship industry has continued to grow in real terms over the last decade from around US$2 billion in the early 1980s to its current level of over US$10 billion, almost a five-fold increase. The international sport sponsorship involvement of multinationals changed their communication-marketing. Whereas in the past the communication mix comprised only of advertising, sales promotion and public relations, international sport sponsorship is an additional element of the marketing mix today. The first steps of the international sport sponsorship pioneers were characterized by “gut feeling” for promoting something with a promising future. There was neither research for international sport sponsorship engagement nor strategic implementation of it. In the meantime the financial expenditure, for example the cost of international sport sponsorship involvement, pitch perimeter advertising, team sponsorship and event sponsorship, has dramatically increased. We should not forget the fact that theoretical research of strategic implementation is still in its earliest stages. More recently some companies have tried to integrate the element of international sport sponsorship into the marketing mix. This has proved difficult without theoretical models (Hitchen, 1994). International sport sponsorship as part of the communication process International sport sponsorship does not usually exist in isolation and the ESCA (European Sponsorship Consultants Association, 1994) indicates that the sponsorship which works best was integrated with other marketing activities such as advertising, sales promotion and public relations programmes. International sport sponsorship can provide a positive platform for media visibility, additional image shifts, sampling, corporate hospitality, sales force incentives and even industrial relations. For a sponsor to achieve success in its chosen sponsorship requires understanding, strategic planning, expert targeting and the application of the dedicated professional skills and services, including creative and technical support. The features of the MIXMAP-model and the implementation for international sport sponsorship The MIXMAP-model was developed in 1994 by Vignali, Davies and Schmidt of the Department of Retailing and Marketing at the Manchester Metropolitan University. The model was created due to the lack of congruence between marketing strategy and tactics of marketing concepts of multinationals. It is the intention of the MIXMAP-model to simplify the co-ordination of the different elements and their variables of the marketing mix in order to make the important objectives and targets more obvious. As McDonald (1992) emphasizes it is the “two dimensional” thinking behind the matrices that helps to simplify complex situations and clarify the relationship between the variables and elements of the marketing mix. It follows that altering one variable or element of the mix automatically has an impact on another. International sport sponsorship is a complex variable of the marketing mix and contains numerous sub-variables which have to be co-ordinated and regulated. Against this background of complexity, the MIXMAP-model has the potential to co-ordinate the different instruments that are involved with international sport sponsorship and to integrate international sport sponsorship into the marketing mix. That idea has resulted in transfer of the MIXMAP-model into the segment of international sport sponsorship. The use of the MIXMAP-model for international sport sponsorship enables the sponsor to combine the product and economic environment to decide on the intensity of the different instruments. This will have an influence on the choice of the sponsored sport as well as the actual performance of the contracting sport, to control the extent to which it meets the objectives of the marketing mix elements and variables. The idea of placing the product into different models is not new. What is new is the consideration of the strategic level and the tactical level in the area of international sport sponsorship as well as the establishment of different variables through specific research for international sport sponsorship. Fundamental principle of the MIXMAP-model The MIXMAP-model begins by categorizing the product in different fundamental models such as the product-life-cycle-concept/ Boston Consulting Group matrix. This position is decisive for the intensity of the different elements (product, price, promotion, place) and their different variables. The MIXMAP-model transferred into the area of international sport sponsorship is the combination of strategic and tactical elements and research as shown in the MIXMAP-model triangle in Figure 1: • The element of research: The research element has different instruments to achieve various objectives which can be summarized as follows: • “Where do I stand in the marketplace?”; and • “Where do I want to be ?” • The elements of strategy can be analysed through: • the product life cycle concept; • the Boston Consulting Group matrix. • The elements of tactics can be analysed through: • Different elements and variables that are mapped in matrices; • The elements and the variables and the relevant values which are received through different methods of research. The research element for international sport sponsorship has different methods such as existing research vehicles, syndicated tracking surveys, omnibus surveys and the ad-hoc surveys to meet the various objectives. On the one hand research is the connecting link between the strategic and the tactical elements and on the other hand the basic material for both points of perspective. These different qualitative surveys for international sport sponsorship entail collecting information from the relevant individuals or organizations by directly asking questions on the issues of interest. These survey approaches are different in comparison to the most common quantitative methods of evaluating the international sport sponsorship involvement in the past. These were, and still are, linked in practice to evaluating the number of recordings and length of media exposure and comparing this to the equivalent cost of rate card advertising (Parker, 1991). This approach was questioned by Ukman at the 5th National Sponsorship Conference and reported in Dwek (1993) as follows: “We are still evaluating sponsorship in terms of take offs instead of landings - it’s a qualitative not a quantitative thing.” The MIXMAP-model starts by placing the product of a multinational which is involved in the international sport sponsorship process, in order to monitor the situation of the profitability. For this reason the following models will be implemented: • product-category-life-cycles; and • the Boston Consulting Group matrix. In using the PLC concept it has to be considered that the PLC can describe a product class (soft drinks), a product form (Cola), or a brand (Coca-Cola as a soft drink). In order to follow the MIXMAP-model the user has to decide the main