Research proposal(choose one from those three below) Essay Example

  • Category:
  • Document type:
    Research Proposal
  • Level:
  • Page:
  • Words:

Effects of Alcohol Sponsorship 7



Effects of Alcohol Sponsorship at Sporting and Cultural Events

1. Introduction

1.1 Research problem

Since 1992, the Australian federal government has enforced a ban prohibiting all entities from advertising tobacco products. The government explains that it took action against tobacco advertising because it promotes a substance that is addictive and toxic (Department of Health 2013). Statistics from the Australian government imply that alcohol poses a similar problem for the nation’s wellbeing. Every year, three thousand, two hundred people die from alcohol related problems while hospitals are forced to admit eighty-one thousand for the same issue. This affects individuals and families through their losses and costs the government more than fifteen billion AUD (Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy 2006). The situation suggests that there is a need for the government to regulate the advertising of alcohol, a substance that is similar to tobacco in being addictive and harmful. Accordingly, there is a need for researchers to discover the effects of alcohol advertising in sporting and cultural events. Such information would help the policy makers understand how alcohol advertising influences peoples’ behaviour and know whether the situation requires immediate action.

1.2 Research question

How does alcohol sponsorship of events influence the attitudes of patrons towards consumption of the substance?

1.3 Aims and objectives of the research

Aim: To discover the influence that alcohol advertising at events has on the attitudes of patrons

Main objective: To collect information on the drinking habits of people attending social events

Sub-objectives: To collect data from patrons of alcohol sponsored events and show whether the sponsorship makes them more or less likely to consume alcoholic beverages.

To find out whether the drinking habits of people at alcohol sponsored events place them at any risk of succumbing to drug-related health complications.

1.4 Significance of the study

The purpose of this study is to provide lawmakers with information detailing the effects of alcohol advertising and sponsorship at events on the attitudes of patrons. The study will look at how people attending an event sponsored by an alcoholic drink are affected by the advertising and whether this sponsorship makes them consume more of the substance. Additionally, the study will show the impact that such sponsorship and advertising has on the health of the patrons. Through these inferences and results, this research will help policy makers come up with informed regulations concerning the advertising of alcohol products and the sponsorship of cultural or sporting events by alcoholic substances.

2. Literature Review

Scholars have carried out extensive research into the effects of alcohol and tobacco advertising on the attitudes and practices of consumers. This research has focused on different areas, with some scholars looking emphasizing on the impact of promotions on the youth while others look into events related marketing. Deidre Mongan’s 2010 article looked into the influence of alcohol sponsorship of sporting events in Ireland. Mongan (2010, p. 12) asserts that there is an undeniable link between sports and alcohol consumption among the Irish youth. This link provides players in the alcohol industry with an opportunity to promote their brands, a situation that helps to increase consumption. The New Zealand Health Promotion Agency also sponsored a study that looked into the effects of alcohol sponsorship of sports events. Similar to Mongan’s conclusions, this study exposed a strong link between sporting events and alcohol consumption as the results revealed a perception within patrons that alcohol consumption was a part of the atmosphere at sports events (Gee, Jackson & Sam 2013, p. 21). For some patrons, this activity was socially acceptable.

The study by Kelly et al. (2011, p. 6) differed in that it focused on how the effects of alcohol sponsorship at events indicate the impact of promotions on the health of children. Regardless of this focus, the study still revealed the existence of a strong link between alcohol consumption and sporting events that were sponsored by alcoholic brands and beverages (Kelly et al. 2011, p. 6). Lastly, Snyder et al. (2006, p. 18) carried out a study that delved into the impact of alcohol advertising on the drinking habits of young people. The results indicated that the youths who were exposed to more alcohol advertisements drank more than their counterparts who had not seen such promotions (Snyder et al. 2006, p. 18). This matched the inferences of other researchers, that alcohol sponsored events resulted in more drinking by the patrons.

The four studies used different frameworks and models to arrive at their conclusions. Two of the studies based their results on primary data, collected through interviews. The remaining studies used secondary data as they collected their information from other published reports. The use of interviews may have skewed the results to some extent due to the stigma associated with drinking problems. However, it allowed the researchers to have collect detailed data from the participants. One gap that was visible in the four studies is that they all focused on the youth. The four studies all emphasized the effects of alcohol sponsorship in events on the consumption habits of the youth. This means that there is still a need to understand how such situations influence the alcohol consumption habits of older demographics.

