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Contrary to the plethora of critical articles recently appearing in both the popular and business press, this carefully controlled investigation of 49 stadium-and arena-naming-rights agreement announcements provides striking evidence that such sponsorships can significantly enhance the stock prices of sponsoring companies. Inded, the results of the study show that the average staium sponsor's stock prices increased by 1.65 percent at the time of announcement of the programs - a result considerable in excess of the returns associated with other major marketing programs such as the signing of Olympic sponsorships and celebrity endorsers. A multiple regression analysis employing firm-specific changes in stock prices as the dependent variable and quantifiable corporate and sponsorship-related atributes as independent variables is also presented. Variables positively and significantly correlated with perceived sponsorship success include team-winning percentages, contract length, and high technology and locally based companies. Overall, the findings of the study are consistent with the novel hypothesis that, for some firms, the real value-added of a stadium sponsorship may lie in its ability to serve as an effective or ‘honest’ signal of managerial confidence in the future of the company.
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