objectives of the international sport sponsorship engagement (product-class, product form or brand). By identifying the stage that a product/brand is in, or may be headed towards, companies can formulate better marketing plans. After considering the main objectives (brand or product related), the application should classify the variable into the PLC to get the starting point of the strategic level mapping of the MIXMAP-model. In order to understand the characteristics of the MIXMAP-model an example product class will be placed (indicated by a black star - see Figure 2) in the growth stage because it has the features described above. This is the starting point for the following positioning. The MIXMAP-model is followed by the positioning of the product in the Boston Consulting Group Matrix (BCGM). The BCGM developed and popularized the growth share matrix shown in Figure 2 with the market growth rate on the vertical axis indicating the growth rate of the market in which the sponsorship related product operates. The process of the MIXMAP-model schedule is to transfer the position of the variables from the PLC to the BCGM. Having explained the main features of the BCGM, the position in the PLC can be transferred in the BCGM. In our case the example product is positioned in the star square. This position after the PLC is the second strategic level in the MIXMAP-model concept. The strategic positioning can be summarized as follows: After looking at strategic mapping, we now know that the product promoted by international sport sponsorship has the following features: • the PLC implements the growth stage in a certain time period, which means an increase in profit and sales; • the star position in the BCGM highlights the market growth and high market share. The tactical mapping follows the strategic mapping. For the purpose of tactical mapping, the selected variables are initialized by the implemented marketing research. As a result, the high/low axes remain constant throughout the application of the MIXMAP-model. As Vignali (1994) said: “Congruence between strategy and tactics is indicated where related elements and variables are consistently placed in the same quadrant.” Furthermore, the quadrant would correspond to the quadrant in which the product is positioned if the mapping technique is applied using strategic framework of the PLC and the BCGM. It is proposed that such a matched result in a consistent message is likely to enhance the probability of achieving strategic objectives. In contrast, a mismatch infers incongruity between the strategic and tactical level, resulting in a contradictory message to the consumer, with many of the marketing measures taken neutralizing each other out. The tactical level is based on the idea of using the results of the research in a double meaning in the following way: • the variables are the axes of the different matrices; • the values of the research are the indicators of the level in the matrices (high/low). In our case it will be assumed that the results of the quality research identified the following elements and variables of the marketing mix (see Figure 2) as the most important ones for the promoted product. Product (quality/ brand), price (level/discount), place (outlet no/location), promotion (advertising/ sponsorship). The categorizations will be used to set up different matrices (see Figure II). Additionally the research delivers the suitable data of the company performance for the different elements/variables in order to position the level of this performance in the different matrices. The following examples will explain the operation of the tactical MIXMAP-model. The first matrix shows the product element and combines the variables of quality and brand. Research data placed the example product in the high quality and brand range. This reflects the high quality of the product and the high recognition of the brand. It can be concluded that the example product is known as a well recognized quality product. • Quality: product quality. • Brand: brand awareness. Second, the element of price with the variables discounts and level will be analysed. The product examples are placed in the high price and high discount square. It can be concluded, that the product is being traded at a high price, with the opportunity for the retailer to obtain high discounts. • Level: price level relative to the market; • Discounts: opportunity to obtain discounts. The third stage in the tactical mapping is the consideration of the element place with the variables outlet number and locations. The research results place the example product in the high outlet number and high location square, owing to the extensive distribution channels in the country. It can be concluded that the product has a high rate of ubiquity. • Outlet number: number of outlets relative to market. • Location: geographical spread. Promotion is the last examined variable to be examined. Compared with the other international sport sponsorship variables it is categorized by more intensive mapping than for the other elements. At first the variables advertising and sponsorship will be mapped on a tactical basis. These two variables should be connected in order to make the consumer aware of the international sport sponsorship engagement. The example product is placed in the high/high square which conveys the integration of the international sponsorship into the advertising instruments and the high expenditure for advertising and international sport sponsorship. • Advertising: budget relative to market. • International sport sponsorship: budget relative to market. After the tactical mapping process it is possible to characterize the product and the variables that are related to the product with the following features: • Product has a high quality and a high level of brand. • Price has a high level as well as the opportunities for retailers to receive high discounts. • Place is secured by a high rate of ubiquity. • Promotion is implemented through a high level of television and press presence of the product. • The advertising and sponsorship budget is relatively high in comparison to the market. Furthermore it is possible to analyse the product and the suitable variables in more depth, by using actively the research data in combination with the marketing mix. The MIXMAP-model considers the marketing mix as a flexible modular system which encourages the user to combine the different variables with each other. This means, for example, that the variable sponsorship can also be analysed in a matrix with public relations or sales promotion, if the research data requires such examination. The more data that can be implemented into the MIXMAP-model framework the more features can be discovered in the product and in the product environment. Finally the research data can even control the set objectives for the international sport sponsorship engagement. Different qualitative surveys implemented by the Durham University Business School/Witcher (1991) and