A Brief History

With over 30 years of experience in fan research, Dr. Kirk Wakefield has studied the impact of sponsorships since 1999. A few historical highlights:

  • Received a $160,000 federal grant from the United States Armed Services to study the impact of NASCAR sponsorships on fans at the Phoenix International Raceway

  • Managed all consumer research the first three years of the Memphis Redbirds (1999-2002), including sponsorship impact.

  • Developed the Affinity Transfer Model in collaboration with AT&T and The Marketing Arm (2004-2007) to measure ROI for sponsoring the Spurs, Giants, Cotton Bowl, and myriad other properties.

  • Engaged by the San Diego Padres to measure sponsorship impact (2012-13).

  • Engaged by Cleveland Browns to measure sponsorship impact (2014-present).

  • Engaged by Gulf States Toyota to measure impact of Toyota Center title sponsorship with the Rockets, in addition to other properties (2014-2015).

  • Invited to NFL Partnership Meetings in Chicago (2017) to present with the Browns.

  • Launched Team Sports Marketing Analytics LLC, DBA Wakefield Research Partners (2017).

  • Membership in Wakefield Research Partners surpassed 24 major league properties, including The Open (2019-20).

Dr. Wakefield's published research earned the American Marketing Association's honor for  "Distinguished Career Contributions to the Scientific Understanding of Sport Business Award," in 2017. He was selected as Baylor University's Outstanding Scholar in 2013. His textbook, Team Sports Marketing, and research in leading marketing research journals (Journal of Marketing, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Retailing, Journal of Advertising, and many more) have led to over 10,000 scholarly citations.

In 2018, Dr. Wakefield was invited to contribute to Forbes.com, where tens of thousands continue to read practical research insights and sports business commentary.

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