This study investigates the relationship between a firm's corporate identity and sponsorship policy. The importance of this research is twofold: (1) It looks to address the dearth of research in extant sponsorship policy literature and (2) equips practitioners with a greater understanding as to how to formulate sponsorship policy so as to engender a favourable corporate image. A corporate identity-sponsorship policy model is posited and tested via a mixed method research design. The first stage involved a content analysis of 146 "Fortune 500" companies' online sponsorship policies and mission statements. The second stage included a statistical analysis incorporating cluster, factor and logistic regression analyses.
It is found that corporate identity, as stated in mission statements, predicts sponsorship policy specifications. Specifically, it finds that companies emphasising financial success and supremacy in their mission statements, are more inclined to sponsor individuals, education, the environment and health related activities. This is explained by the mounting pressure asserted by environmental forces and the general public for high performance firms to engage in socially responsible practices. Alternatively, companies who stress the importance of employees within their mission statements demonstrate a stronger propensity to sponsor sports, entertainment, religious, community, charity and business related activities. This hybrid of commercial and socially responsible sponsorships can be attributed to internal marketing strategies, aimed at marketing an organisation to its employees as opposed to external stakeholders.