An Empirical Approach to Analyzing Sponsorships in Intercollegiate Athletics: The Case of NCAA Bowl Sponsorships

Jonathan A. Jensen – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Natalie Caneja – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Revenue from sponsorship is critical to the continued survival of sport organizations, in particular the non-profit organizations that dominate the intercollegiate athletics industry. Thus, this paper seeks to assist those tasked with managing such intercollegiate athletics partnerships by applying survival analysis methodologies to the study of postseason National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) bowl sponsorships. The application of these approaches allow managers to determine not just the aggregated percentage of sponsors who historically renew, but when sponsorships are most likely to continue, when the probability of a sponsorship ending is highest, and the sponsorship’s median lifetime. Consistent with exchange theory, results indicate that bowl sponsorships are more susceptible to dissolution within the first eight years and the median lifetime of the sponsorships is just under four years, demonstrating the importance of providing intercollegiate athletic event organizers more advanced methodologies to assist in the industry’s sponsorship revenue forecasting activities.