There is not enough commercial sponsoring of sporting, cultural and social events in Switzerland, according to a survey published on Tuesday.
The study, by the Zurich-based gfs institute, found that there was still a great potential for sponsoring and that it could be very advantageous if carried out correctly.
Experts said that the sponsoring market was still very modest in Switzerland – worth SFr350-400 million ($274-312 million).
The survey, which was carried out on behalf of communications agency MPM Sponsoring Consulting, also found that most people viewed sponsoring as a form of publicity.
But most considered it to have a more sympathetic image than other forms of public relations, said the gfs in a statement.
The study was carried out between April and May this year, with 605 people from across the country surveyed.
Among the best known sponsors were the large Swiss banks, such as UBS, Credit Suisse and Raiffeisen. Telecommunications provider Swisscom and the Rivella soft drinks company were also cited.
Respondents seemed to be more aware of the commercial sponsoring of sporting and cultural events rather than of environmental and social projects.
In addition, the survey found that 52 per cent of those asked would prefer to deal with a company that supported sports. This stood at 46 per cent for culture, 31 per cent for science and 40 per cent for social projects.
But sponsoring was also found to project a negative image. Those who invested in very commercialised sports, such as Formula One, were thought to be "only interested in money", said the statement.
Respondents had very clear ideas about what constituted suitable sponsors. For Formula One, this included banks, insurances and car producers, but not furniture manufacturers or dairy producers.
On Tuesday the insurance company Helvetia Patria announced it would be supporting the Swiss Ski Federation.
Fashionable sports such as skiing and snowboarding were often associated with food or drinks companies but not with beer, the study found. Beer was also found to be unsuitable for musical or cultural events but acceptable for pop or folk music events.
In general, those who sponsored cultural events had the image of being leading and exclusive companies, which were both modern but aware of the country's heritage.
swissinfo with agencies
Sponsoring in Switzerland is worth between SFr350 million and SFr400 million.
The best-known sponsor is Switzerland's biggest bank, UBS, cited by 53% of those polled.
52% of those surveyed said they preferred to buy the products of a company that backs a sporting venture.
46% of the respondents they would also purchase goods and services from sponsors of culture, 31% from sponsors of science and 40% from sponsors of social events.