In an effort to enhance the organization's image and increase its revenues, sport managers should incorporate the concept of brand equity, the strength of a team/university name in the marketplace, into strategic marketing efforts. This article, building on Aaker's (1991) theoretical structure, develops a conceptual framework of brand equity applied to Division I college athletics. The brand equity framework provides a closed-ended system whereby antecedents (team-related, university-related, and market-related) create brand equity that then results in marketplace consequences (e.g., national television exposure, ticket sales). These consequences then feed into a marketplace perception that impacts the antecedents of brand equity through a feedback loop. Directions for future research efforts that address evaluating the validity of the model, implications for different sports within Division I athletics, and relationships to other popular marketing concepts are offered.
James M. Gladden and William A. Sutten are with the Department of Sport Studies, Curry Hicks Building, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Amherst, MA 01003. George R. Milne is with the Marketing Department at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.