the Sponsorship Research International (SRi, 1994) analysed that international sport sponsorship is mainly implemented by multinationals in order to achieve the following objectives: media exposure (TV/press), direct increase in sales, increase of company image/awareness; entertainment of opinion of former/customers. The positioning of the research data into the different matrices on the objective level (see Figure 2) will have different advantages for the user. First he/she can control the result of the strategy and the tactics because the strategy and the tactics has been set up to achieve the set objectives. Second he can work the MIXMAP-model from the objective level to the strategical level up, which will give him/her the opportunity to set the variables that are necessary for achieving the objectives. The following matrix has been set up to monitor the set objectives for the international sport sponsorship engagement. There is at first the level of image and awareness, the two main sub-variables for most companies involved in sport sponsorship. Also, in this matrix the demonstration product is in box 2 which translates the high image and the high awareness of the product. • Image: company image; • Awareness: customer awareness of company. Two other important reasons for international sport sponsorship are the sub-variables of the direct influence on sales of doing sponsorship and the corporate image. Both variables are especially difficult to measure because of the different influences that are involved in image transfer and the buying process. Nevertheless, the example product is placed in the high/high range which shows the high level of direct sales that are connected with the engagement in international sport sponsorship and the influence of international sport sponsorship on the corporate image. • Sales: level of sales relative to market; • Corporate Image: customer opinion of company. International sport sponsorship can also have functions that are indirectly connected with the end-user of the product. This is shown in the next matrix which compares the level of importance of doing international sport sponsorship for the entertainment of customers (wholesalers/retailers) and the entertainment of opinion former (press, officials). The producer of the demonstration product places the product in box 2 because he recognizes the importance of the sub-variables mentioned above . • Customers: level of importance of entertainment of customers; • Opinion former: level of importance of opinion former. We can also summarize the process of mapping on an objective level. • Image and awareness are very high; • Direct sales and corporate image are high through the engagement of international sport sponsorship; • The sub-variables entertainment of customers and opinion former through the international sport sponsorship engagement are very high. After mapping the product/brand at a strategic/tactical and analysis level we can conclude different results which can be of importance for the following processes: The main perspective of the MIXMAP-model is the continuous setting of objectives through the strategic and tactical levels and the analysis of the objectives. This is based on the idea that a congruence between strategy and tactics can only be assured by consistently placing the variables in the same square in the different models. Furthermore the quadrant would correspond to the square the company is positioned in if the mapping technique is applied using the strategic framework of the PLC and BCGM. This can be of help in co-ordinating the timing of different instruments to be more targeted in using certain elements and variables. Furthermore the intensity of the different variables can be controlled and directed easily. The MIXMAP-model can be helpful in the decision process in carrying out international sport sponsorship and the choice of the types of promoted Sport because the potential sponsors know the features that the sponsored sport must fulfil. The mapping process can find an answer to the following questions: “What is the influence of sport sponsorship to certain variables?” or “Does the product match the sponsorship or vice versa ?” etc. because the international sport sponsorship engagement is directly related to the stage of the product/price/place and promotion through the positioning in the different matrices, through which the determination of the precise budget is possible. Additionally the MIXMAP-framework stresses the use of research, because the implementation of the model without research data is not possible. Different analytical research processes are possible through the MIXMAP-model settings such as the ad-hoc research which can set benchmarks before the international sport sponsorship and afterwards in controlling the influence of the international sport sponsorship engagement. Conclusion Can the MIXMAP-model simplify the integration of international sport sponsorship into the marketing mix? The use of the MIXMAP-model as a tool for international sport sponsorship enables the sponsor to combine the product-class, brand and economic environment to decide the intensity of the different elements and their variables. It also simplifies the co-ordination of the different objectives of the marketing mix that are concerned with international sport sponsorship. In this way the high degree of complexity of the decisions involved with the marketing mix and international sport sponsorship can be broken down into individual objectives. This can have an influence on the selection of the sponsored sport or event, if the sponsorship object can meet the objectives of the marketing mix elements and variables. The authors are confident that the MIXMAP-model is a useful, theoretical and practical approach to help multinationals to improve the quality of the communication process and in this manner to enable the international sport sponsorship involvement to be more effective and successful. As McDonald said in his book Marketing by Matrix (1992): “When practical decisions are required in a hard and competitive world, any ‘tools’ which lead to higher quality outputs are not to be spurned lightly.” Figure 1MIXMAP-model triangle Figure 2The MIXMAP-process References and further reading Anonymous (1994), "Hospitality makes a welcome return", PR Week, . [Manual request] [Infotrieve] Anonymous (1994), "Sports sponsorship and television coverage", National Heritage Select Committee Report, . [Manual request] [Infotrieve] Anonymous (1994), "Global sponsorship", SRi Newsletter, Switzerland, . [Manual request] [Infotrieve] Anonymous (1994), Guide to Sponsorship, ESCA (European Sponsorship Consultants Association), Chesham., . [Manual request] [Infotrieve] Baker, M.J. (1981), Marketing, Macmillan, London., . [Manual request] [Infotrieve] Bernevik, P. (1989), European Integration and Global Competitiveness, Zollikofer AG Druckerei und Verlag, St. Gallen, Switzerland., . 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