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.
Melissa Davies, Michael L. Naraine, and Brandon Mastromartino
by West Coast franchises seeking to utilizing his firm’s services (e.g., Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks). In 2016, BrandNEW was approached by Black Knight Sports and Entertainment to help develop a strategy and build brand equity in the new NHL franchise, the Vegas Golden Knights. Nick was
Stephen D. Ross, Keith C. Russell, and Hyejin Bang
Few studies in the branding literature have approached brand equity from the sport perspective, and even fewer studies focus on the construct from the consumer viewpoint. The purpose of the current research was to empirically test the spectator-based brand equity (SBBE) model. Using a sample from professional basketball consumers, the results of the study show that the 49-item, 13-construct model has a reasonable fit to the data. The study extends the understanding of sport brand equity from the consumer perspective by presenting empirical support for the model. Several managerial implications are offered as a result of the findings.
Stephen D. Ross
Despite the general understanding that spectator sport is a service-oriented product, sport brand equity research has overwhelmingly relied on models pertaining to physical goods and has been slow to acknowledge service marketing principles and the unique characteristics of team sport in understanding this topic. This article proposes a framework for the development of spectator-based brand equity by which the characteristics of spectator sports are recognized through organization, market, and experience-induced antecedents that contribute to spectator-based brand equity. It is suggested that the key components of brand equity for spectator sports consist of brand awareness and brand associations, and the result of these components is revealed in a set of consequences contributing to the value of a sport brand.
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.
Brett A. Boyle and Peter Magnusson
The authors empirically tested Underwood, Bond, and Baer’s (2001) social identity–brand equity (SIBE) model in the context of fans of a university men’s basketball team. Their model proposes that service marketplace characteristics (venue, team history, rituals, and social groups) enhance one’s social identity to a team. This heightened social identity, in turn, is seen to build brand equity of the team brand. Using the SIBE model as a conceptual framework, a comparative study was conducted across 3 distinct fan groups of the team: current students, alumni, and the general public. Results provide strong support for the effect of social identity on brand equity; regardless of the type of fan, a heightened social identity to the team enhanced the perceived equity of the athletic program (i.e., brand) overall. How social identity was formed, however, differed by fan group. For example, team history showed a significant relationship to social identity for alumni and the general public. Students were most influenced by their sense of the basketball program being part of the local community as a whole. These finding are valuable in knowing how to craft marketing communications for various fan constituencies, as well as understanding how identification to 1 team might be leveraged across all sports in a collegiate athletic program.
Jerred Junqi Wang, James J. Zhang, Kevin K. Byon, Thomas A. Baker, and Zhenqiu Laura Lu
Building on schema theory, the current study highlighted the role of brand-event personality fit (BEPF) in sport-event sponsorship communications and empirically examined its impact on sponsors’ consumer-based brand equity (CBBE) in the setting of American college football. Three studies were conducted to refine a sound measurement scale of BEPF and examine the structural relationships between BEPF and CBBE. Research findings confirmed the validity and reliability of the proposed BEPF measurement scale and revealed a series of positive relationships between crucial subdimensions of BEPF (i.e., responsibility fit, emotionality fit, and aggressiveness fit) and CBBE (i.e., brand awareness/association, perceived value, and brand loyalty). The findings offer brand managers specific references as to which aspects of BEPF should be prioritized in their promotional communications to build CBBE. Event marketers could also use the findings to communicate with corporations regarding potential or continued sponsorship agreements.
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.
This article uses a case-study approach to develop an understanding of how framing on game telecasts can increase the brand equity of sports venues. In 2014, ESPN ranked the NHL’s New York Islanders last in “stadium experience” among all 122 teams in the 4 major North American sports leagues. Given the Islanders’ looming relocation, the 2014–15 NHL season afforded the last opportunity to consider how telecasts would portray the team’s arena, Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island. Based on a textual analysis of Islanders telecasts, 2 frames emerged: atmosphere (loud cheering and tributes to veterans) and nostalgia (famous moments and players from the arena’s history). Teams that play in poorly regarded venues can encourage broadcasters to employ frames such as atmosphere and nostalgia to increase attendance and sales of venue-related merchandise.
Coyte G. Cooper and David Pierce
With the growing popularity of the Internet as a communication medium, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) athletic departments have turned to their Web sites to build interest in their product among consumers. As sites continue to develop traffic, it is important to examine the coverage being provided on the home Web pages to determine whether equitable coverage is being allocated to men’s and women’s nonrevenue sport teams. The current research featured a content analysis of NCAA divisional Web-site coverage during an academic school year. From a broad perspective, the results indicated that only Division III provided equitable gender and individual team coverage allocations on its home Web pages. In contrast, the data also supported the notion that Division I athletic programs (Football Bowl Subdivision [FBS] and Football Championship Subdivision [FCS]) provided significantly more coverage to men’s baseball, men’s basketball, and men’s football than nonrevenue-sport teams. The FBS and FCS coverage inequalities are discussed in depth in the article.