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Sponsorship for International Sporting Events: Trends, Uses, Case Studies

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Cricket, a sport that is absent from US-sporting culture, is a widely popular internationally as a summer sport primarily in the UK, Australia, UAE, and South Africa. Unlike most sports, cricket playing fields are not regulated and can vary significantly in size and shape. While the dimensions of the pitch and infield are specifically regulated, the ‘Laws of Cricket’ do not specify the size or shape of the field. These differing set-ups create a distinctive set of playing conditions at each ground and like-wise affects the amount of backboard area for sponsorship billboards.

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Polo, while founded in Persia and developed through the Middle East and Southeast Asia, was brought to the UK by British military who had been stationed in India. Polo has become an affluent social sporting event throughout the world and as such, luxury brands including Cartier, Veuve Clicquot, Piaget, and many more, enroll the events as great sponsorship opportunities for their brands. In India, the sport of ‘Elephant Polo’ has taken flight in popularity and like many sporting events, these matches are often sponsored by top luxury brands. One of which being Cartier. Cartier came under hard scrutiny by animal rights activists for sponsoring the event, saying that Cartier supports animal cruelty and should revoke its sponsorship. The controversy ensued when Cartier claimed that they ‘were proud to support the activities of these organizations’.

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Bull fights and running of the bulls are popular spectator sports in Spain, but have gotten a lot of heat in recent years, for animal cruelty and the danger to those involved, causing casualties and critical injuries. This scrutiny threatens the two sports, as they’ve been banned on Spanish TV channels across the country, which means loss of advertising opportunities and sponsorship.

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