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Authenticity, Beer brands, Consumers, Gender, Professional sports, Sponsorship



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Alcohol sponsorship of women’s professional hockey in North America began in 2019, yet men’s professional hockey has received financial support from alcohol brands for decades. The purpose of this thesis was to examine consumer perceptions of sponsorship authenticity as they relate to beer sponsorship of professional men’s and women’s hockey leagues. Moreover, this study examined the differences of gender on perceptions of authenticity towards the two alcohol and sport sponsorships, as well as two correlations: first, between alcohol consumption and sponsorship authenticity, and second, between attitudes towards alcohol sponsorship and sponsorship authenticity. A quantitative, cross-sectional design was utilized, and its sample consisted of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) workers who identified as being legal drinking age in Canada. Respondents were randomly assigned one of the two real sponsorships, which involved the same beer brand, they were prompted with a basic image and brief description of the sponsorship case, and this was then followed by a questionnaire. Results determined that consumers perceived the alcohol sponsorship involving the men’s professional league to be more authentic than alcohol sponsorship involving the women’s league. Regarding gender, males perceived the alcohol sponsorship with the men’s league to be more authentic than its sponsorship with the women’s league, but females exhibited no differences in their perceptions between the two sponsorship cases. A correlation between alcohol consumption and perceived sponsorship authenticity did not exist, while a correlation was found between attitudes towards alcohol sponsorship and perceived sponsorship authenticity.