associations linked to a brand ( Gladden & Funk, 2001 , 2002 ; Kunkel, Funk, et al., 2014 ). Although each set of brand associations is conceptually distinct, a formal relationship exists in which the league acts as a master brand and teams operate as a set of sub-brands ( Kunkel et al., 2013 ). The
Thilo Kunkel, Daniel C. Funk, and Daniel Lock
Thilo Kunkel, Jason P. Doyle, Daniel C. Funk, James Du, and Heath McDonald
The importance of team brand associations in sport management research is well documented, but the formation and stability of these associations has not been investigated. The current research tested the development, change, and predictive ability of brand associations over time. Longitudinal quantitative data were collected from consumers of a new Australian Football League (AFL) team (N = 169) at 3 points in time. One-sample t-tests revealed that brand associations had developed through marketing communications and the launch of the team before the team had played its first AFL game. Repeated-measures multivariate analysis of variance and latent growth modeling showed that brand associations changed over time, reflecting consumers’ experiences with the team. A cross-lagged panel model highlighted that brand associations influenced consumer loyalty in the future. Consequently, sport managers are provided with insights on the development of and change in brand associations that new consumers link with sport teams.
Jason Daniels, Thilo Kunkel, and Adam Karg
position them for long-term sustainable growth. Research on new sport organizations has focused on the role of brand associations in comprising brand equity, which refers to the relative psychological and behavioral values of a brand from the consumer perspective ( Ross, Russell, & Bang, 2008 ). Brand
Henry Wear and Bob Heere
implications for sport organizations are quite significant. In the sport management literature, much of the research involving sport fans has focused on the concept of team identity. The aim of this study is to develop a greater understanding of the brand associations that hold the greatest impact in creating
Thilo Kunkel, Daniel Funk, and Ceridwyn King
Existing research has primarily focused on sport teams as brands, overlooking the branding of professional sport leagues. Professional sport leagues are required to build and leverage their brand associations to be sustainable and to help affiliated teams. This study integrated existing team brand association research with brand architecture literature to examine league brand associations from a consumer perspective. A freethought listing pilot test (N = 22) was followed by semistructured interviews (N = 26) to uncover 17 brand associations linked with professional sport leagues. Online questionnaires among consumers of four sport leagues in Australia (N = 1182) were used to support 17 distinct identified league brand associations. One sample t tests and correlation analyses empirically revealed that 17 league brand associations were linked with attitudinal and behavioral outcomes related to sport leagues. Finally, ANOVAs identified that some league brand associations differed between four leagues as perceived by consumers, reflecting league specific characteristics.
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.
Stephen D. Ross, Jeffrey D. James, and Patrick Vargas
The Team Brand Association Scale (TBAS), which is intended to measure professional sport team brand associations, was developed through the use of a free-thought listing technique in combination with a confirmatory factor analysis procedure. Information was provided by individuals regarding their favorite sports team, and 11 dimensions underlying professional sport team brand associations were identified: nonplayer personnel, team success, team history, stadium community, team play characteristics, brand mark, commitment, organizational attributes, concessions, social interaction, and rivalry. Review of the TBAS psychometric properties indicated that eight dimensions had acceptable reliabilities (Cronbach’s alpha scores ranging from .76-.90), as well as content validity (verified by a 3-member expert panel review), discriminant validity (based on correlations among latent constructs and their standard errors), concurrent validity (significant correlations with an external measure), and construct validity.
Brandi Watkins and Jason W. Lee
This case study examined how a large university in the southern U.S. incorporated branding strategies into its social-media content. Specifically, the strategies for using text-based social media (Twitter) and visual-based social media (Instagram) to communicate brand identity through brand associations and brand personality were investigated. To do this, the authors conducted a 2-part study. The first, a content analysis of social-media content, revealed how the athletic department communicated the football team’s brand identity through brand associations and brand personality. Second, a survey assessed the perceived brand personality of the football program through social-media content to determine external perceptions of the team. Results support the use of Instagram as a branding strategy. Instagram was used more than Twitter to communicate brand associations and brand-personality cues, while survey results indicated that respondents exposed to Instagram content reported higher perceptions of brand personality than those exposed to Twitter content.
Megan B. Shreffler and Stephen D. Ross
Word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing has the potential to effectively contribute to revenue generation as sport organizations continue to create and implement marketing strategies to build and maintain relationships with consumers. While there has been a plethora of research on WOM marketing in the general business literature, the magnitude of the phenomenon must be examined separately in a sport setting because of the uniqueness of sport fans as consumers. This study examined the effect of the transference of personal experiences through WOM activity on brand associations, team identification, and the behavioral intentions of college basketball fans. Through a 4-stage data-collection approach in which both positive and negative messages were used, it was found that WOM activity has a significant impact on some of the measured constructs. The results of the study suggest that negative WOM has a greater impact on consumers than positive WOM, providing significant theoretical and managerial implications.
Thilo Kunkel, Rui Biscaia, Akiko Arai, and Kwame Agyemang
.g., end-consumer awareness), and Geurin-Eagleman and Burch ( 2016 ) categorized Instagram posts into two types: front stage (e.g., on-field performance) and backstage (e.g., personal life). Although there is no consensus on the most relevant athlete brand associations, there seems to be agreement among researchers that on