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Beyond Grey Pinstripes
Art for the sake of the corporation: Audi, BMW Group, DaimlerChrysler, Montblanc, Siemens, and Volkswagon help explore the effect of sponsorship on corporate reputations
This article examines whether exposure to a company’s sponsorship of cultural activities such as “high-brow” arts—including classical music, literature, art exhibitions, and museums—provides a long-term increase in the general public’s assessment of corporate reputation. As corporate reputation has been found by previous studies to be composed of two primary dimensions (i.e., the likeability of the firm, the competence of the firm), it is of particular interest to examine whether sponsorship of cultural events affects one or both of these dimensions. A two-dimensional model of image transfer is used as the theoretical basis for a study of more than 3,000 German consumers conducted in collaboration with 10 major multinational companies (e.g., BMW Group and Siemens). Results show that some significant effects of culture-sponsoring activities can be demonstrated for the likeability dimension of corporate reputation and some of its antecedents. However, no significant link between culture sponsorships and consumer perceptions of firm competence is found.