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The stock market response to corporate scandals and the use of the internet by pressure groups have sensitized boards to the risk of reputation loss. Particularly at risk are companies using corporate brands whose fame and spread makes them particularly vulnerable. This study looks at these and other pressures on branding and investigates if and how leading companies have responded in the deployment of their brand portfolios. A repeat audit of the use of brand portfolios by leading companies using exactly the same method used over a decade ago reveals much change. Brand structures of the 20 companies investigated have indeed changed but not uniformly in extent or direction. Following recent increases in the financial value of sport sponsorship programs, some commentators believe this has been accompanied by the development of sponsorship management practices. Despite this, there are still widespread concerns about some of these practices. This study therefore sets out to examine and comment upon the practice of sponsorship management from an English perspective, specifically in soccer. This is an area of sponsorship that has previously been examined and is a sport in which there have been significant commercial developments in recent years. Using face-to-face interviews and questionnaires, 43 corporations provided information about their sponsorship programs. While there is some evidence of good practice, a continuing failure to effectively manage sport sponsorship programs is clear. The study thus concludes by making recommendations about the future development of sport sponsorship management.
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