Bethany Hushon

The Tangible vs the Intangible: the effectiveness of sponsorship as a communication to increase the brand awareness and equity of Women’s Football in the United Kingdom.

Bethany is a part-time PhD student with the Institute of Sport Business. Her research consists of reviewing sponsorship within Women's Football in the UK, looking at the difference between the tangible and intangible to boast equity and brand awareness.

Bethany Hushon joined Loughborough University London in 2020 after five years of working within the commercial side of sport, both for Football Clubs and Sponsorship Brands. Bethany received her undergraduate from Leeds Beckett University in 2015, graduating with First Class Honours and the Dean's Prize for Sport Business. From her time working within Football, her passion for Women's Sport has built the context of her research, as well as being a keen fan of all sports and a avid netballer.

PhD research description

The objective of Bethany's thesis is how Women’s Football can utilise their intangible and tangible assets to leverage sponsorship to increase their brand awareness in the UK, to aid them to break the mold. The revenue from these sponsorships is of paramount importance to the development of the game. The importance of sponsors also goes beyond pure financial gains; association to established brands and well-designed campaigns can fuel the awareness and interest in the game itself. (FIFPRO, 2020). Marshalling the sports sponsorship and brand equity literature, the results show that sponsorship has a major role to play in building brand awareness and brand image. Her PhD thesis is looking to provide new application of current conceptual models using Social Network Theory (SNA). This type of analysis allows understanding of the connections and trends that create interaction and engagement between social groups, relating to graph theory (Wasserman and Faust, 1994; Lusher et al, 2010; Clemente et al, 2015). SNA has been adapted in sport management having taken the approach of network behaviour shown in Appendix 1 (Wasche et al, 2017)

PhD supervisors

Andrea Geurin and Lauren Burch

Interests and activities

Bethany works full-time alongside her research as a Community Manager for iSPORTCONNECT, based in Wimbledon, London. She volunteered at the London 2012 Olympics at Olympic Park and believes this highlighted her passion for sport.

Bethany also has a blog which you can view here.