3. Methodology

This study will apply a basic interpretive approach when collecting and analyzing the data. Merriam (2009, p. 23) states that the basic interpretive approach is best for cases where the research team is attempting to unveil meanings attached to certain situations, occasions or phenomena. The analysis normally focuses on the existence of certain patterns and themes within the data that the research team collects. In this case, the researcher will be looking to see how the alcohol sponsorship in events of different kinds makes patrons more or less likely to consume alcoholic beverages. The approach therefore suits the study, because the focus is on the influence of alcohol sponsorship on the attitudes of people. A study of this nature requires researchers to collect data on participants’ perceptions through interactive methods. Accordingly, the best techniques for the research team to use would be questionnaires, interviews, debates and focus groups (Merriam 2009, p. 23). After the researchers have collected the data, the process of analyzing it involves the use of other literature to form a frame of reference.

4. Data Collection Methods

Since the study’s data will be centred on the attitudes of the respondents, the primary method of data collection will involve the use of interviews. Interviews are a method of collecting data that involve one-on-one conversations between the researcher and the respondent, where the interviewee relays his or her experiences. Olsen (2012, p. 33) explains that interviews usually involve at least two people and can take different structures. The three most common types of interviews are the semi-structured, structured and unstructured (Olsen 2012, p. 33). Based on these descriptions, the best type of interview for this study is the semi-structured. Such an interview will give the interviewer the ability to control the activity while also allowing the respondent to explain him or herself fully.

Semi-structured interviews normally utilize open-ended questions and these will help the researchers collect information that predetermined queries may not have accessed. That this study focuses on the way that alcohol sponsorship changes the attitudes of people attending various events makes even more important for the interviews to have a structure that allows them to capture information with a flexible approach (Gill et al. 2008, p. 291). This makes semi-structured interviews well suited for the purpose. Another advantage of using interviews to collect information is that they enable the researcher to note nonverbal cues from the respondent. The combination of nonverbal cues with verbal communication can help increase the effectiveness of the process (Onwuegbuzie, Leech & Collins 2010, p. 700). Accordingly, the semi-structured interview offers the researcher with an excellent way of collecting data through an interactive process that matches the basic interpretive approach to the study.

Possible alternatives for collecting data would have involved the use of questionnaires or focus groups. However, both methods have their limitations. With questionnaires, the rigid structure involved would not have captured the information as well as the semi-structured interview will. Conversely, focus groups would have involved interactions between large numbers of people and this would have increased the likelihood of some participants dominating and influencing the perceptions of their counterparts (Gill et al. 2008, 292).

5. Sampling

Sampling involves the selection of a number of individuals that the research team uses to estimate certain aspects of the entire population. Sampling is an important part of the research process because it can help ensure that the results of the study are unbiased and credible. The sampling technique that this study will apply is selective sampling. In selective sampling, the researcher selects the participants from within the population using criteria such as age and gender. The researcher can expand the samples during the study as he or she discovers new dimensions within their subject population (Koerber & McMichael 2008, p. 464). The selective sampling method will fit the requirements of this study because the subjects need to meet certain criteria. Firstly, they subjects must be attending an event where they are exposed to alcohol advertising through sponsorship. Secondly, the study seeks to discover the effects of such sponsorship on all demographics. Accordingly, selective sampling allows the researcher to select people in manner that he or she feels is representative of all age demographics (Coyne 2003, p. 625). Other forms of sampling would have proved inadequate for different reasons. For instance, random sampling would have made it difficult for the researcher to make sure that all age demographics are represented in the study.

6. Data Analysis

Data analysis is perhaps the most important part of the research process. Through data analysis, the research team is able to come up with various inferences that help make the data conclusive and helpful. Adam et al. (2007, p. 337) identify various techniques that researchers can use to analyze data within qualitative research. Examples of these techniques include the ethnographic analysis, narrative analysis and conversation analysis. These techniques differ depending on the kind of study involved. In qualitative studies, the researchers place more emphasis on the meanings attached to the findings. Alternatively, quantitative studies focus more on the statistical conclusions of the data (Adam et al. 2007, p. 332). In this study, the best method of analyzing the data will be the interpretative phenomenological approach. In interpretative phenomenological analysis, the researcher seeks to discover the way that participants make sense of the world surrounding them (Smith & Osborn 2007, p. 54). This could include certain events, experiences and encounters. Accordingly, the analysis fits in with the purpose of the research and matches the methodology that the study will use.

Other forms of analysis an ethnographic analysis would have been inappropriate for the study because it would have required the researchers to spend time with the subjects and observe them keenly. Conversation and narrative analysis would have failed to cover the key issues of the study adequately because of the way they present the data, as well as the areas that they focus on. While a statistical analysis may have helped to demonstrate the changing attitudes and the effects of alcohol sponsorship in an efficient manner, the analysis would have been incompatible with the methodology and the data collection technique.

