HOW IS THE USE OF SPONSORSHIP WITHIN THE FESTIVAL INDUSTRY IMPACTING THE FESTIVAL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE? USING ‘BESTIVAL’ AS A CASE STUDY
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This research project examines how brand sponsorship at festivals impacts the festivalgoer’s experience, using Bestival as a case study. To achieve this aim the researcher made a series of objectives that needed to be completed, these were: Critically review current literature on the use of brand sponsorship at festivals and its relation to motivation and the factors that motivate festivalgoers to attend festivals, conduct primary research into understanding the impact of brand sponsorship on the festivalgoer’s experience of attending Bestival between 2015-2016, using semi-structured interviews and finally make recommendations on how festival organisers might use the research findings to ensure brand sponsorship enhances the festivalgoer’s experience. Research was obtained interviewing 7 people who had attended Bestival. The researcher then discussed the findings qualitatively using a thematic analysis. The study found has found that the main factors motivating festivalgoers to attend a festival was Excitement, Value for Money and the Festival Style. Findings also indicated that the impact of brand sponsorship on festivalgoers could be understood in terms of the brands potential to meet festivalgoer’s Essential needs and offer Leisure opportunities. However, the finding indicated that some brand sponsorship was ineffective. Brands sponsorship cited as in effective, included Goldsmiths University and Snog Yoghurt. In-effective was defined by the sub category themes of Lack of Visibility, Lack of Clear Messages and No Go’s. Furthermore, the findings proposed that there were opportunities for other brands to increase their sponsorship at music festivals. Those brands the findings proposed could increase sponsorship at festivals suggested included fashion brands and services that increased drug awareness or safeguarded festivalgoer’s welfare. Overall festivalgoers seem to accept that festivals needed sponsorship, but didn’t feel it improved their enjoyment and that their feelings towards a sponsor had changed and the ones that did were corporate sponsors.
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