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  • Author: James M. Gladden x
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James M. Gladden and Daniel C. Funk

This study broadens the understanding of brand management in sport by creating the Team Association Model, a scale that identifies dimensions of brand associations, a major contributor to the creation of brand equity. Utilizing Keller’s (1993) theoretical framework of consumer-based brand equity, a thorough review of the sport literature was conducted which identified 16 potential dimensions. These 16 dimensions are derived with reference to Keller’s categorization of brand associations into ATTRIBUTE (success, head coach, star player, management, stadium, logo design, product delivery, and tradition), BENEFIT (identification, nostalgia, pride in place, escape, and peer group acceptance), and ATTITUDE (importance, knowledge, and affect). In order to evaluate the applicability of each potential dimension, a scale is developed, pre-tested, and tested on a national sample of sport consumers. Results of the confirmatory factor analysis of provided support for this paper’s theoretical notion that 16 distinct constructs underlie brand associations in sports.

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James M. Gladden, Richard L. Irwin and William A. Sutton

Following a decade that produced astonishing player salaries, continued player mobility, widespread corporate involvement, and skyrocketing ticket prices and broadcast rights fees, North American major league professional sport teams enter the 21st century encountering a number of significant challenges. An analysis of the aforementioned trends yields valuable insight into the future of professional team sport management in North America and leads to the identification of a primary concern of team owners and operators, that of managing the franchise's brand equity. With team owners increasingly reaping profits from the long-term appreciation of the team's value while continuing to lose money on a yearly basis, there will be an increased focus on strengthening team brands. This new focus will lead management to build and maintain brand equity through two primary means: the acquisition of assets and the enhancement of customer relationships. Each of these predictions is explained in depth in this paper and examples are provided.

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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.