7. Ethical Considerations

The study will deal with potential ethical issues using consent forms. The research team will issue consent forms to all of the participants in the study. This will help the respondents understand the purpose of the study and the ways in which the researchers will use the information they receive (Halai 2006, p. 5). The researchers will also avoid using any names and personal information from the respondents in the final report. This will help avoid situations where respondents feel like the researchers used their information the wrong way. The researchers will also make sure that it has the consent of any hosts and organizers whose events it attends for research purposes.

8. Validity and Reliability

Reliability and validity are two crucial factors that every researcher should consider in the process of carrying out a study. It is vital for a researcher to carry out his or her study in a manner that makes it possible to persuade the audience of the data’s credibility (Golafshani 2003, p. 601). The trustworthiness of a study is usually what determines its reliability. The lack of statistical values in qualitative studies has resulted in a debate over the issue of reliability in such research. Accordingly, Golafshani (2003, p. 602) argues that the reliability in such studies is attached to the issue of validity. Accordingly, the researcher can confirm both validity and reliability using triangulation. Triangulation is a system where the research team uses multiple methodologies to study the same phenomena (Golafshani 2003, p. 603). This study will gain credibility by using varying methods when collecting data and analyzing it. Potential limitations concerning validity and reliability could arise from the use of selective sampling, which increases the likelihood of bias.

9. Conclusion

This proposal is for a study that will look into the effects of alcohol sponsorships at sporting and cultural events. Through the study, the researchers will discover whether such sponsorships affect people’s attitudes towards alcoholic drinks by making them more likely to consume such beverages. The research team will use a basic interpretive approach when carrying out this study. It will combine this approach with interviews for data collection and interpretative phenomenological analysis when scrutinizing the data. The study will confirm its reliability and validity by combining different methods when collecting and analyzing data. Preliminary results based on the literature review indicate that there is a positive correlation between alcohol consumption and the sponsorship of events by firms in the alcohol industry. If the study achieves confirms a similar result, it will help influence the decisions of policy makers when they formulate future regulations regarding alcohol advertising.


Adams, J, Hafiz, TAK, Raeside, R & White D 2007, Research methods for graduate business and social science students, SAGE Publications, New Delhi.

Coyne, IT 2003, ‘Sampling in qualitative research. Purposeful and theoretical sampling; Merging or clear boundaries?’, Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol. 26, pp. 623-630.

Department of Health 2013, Easy guide to the Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act 1992, viewed 29 May 2014, <>

Gee, S, Jackson, SJ, Sam, M 2013, The culture of alcohol promotion and consumption at major sports events in New Zealand, Health Promotion Agency, Welington.

Gill, P, Stewart, K, Treasure, E & Chadwick, B 2008, ‘Methods of data collection in qualitative research: Interviews and focus groups’, British Dental Journal, vol. 204, no. 6, pp. 291-2965.

Golafshani, N 2003, ‘Understanding reliability and validity in qualitative research’, The Qualitative Report, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 597-607.

Halai, A, 2006, ‘Ethics in qualitative research: Issues and challenges’, EdQual Working Paper, no. 4, pp. 1-12.

Kelly, B, Baur, LA, Bauman, AE & King, L 2011, ‘Tobacco and alcohol sponsorship of sporting events provide insights about how food and beverage sponsorship may affect children’s health’, Health Promotion Journal of Australia, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 91-96.

Koerber, A & McMichael, L 2008, ‘Qualitative sampling methods’, Journal of Business and Technical Communication, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 454-473.

Merriam, SB 2009, Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementation, Jossey-Brass, San Francisco.

Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy 2006, National Alcohol Strategy 2006-2009, Commonwealth of Australia, Barton.

Mongan, D 2010, ‘Sponsorship of sports events by the alcohol industry’, Drugnet Ireland, no. 12, p. 12.

Olsen, WK 2012, Data collection: Key debates and methods in social research, Thousand Oaks, London.

Onwuegbuzie, AJ, Leech, NL & Collins, KMT 2010, ‘Innovative data collection strategies in qualitative research’, The Qualitative Report, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 696-726.

Smith, JA & Osborn, M 2007, Interpretive phenomenological analysis’, in Qualitative psychology: A practical guide to research methods, ed JA Smith, Sage Publications, London, pp. 54-80.

Snyder, LB, Milici, FF, Slater, M, Sun, H & Strizhakova, Y 2006, ‘Effects of alcohol advertising exposure on drinking among youth’, Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, vol. 160, pp. 18-24.