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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Sport Sciences

First Advisor

Linda Koehler

First Committee Member

C. R. Snell

Second Committee Member

John Boelter


The purpose of this study was to explore issues of ethics as they relate to corporate sponsorship within Division IA college athletics. The research was conducted as a case study of a private Division IA college athletic department. Data were collected through a series of semi-structured interviews with areas of inquiry including corporate sponsorships, allocation of funding, and related budgetary concerns. Twenty individuals were interviewed. These included coaches, athletic administrators, and marketing representatives. All interviews were taped, subsequently transcribed, and analyzed for content and themes. Quotes were examined in terms of content and grouped according to similarity of themes. A number of themes were identified and categorized in line with "ethical phenomena" as discussed in the literature.

The results revealed eleven categories and subcategories. These included Gender Inequity, Financial Elitism, Corporate Sponsorship Ethics, Corporate Sponsorship Advancement, Coach's Roles, Winning is Everything, Budget Inequities, Marketing Responsibility, Organizational Concerns, Sponsorability and Fundraising Necessity. Similarities existed between the groups of respondents. Specifically, the coaches responded similarly to questions relating to gender inequity. Additionally, the athletic administrators differed in their views from the coaches in matters of funding and marketing.

In conclusion, analysis suggests an inequality of financing between revenue producing sports and non-revenue producing sports. Conflicting views existed between administration and coaches in regards to the organizational structure of the athletic department. Corporate sponsorships were found to be an essential part of an athletic department for the present and future. Gender discrepancies appeared when marketing corporate sponsorships within an athletic department. Further discussion focuses on the need for corporate sponsorships.



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