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James M. Gladden, George R. Milne and William A. Sutton

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.

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George R. Milne, Mark A. McDonald, William A. Button and Rajiv Kashyap

This research examines the competitive niche positions of 36 sports and fitness activities reported in an American Sports Activities 1993 tracking study. The article discusses the advantages of viewing competition from an ecological niche perspective and presents a measure of competitive resource overlap (CRO) used in marketing for measuring niche breadth and niche overlap. The empirical study presents an intuitive mapping of the sports market and calculates the niche breadth and niche overlap for each sport. Managerial implications for sporting goods manufacturers, advertising agencies, corporate sponsors, fitness consultants, and other professionals interested in participant sports markets are given.