This project revisits the social identity–brand equity (SIBE) model developed by Underwood, Bond, and Baer (2001). The model proposes that marketplace characteristics relevant to sports can be used to enhance one’s social identification with a team, which is assumed to have a positive influence on a team’s customer-based brand equity. The current study has two goals: (a) to provide an empirical assessment of the SIBE model in the context of professional sports and (b) assess the individual influence of the proposed marketplace characteristics on social identification. We report results of a survey of U.S. National Basketball Association fans, which provide partial support for the model. Group experience and venue were found to have the strongest influence on social identification with a team. Considerations for theoretical advancement of the model and practical application for sport brand managers are discussed.
Brandi A. Watkins is with the Department of Advertising & Public Relations at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL. Address author correspondence to Brandi A. Watkins at email@example.com.