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Jason Daniels, Thilo Kunkel and Adam Karg

Acknowledging the prevalence of new brands and rebranding activities in the present sport landscape, the current research examined consumer perceptions of new sport brands over time. Season-ticket holders and fans (N = 7,590) of eight teams were tracked over the first 5 years of a league’s existence. Brand associations were measured with a free-thought listing technique, and a coding process surmised 18 brand associations related to teams in the league, with six representing benefits and 12 representing attributes. Initially, responses were attribute dominant; however, benefits increased proportionately over the 5-year period of exploration. Findings extend knowledge on the development of consumer-based brand associations of new sport brands over time, highlight contextual differences between brands, and demonstrate the impact of star players on teams within sport-brand architecture. Given their application to global sport settings, these findings have implications for sport managers who introduce new brands to the marketplace.